NC GreenPower

The Rise of Electric Vehicles

In recent years the electric vehicle has gained a lot of popularity. What is all the hype about? Is it really worth it to invest in a car just because “it’s good for the environment” or the new fashionable thing to buy? Let’s start out with the different types of electric vehicles. Energy.gov has a great summary on their website: Hybrid Electric Vehicles HEVs are primarily powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine and is not plugged in to charge. Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles PHEVs are powered by an internal …[ MORE ]

Posted in Electric Transportation on June 15, 2016

Wasting Water – A Guide to Conservation and Innovation

Every year on March 22 we celebrate World Water Day. According to the official World Water Day website, this international observance is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. It has been around since 1992 when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommended an international observance. Here is why you should be mindful of your water usage every day and how you can easily conserve water. Water Usage in the US The US Geological Survey released a study which reports that the total freshwater and saline-water withdrawals for 2010 (the latest year it surveyed water use) were estimated to be 355,000 million gallons per …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on April 4, 2016

How to reduce your Carbon PawPrint

Have you considered adding a new furry friend to your family this year? In the U.S. alone, the number of owned pets is estimated to be 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats. In addition to being sweet, cuddly companions, your pets can also be hard on the environment. If you love your pets and the environment, here are some resources to help you be good to both. Don’t Shop…Adopt!   The concept of recycling doesn’t only apply to cans or newspaper. Just like going to the thrift store to get a good deal on a used item, consider rescuing and rehoming an adoptable dog or cat from your local shelter. Give them a second chance by “recycling” them. Each year …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on March 7, 2016

7 Tips to make your next Cup of Coffee More Sustainable

Who doesn’t like to start off their day with a steaming hot, freshly brewed cup of coffee? Drinking coffee while getting ready, driving to work or having breakfast is a part of many people’s daily routine all over the world. On average, Americans consume more than three cups of coffee per day – which makes us the biggest coffee consumer in the world. We spend a whopping 40 billion dollars on coffee each year as reported by Harvard School of Public Health. Did you know that you can help the environment by making the right choices when it comes to your favorite drink? This post will break down some of the most important factors to consider when it comes to coffee …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on January 13, 2016

Real vs. Fake Christmas Trees – Which are better?

  It’s that time of the year again. Your neighbors have already finished decorating their house with lights, ornaments and Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving, but you’re still debating whether it is more eco-friendly to cut down a live Christmas tree or if you should stop by the store for an artificial one. The answer to this much debated problem might surprise you!   Harmful Chemicals According to Rodale’s Organic Life, fake trees are made from the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and the toxic chemical dioxin is released during PVC production. PVC is one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. Not only is it harmful to the environment but also to your health. Real trees are …[ MORE ]

Posted in Nature, Sustainability on December 4, 2015

Going Green at Work

Going Green at Work Have you ever thought about the impact your office or work place has on the environment? If you’re a full time employee you spend 40 hours or more a week at your workplace – that’s a big chunk out of your week. Choosing to make environmentally friendly changes to your work space can make a difference. Reusable Water Bottles According to the Huffington Post, there are 50 billion water bottles consumed every year worldwide, about 30 billion of them in the U.S. alone. It takes three times the volume of water to manufacture one bottle of water than it does to fill it. Why not make reusable water bottles available at your office with a company or business logo instead of …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on November 18, 2015

Here is to a “Green” Fall Season

  October is Energy Action Month. It was first brought into existence as “Energy Awareness Month” 24 years ago by George H.W. Bush. President Barack Obama proclaimed Energy Action Month to be a “call upon the citizens of the United States to recognize this month by working together to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for our children.”  Here are some easy ways to save energy and/or reevaluate your energy usage choices: Conduct an energy audit It’s getting colder outside and your house may need some tune ups in order to save energy while keeping you and your family warm and cozy. Throughout the last few years Energy Audits have been growing in popularity among …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on October 16, 2015

Eating Seasonally and Locally

With summer time slowly coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about the seasonality of many fruits and vegetables. Do you know what’s in season this month? According to USA Today Travel, the foods you should buy in September are pears and sweet potatoes. But what are the benefits of buying local and seasonal produce?     Support the Local Food Economy Seasonal eating supports your local North Carolina food economy. There are many resources out there that encourage the consumer to make more locally conscious choices such as the NC 10% Campaign. By pledging to spend 10 percent of your existing food dollars locally you can make a big difference in the sustainable food industry. They track …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on September 9, 2015

10 Reasons To Volunteer

Many nonprofits are adept at finding innovative ways to utilize our limited resources within the financial constraints faced by our organizations. By doing this, we are better able to accomplish our nonprofits’ missions. One of the most valuable ways to enhance our resources is to increase our reach with the aid of volunteers. NC GreenPower has nearly 700 individuals on our Speakers Bureau volunteer list, and most years we have almost 100 active volunteers staffing events for us! Volunteers aren’t just “free labor” in my mind. They are advocates, important to the growth of any nonprofit, and especially NC GreenPower. We operate statewide but our offices are based in Raleigh, NC. Just this past April, we had 14 events across the …[ MORE ]

Posted in Volunteer on July 22, 2015

It’s Recycle Week, America!

Did you know that more than a dozen items are currently banned from North Carolina landfills? Here are a few that you might not know about: 1. Used oil 2. Yard trash 3. White goods (appliances, like an old dishwasher) 4. Antifreeze 5. Aluminum cans 6. Whole scrap tires 7. Lead-acid batteries 8. ABC beverage containers 9. Motor vehicle oil filters 10. Recyclable plastic bottles (except motor oil or pesticide bottles) 11. Wooden pallets 12. Oyster shells 13. Computer equipment 14. Televisions So, what can you do to help keep these items out of the landfill? Start by reducing your consumption of these items. Opt for rechargeable batteries when possible. Donate gently used appliances and electronics still in working condition …[ MORE ]

Posted in Sustainability on June 23, 2015