NC GreenPower

Driving around town… What’s your MPG?

From Car and Driver: “Starting [in 2010] with 2011 models, the federal government’s fuel-economy standards, which have sat frozen for years, are going to get a big-time thaw—the biggest change since the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) (http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy) law was created in 1975. The average fuel economy for cars must improve from the current 27.5 mpg, where it has been since 1990, to 37.8 mpg by 2016. The truck standard has to rise from 23.5 mpg to 28.8.” I drive a Toyota Prius. When I bought it five years ago, I was driving a vehicle that needed premium gas, got only about 23 MPG highway, and with all of the driving I was doing for my job at the time, …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2012

Buy Local. Eat Local. Live Local!

There’s an ongoing debate about local foods versus organic. A study released this week in the news says that organic food is no more nutritious than conventionally grown food. I don’t buy organic for any perceived increase in the health benefits but to avoid unnecessary pesticides when possible. In 2007, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and its many partners sought to answer: Can we build a sustainable local food economy, from farm to fork?  Through the enthusiastic support of thousands of North Carolinians and hundreds of local, regional and statewide organizations, including partners like NC GreenPower, the Local events and outreach have increased participation in the 10% Campaign Farm to Fork program – Building North Carolina’s Local Food Economy – to nearly 6,000 participants, 700 businesses and …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2012

Bring Your Lunch!

Bring your lunch… Eat theFood! I’ll never get tired of that clip from Napoleon Dynamite… Okay sorry, back to my point. Talking your lunch to work or school is not only better on the wallet (you will save from $1,000-$2,000 per year!), it’s better on your waistline and the environment. But you don’t have to limit yourself to pb&j or canned tuna. Health Magazine has put together some healthy lunch options that are quite creative. Three good tips I’ll pass along from my experience are: Plan ahead. Take the time to make a good grocery list to cover you for the week and choose things you don’t mind eating more than once. Prep the night before. I can’t tell you how many times I have scrambled …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2012

A paperless kitchen?

I read a blog a couple of years ago from Simple Mom on How to Create a Paperless Kitchen. I really thought that it was helpful, but I just didn’t see how I could make it work! I have plenty of towels, but with a cat, sometimes I just don’t want to mix post-litter-box-cleaning hand drying and food drying on the same towel – you know what I mean? Paper towels make up a huge portion of the paper market, second only to toilet paper. According to Ecology.com, world consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2012

Buy Local, Help Local….with SHOES!

Let’s start with a scenario… A shoe made out of recycled materials..…that’s pretty sweet! For every one of those shoes bought, a portion of the proceeds going to those in need of shoes…Awesome! What about instead of sending those shoes to other counties (carbon heavy transport) they are first and foremost sent to those in need inthe Triangle area….It can’t get any better!! This scenario is not only plausible but happening! Kinder Soles is a flip-flop company started in Raleigh, N.C. by NC State graduate, Mark Saad. These flip flops are eco-friendly, made of recycled plastics and recycled industrial materials, and the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned! It is extremely important to Saad that their carbon footprint is absolutely as low …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2012

Reusing and Repurposing – Don’t Toss That!

This week, we are running our weekly Freebie Friday contest with the theme focusing on ways that you can reuse or repurpose items instead of trashing them. Beyond recycling, reusing or repurposing old items is an incredibly important part of the sustainability cycle. There are some very cool uses for random things that you might never have thought of. For instance, you can use a toothpick for a “place holder” on a roll of clear packing tape. We all know how frustrating it is to find the end and get it to tear off evenly. This way, you avoid wasting too much of the roll! Another great idea is to use an empty tissue box to store your plastic grocery bags. You …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2012

Buy Local! Buy Organic & Protect Your Health!

Do you ever shop organic at your local grocery store? Buying organic has its positives and negatives. On the negative side, organic products cost a bit more than conventional and don’t always look the greatest. And sometimes organics aren’t local, and therefore have a larger “travel footprint” than local, conventional produce for carbon emissions. However, consider the positives to see if they outweigh the negatives for you:  Purchasing fruits and vegetables (especially the dirty dozen) without pesticides or chemical residues on them can protect our health and that of the organic farm workers who aren’t exposed to potentially harmful substances. And fertilizers are converted from fossil fuels, so buying organic supports a more sustainable future for energy sources. This week, I …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2012

Festival for the Eno – Celebrate Sustainability!

Since 1980, the Eno River Association has presented the annual Festival for the Eno in Durham City Park to help raise funds to secure land for parks, protect drinking water and provide habitat for creatures of all kinds. The festival is a 3-day event featuring nearly 100 musical artists on four stages, more than 100 craft artists, EEEK (Eno Environmental Education for Kids), hands on activities, demonstrations, non-profit booths, and many more family fun experiences. There is a common theme of sustainability and regional environmental awareness throughout the entire experience at the Eno. From their efforts for a “trash-free” festival with an award winning program, to activities that highlight the relationship between the river and the surrounding community, to sustainability workshops like how to make rain barrels …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2012

Reduce… Reuse… Recycle!

Another hot topic NC GreenPower is focusing on this month is recycling! Of course, many of us are familiar with The Recycle Guys and the catchy R-E-C-Y-C-L-E jingle, but at the same time we often think that this “one can” or “one bottle” won’t make too much of a difference. But, the act of recycling one item is so much more than just keeping it out of a landfill. It’s important to keep in mind what happens after you do your part in tossing it to the recycling bin. Your used items go to recycling centers (where in NC alone, 15,000 jobs have been created from the Recycling industry), and will be used again to create new items which will result in less energy use, …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2012

Green, Yellow, Red… Not just for stoplights!

Earlier this month, following our June theme of “Air Quality”, we tweeted a few lesser-known facts about air quality and how it relates to your lung health. Little attention is given to air quality in our day to day lives, given that the hazardous particles such as ozone are relatively invisible unless it’s a particularly hazy day. Even when you can’t see it, the danger is there. The American Lung Association provides a “State of the Air” Report that has incredible information regarding the air and your health. On a local level at the NC Department of Natural Resources, much emphasis is placed on reaching out to the public to help provide a better understanding of Air Quality Forecasts! A simple color …[ MORE ]

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2012