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A quick guide to improving your home, community, environment



A special publication of

Friday, April 22, 2011


eautify Butte, the county’s annual cleanup campaign, kicks off today to mark Earth Day, but the weekend warrior gets the real work done. Every weekend from now until May 21 residents of Butte, Anaconda and Walkerville are encouraged to clear yards, parks and neighborhoods of debris that had settled in from a long winter. “The Beautify Butte Campaign provides the vehicle to engage and inspire environmental stewardship in our neighborhoods and in our community — it’s an opportunity for citizens to derive a sense of public ownership,” said organizer Joe Lee. “We are encouraging more organizational and civic group participation together with more youth involvement,” he said. Local businesses and Butte-Silver Bow government are again donating time and materials to help in the effort, from discounted cleaning implements, trash bags and collection sites to a host of prizes for the finale collection day. Last year, nearly 80 tons of refuse was collected on the final day; 60 tons came in at the landfill and 20 tons from the Alley Rally collection site, south of NCAT This year, the grand finale day at the landfill will inlcude: Recycling onsite of white goods such as stoves, refrigerators, appliances. A&S Metals and Nordic Refrigerations will help with unloading appliances, freon gas evacuation of refrigerators, partnering with Steele’s Warehouse to cover the costs. The Chamber of Commerce will have its cleanup on May 29 at 6 p.m. when volunteers will take to the walking trail to clean away debris. Walkerville will have Dumpsters available at various times to allow residents a convenient to bring their trash.

In Anaconda: The Smelter City will again work alongside Beautify Butte to spruce up the community and raise green awareness. Plans are still coming together, though residents may “adopt” a lot around town to pick up trash. Gloves and bags are provided by the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce. For a list of available lots, call code enforcement officer Karen Courtney at 563-7029. This year also marks the return of the household hazardous and e-waste collection, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14. Old electronics and toxic chemicals will be accepted at the landfill, 1200 E. Arbiter Road, for specialized recycling. Clean Harbors Environmental, of Washington state, was again hired to properly dispose of the items. Organizer Paula Arneson, with the county Planning Department, said last year’s collection was so popular they decided to bring it back. Anaconda is partnering with the Butte-Silver Bow landfill for general cleanup. Anyone who takes their household waste there will be given a receipt, Arneson said, that may be turned back in to the Planning Department for a $10 gas card. The receipt will also be entered into a drawing for five $100 Anaconda Bucks certificates, redeemable at most downtown businesses. “We just would really like to encourage people to clean up their neighborhood, maybe have a barbecue and make it fun,” Arneson said. For more information on events, lists of acceptable e-waste or items accepted at the Anaconda landfill and transfer station, call the Planning Department at 563-4010.


BUTTE VOLUNTEERS line up along highways and byways during past Beautify Butte cleanup campaigns. If it weren’t for the volunteer effort and the support of local businesses, the annual event would not happen. ON THE COVER: Third graders at Hillcrest Elementary School take turns shoveling dirt around a Green Ash tree they helped plant in the school yard to commemorate Earth Day 2010.

Important contact numbers Tom Loggins: Butte-Silver Bow Public Works Dept. Gary Corbin: Code Enforcement Officer, Ed Randall: Community enrichment, animal control Mark Wilcox: Weed/code enforcement officer Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce Butte-Silver Bow Landfill



see CLEANUP, Page 7

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Helpful tips:

Here are some helpful tips for keeping our community litter-free and appealing: ■ Keep your property clean: When working in your yard, take a few minutes to clean-up the sidewalk gutters, alleywaya and the immediate adjacent area to your property;

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our energy consumption and our dependence on foreign energy sources. Since lighting accounts for about 14 percent of the electricity used in buildings in this country, the law targeted lighting as one of the areas where improving energy efficiency could make a significant difference.

Shedding light:

New bulb law takes effect in 2012 By Mary Beth Breckenridge Akron Beacon Journal


hen it comes to the new lighting law, a lot of people seem to be in the dark. Recently I’ve encountered quite a bit of misunderstanding and flat-out fear about the new federal lighting standards that will be phased in starting next year. For the record: ■ No, the government is not banning all incandescent light bulbs. ■ No, you’re not being forced to switch to fluorescent lighting. ■ No, you won’t have to change all your lamps and light fixtures. Now, I’m not saying we won’t notice the changes or have to make adjustments. And I’m not venturing into the issue of whether the government is overstepping its bounds. That’s a different topic for a different forum. But I do think it’s important to have the facts straight — both so we can discuss the matter intelligently and so we know what to expect when we go shopping for light bulbs. Here, then, are some questions and answers that I hope will shed light on the issue. Q: Why is the government regulating light bulbs?

A: The new lighting standards are part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The purpose of the law, in short, was to reduce

Q: Why are incandescent bulbs being singled out? A: Conventional

incandescent lighting — the kind we’re most familiar with — uses energy much less efficiently than other kinds. Only 10 percent of the electricity used by a conventional incandescent light bulb goes into producing light. The rest becomes heat. The government wants to improve those numbers, at least in general-service bulbs, the kind we use most often. Under the new law, it’s requiring those bulbs to be roughly 25 percent more efficient. Q: Does that mean all incandescent bulbs are being banned? A: No. The law applies only to general-service

bulbs, the pear-shaped, screw-in bulbs with a medium base that fit most standard lamps and lighting fixtures. What’s more, the law affects only 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt general-service bulbs. Even with that type of bulb, you’ll still have incandescent options. Manufacturers are coming up with

more efficient types of incandescent light bulbs that will meet the new standards. These more efficient bulbs are called halogen incandescent bulbs. Halogen is a form of incandescent lighting that uses halogen gas in addition to a metal filament. Q: Won’t those halogen bulbs produce light that’s more harsh? A: At full power, halogen bulbs produce a brighter,

crisper, whiter light than conventional incandescent bulbs. That’s good for tasks such as reading, but not everyone likes it for ambient lighting. But here’s a nifty thing about them: The light of halogen bulbs can be made softer and warmer by turning them down with a dimmer, said Terry McGowan, director of engineering for the American Lighting Association. Dimming the bulb reduces its Kelvin rating, which measures the color of light, McGowan explained. A halogen bulb can range from a bright, white 2,930 Kelvins to 1,850 Kelvins, the color of candlelight. So in effect, a halogen incandescent bulb gives you a variety of lighting options in one bulb. Q: Will I still be able to buy incandescent bulbs for things like appliances and chandeliers? A: Yes. The law does not apply to appliance bulbs or

candelabra-base bulbs, the kind with narrow screwin bases that are often used in chandeliers and electric window candles. Nor does the law apply to medium-base bulbs other than the specific general-service bulbs I mentioned earlier. Among the bulbs it excludes are threeway bulbs, 150-watt bulbs, black light bulbs, bug lights, colored lights, plant lights, rough-service bulbs and shatter-resistant bulbs. Q: When do the changes take place? A: The changes will be phased in.

They’ll affect general-service, 100-watt bulbs on Jan. 1, 2012, 75-watt bulbs a year later and 60- and 40-watt bulbs on Jan. 1, 2014.

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■ Check for leaks. Silent toilet leaks can be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots, too. ■ Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save even more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator or showerhead.

■ Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for the WaterSense label when replacing plumbing fixtures, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. More information on WaterSense, an EPA-sponsored program offering people simple ways to use less water:


Slash your grocery bill while going green Ways to cut expenses

BY TERRI BENNETT McClatchy Newspapers


e’re all looking for ways to cut down on our bills. Grocery shopping is a necessity but there are ways to lower your costs each week while lowering your eco-footprint. Here are my top five ways to Do Your Part for the planet and your pocketbook. No. 1: Stock Up On Green Cleaners

When you create a green cleaning kit with baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and hydrogen peroxide you have all you need to clean everything in your home. And, it’s just a fraction of what it’ll cost you to buy store-bought household cleaners. For instance, a 76-ounce box of Borax can produce 19 gallons of mold and mildew cleaner. You would need to buy more than a 150 16-ounce bottles of store bought cleaners to produce the same amount. No. 2: Do The Prep Work Yourself

A few extra minutes in the kitchen really can save you a few bucks each week. If your family eats a lot chicken, buying the chicken whole or with the skin on, will bring immediate savings. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts cost about $4.99 a pound. Compare that to chicken sold with bone and skin that’s priced around $1.99 a pound. You could use the savings to buy organic chicken and feel good about serving your family a healthier piece of poultry. Also, instead of buying fruits and veggies that have been cut and peeled for you, do the work yourself and pay half the price. No. 3: Buy In Bulk

You know those individually packaged crackers, cookies, or other snacks? You’ll probably want to ban them from your home after finding out the true cost of convenience. Plus, the packaging on those small items is usually tough to recycle. Your best bet is to go big when it makes sense. My family loves those popular cheese crackers. The big box of them costs $3.79 or $0.28 an ounce. If you get them in the individual

CREATE A GREEN CLEANING kit with baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and hydrogen peroxide and you have all you need to clean everything in your home.

size, it costs $0.40 per ounce! That’s a $0.12 savings on every ounce. Instead, put the crackers from the large box into a small reusable container that your child can bring to school. No. 4: Shop In Season

Shopping in season for produce is smart for you, your pocketbook, and the planet. When you buy foods at their peak, they aren’t being shipped around the world to arrive at your grocery store. That means they’re usually much more affordable than at other times of the year. If you’re not sure what’s in season where you live, check out for more information. No. 5: Do What Grandma Did

When you spot organic fruits and veggies on sale — buy up! Then, you can do what our grandmothers did by preserving them. Whether you freeze, can, or dehydrate your foods — you’ll have the next best thing to fresh, organic produce for a time when you’ll want them and they are no longer in season.


We’ve all heard that going green is too expensive, not cost-effective, or that it just isn’t financially responsible in these tough economic times. That’s just not the case. There are ways to Do Your Part to be easier on the planet and our wallets. Here are a few ways to incorporate everyday green living techniques into your routine and start saving right away. Buy Big: There are two good reasons to buy in bulk when it makes sense. It’ll save you money and it saves resources. If you’re a mom who always sends individually wrapped packages of crackers in their child’s lunchbox, this is a good place to save. It’ll cost you about 4 times as much when you go with the single serving packaging. And usually those individual containers and pouches are pretty hard to recycle. Go The Reusable Route: What’s worse than throwing out barely used paper towels? Spending all that money on them. The cheapest paper towels on the market are about a dollar a roll. If you go through two rolls a week, that’s more than $200 a year! Save that money and keep dish towels and rags handy. It’s much more eco-friendly to launder them than it is to keep buying one-use paper towels. There are others ways to go the reusable route everyday. Think of how much money you’ll save if you make the switch to reusable water bot-

tles, cloth napkins, and reusable food containers. And, most grocery stores now provide financial incentives when you use reusable bags. Don’t Buy What You Can Make: Lots of us have a bunch of household cleaners stockpiled in a kitchen cabinet. They’re downright expensive and many chemical-based ones can actually pollute our homes. Save money and have a healthier home by making your own green cleaners. An effective green cleaning kit will contain white vinegar, baking soda, and borax. Want to know just what you’ll save? You can buy a 128oz jug of vinegar for about $3.49. That’s the same price of the leading glass cleaner, which is only 26oz. If you whip up a glass cleaner using 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, that jug of vinegar will last nearly 10 times longer than the store bought cleaner for the exact same price. Roll Up Your Sleeves: A few weekend projects at home can have you saving serious money each month. Half of our monthly utility usage goes towards heating and cooling our homes. Adding a little weather-stripping where needed will help you keep treated air from escaping. Insulating attic doors will make a dent in your utility bills too. Installing programmable thermostats can help you slash another 10 percent. And, doing a little maintenance like cleaning your refrigerator coils and the vent line from your clothes dryer will keep them running more efficiently.

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Homegrown food is safer, cheaper, and pretty easy BY KATHY VAN MULLEKOM Daily Press, Newport News, Va.

H Even in Butte, a backyard garden is possible

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omegrown in the city can be as good as homegrown on the farm, especially when it comes from your own backyard garden. There are several smart reasons to grow the produce that your household eats, even if you do it on a small scale. When you grow what you eat, you know it’s as fresh as fresh can be. No traveling hundreds of miles in trucks on a hot summer day. You know it’s safe to eat. No wondering what’s been sprayed or not sprayed on the plants. You save on your food bill, especially if you use share seeds and transplants with friends and family. No more fretting about the $2.99 for one English cucumber or $2 for one red pepper. You also engage in an outdoor activity that enhances a healthier diet and lifestyle. No more just admiring gardens on HGTV while you sit on the sofa and munch a bunch of chips. Creating a small backyard vegetable garden for planting warm-season crops in May and cool-season crops in fall and late winter is easier than ever before, thanks to ready-made raised garden kits that simplify design, digging and weed control. The kits, typically made from cedar or composite lumber, come in all sizes, shapes and price ranges, so it’s hard to find any good excuse for not raising at least a few tomatoes for tasty BLTs. Assembly is easy. Usually all you need is a screwdriver and hammer. Fill the frame with a vegetable-growing medium like soil mixed with compost and you’re ready to plant. No drainage problems to worry about. No voles to fight. Even bunnies are less likely to hop over the boards to nibble. You can even set the gardens on concrete if your plants have shallow roots.


Survey your soil. If you garden in the ground, the best soil is loam, which is soft, dark and crumbly. Loamy soil retains moisture but drains so it’s not soggy; it’s also easy to dig. If you encounter clay or sandy soil, amend the soil with aged compost or shredded hardwood mulch. Size up your space. When plotting the size of your garden, make sure it’s large enough to yield the harvest you want. Your plants should have room to mature and allow for good air circulation, which reduces pest and disease problems. If you have limited yard space, or none at all, grow vegetables and herbs in containers on a deck, terrace, balcony or even on the windowsill. Let the sunshine in. Vegetable plants need plenty of sun — at least six hours a day. Pick your plants for your plot. Grow vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, such as specialty tomatoes and peppers. Source: PER PERSON PLANTS: Asparagus: 5-10 plants Bush beans: 12-15 plants Beets: 5-10 feet of plants, thin to 3 plants per foot Cucumber: 1 vine, 2 bushes Carrots: 4 feet, thin to 12 plants per foot Corn: 10-15 plants, Eggplant: 2-3 plants Leaf lettuce: 8 feet, thin to 3 plants per foot Melon: 1-2 plants Onion: 12-20 sets, 4 sets per foot Peas: 15-20 plants, 6 plants per foot Pepper: 3-5 plants Potato: 10 plants Spinach: 5-10 feet, 6 plants per foot Squash: 1-2 plants Tomato: 2-4 plants Zucchini: 1-2 plants Source: Bonnie Plants


Electric cars poised for market BY DANA HULL San Jose Mercury News


fter decades of sputtering starts and stalled hopes, the electric vehicle is poised to enter the mainstream. Tesla Roadsters, Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts are already on the market, and every major automaker has at least one electric model in the pipeline, giving consumers an array of choices in the coming years. The new wave of EVs just beginning to hit American highways is not the first — they were popular a century ago until cheaper, gasoline-powered cars gained dominance after World War I. But experts say the stars now appear to be aligned for an alternative to the internal combustion engine. Advocates argue that EVs are not simply another type of car but a gamechanger for the country. They say that widespread adoption of electric vehicles will help cut the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming and enhance national security by reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil. The transition to EVs won’t happen overnight, however. Current models have a limited range and are more expensive than most comparable gaspowered cars, making them unappealing to many drivers. But EV prices are expected to decline as high-volume production pushes manufacturing costs down. And Silicon Valley startups are racing to improve battery technology, which should allow the cars to go farther between charges. When that happens, manufacturers and enthusiasts hope electric cars will become a viable option for millions of Americans. Tech-savvy early adopters such as Felix Kramer and Rochelle Lefkowitz, of

Redwood City, Calif., are already sold. The couple outfitted their Toyota Prius, which operates on electricity as well as gas, with a larger battery pack in 2006. In December, they bought one of the nation’s first Chevy Volts, which runs on electricity for about 40 miles before its gas engine kicks in. In January, they added an all-electric Nissan Leaf to their household fleet — making them the only family in the nation known to own three plug-in vehicles. The potential market is huge: Last year, Americans bought 11.6 million new cars and light trucks, and some analysts project sales of 16.3 million in 2015. If EVs can capture even a modest slice of that market, experts say, they could reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Sales of EVs are expected to be modest for the next few years because of their limited range, relatively high cost and a shortage of charging stations. There are currently about 120 public electric vehicle chargers in the San Francisco Bay Area, with more than 2,000 more planned in the next five years under a state program. But despite such challenges, many in the industry point to encouraging signs. When General Motors first launched the Volt, plans called for 10,000 to be built by the end of 2011 and 45,000 by the end of 2012. But GM is accelerating production, in part because some companies are turning to the vehicles to power their corporate fleets. General Electric has already ordered 12,000 Volts. “It appears we’ve underestimated,” said Tony Posawatz, the GM executive in charge of the Volt, adding that GM plans to make at least 15,000 Volts this year. “It’s still early in the launch, but we’re


getting more and more feedback that the demand is out there. It’s very much like using a smartphone — once people have the experience of driving electrically, they don’t want to go back.” The Obama administration wants to see 1 million EVs on the road by 2015 and has proposed replacing the existing $7,500 tax credit with a $7,500 rebate at the time of sale to spur demand. Some analysts worry that goal will be hard to

reach, even with robust government incentives. Mike Omotoso of JD Power and Associates thinks no more than 700,000 to 750,000 plug-in and pure EVs could be on American roads by 2015. “The cost of the vehicles is too high, and gasoline-engine powered cars are getting more fuel-efficient all the time,” he said. “Almost all new compact cars are getting 40 miles per gallon on the highway now, so why pay twice the money for an electric car that only has a 100-mile range?” But rising oil prices could change that calculation. “In early 2008, when gas went above $4 a gallon, all hell broke loose,” said Alan Baum, a Michigan-based auto industry analyst. “Larger cars went out of fashion, and people started buying smaller cars and hybrids. If the price of gas goes up and stays up, that will increase consumer interest in EVs, plug-ins and hybrids.”

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Solar industry heats up A recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association found that 2010 was a banner year for solar in the United States. The total size of the U.S. solar market — which includes rooftop installations, hot water heating and utility scale projects — grew from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6 billion, a 67 percent increase. “Solar is growing quickly across the U.S. at the residential, commercial, and utility scale levels. It is powering and heating buildings in all 50 states, and using a variety of technologies to do so,” states the executive summary of the report,

which is scheduled to be released Thursday. “The rapid growth and unique diversity has made the U.S. market a focus of global industry attention for the first time in many years.” California, with its abundant sunshine and leadership on renewable energy policies, remains the nation’s leading solar state. But other states, including New Jersey, Nevada and Arizona, are quickly becoming key markets. California installed 259 megawatts of solar power in 2010, far more than any other state, while New Jersey installed 137 megawatts. One megawatt of solar energy is enough to power roughly 200 California homes. Photovoltaic installations, which represent the vast majority of the solar market, grew 102 percent in 2010 to reach 878 MW, up from 435 MW in 2009.

Cleanup (Continued from Page 2) ■ Report unsightly conditions to Gary Corbin, code enforcement officer at 497-5022; ■ Replace your old trash receptacles: The best way to stop litter is to be part of the solution. Replace worn-out or damaged trash receptacles. Use trash receptacles with lids and trash bags with ties. ■ Organize a neighborhood or group clean-up. McGree Trucking will provide a dumpster free of charge (call 7233728). Also, shovels, rakes, brooms and trash bags will be provided by contacting Bob Rowling of the Butte parks and rec department. ■ Adopt-A-Lot: Call the Butte Chamber of Commerce to get on the list of public lots you will help keep clean. Call 723-3177. Names will be posted online at This year Dumpsters will be located

in Walkerville and Centerville for the citizens living in those areas. The sites will be manned by volunteers. The Alley Rally will again be in operation for its sixth year, most likely in June. Further information will be made available at a later time regarding the starting date and hours of operation. This year’s Grand Finale will be held at the Butte-Silver Bow Landfill on May 21, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a drawing for numerous prizes together with free compost provided by Big Butte Compost and 50 free family-size pies donated by Perkin’s Family Restaurant to the first 50 vehicles entering the landfill. Food coupons from Wendy’s, Burger King and Papa Murphy’s Pizza/Quiznos will also be given out. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves, and, as the miners would say during time of increased copper production, “Get the rock in the box,” Lee said. “Cleaning up our communities is a matter of responsibility and pride.”







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