Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fun at the Crystal Coast Earth Day Celebration

The Diva of the Dump and the Oyster Queen having fun at the Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Celebrating Arbor Day

Trees in an urban setting
Photo: Konstanttin/Shutterstock
No holiday has changed the American landscape like Arbor Day.
On April 10, 1872, Nebraskans celebrated the first Arbor Day by planting more than 1 million trees.
The holiday was proposed by J. Sterling Morton, a Detroit native and pioneer who moved into the Nebraska territory and used his position at Nebraska's first newspaper to advocate for trees.
Arbor Day was celebrated in every state in the union by April 15, 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an Arbor Day Proclamation to the School Children of the United States, stressing the importance of trees and forestry.
He wrote in part: "A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless; forests which are so used that they can not renew themselves will soon vanish, and with them all their benefits."
Roosevelt's words are just as poignant all these years later. These days, National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, and the holiday has been exported around the world.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Starting That Garden

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival 2013 takes place Saturday

Looking for some outdoor fun this weekend?  The Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival 2013 takes place today at Fort Macon from 10-2.

There will be lots of exhibits including the NC Aquarium,  the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center  and Coastal Environmental Partnership.  The Gumbo Lilly Band will be there for your listening pleasure.

So come out and see us and have fun this weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fort Macon State Park


Spend some time at the park while celebrating Earth Day 2013

Fort Macon State Park

Aerial view of Fort Macon 

(252) 726-3775fort.macon@ncparks.gov

PO Box 127, 2303 East Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC, NC 28512
34.697952, -76.67834

  Fort Macon offers public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast?as well as a historic landmark. Located at the eastern end of Bogue Banks, one of a series of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast, the park is surrounded on three sides by water?the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound. This area of undisturbed natural beauty is the perfect place to explore salt marshes and estuaries vital to the coastal ecosystem.

The park is also home to a Civil War fort with a history as intricate and unique as the waterways of the sound. Visit Fort Macon to enjoy the land's natural beauty and soak up some history.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival 2013 takes place Saturday

Looking for some outdoor fun this weekend?  The Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival 2013 takes place Saturday at Fort Macon from 10-2.

There will be lots of exhibits including the NC Aquarium,  the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center  and Coastal Environmental Partnership.  The Gumbo Lilly Band will be there for your listening pleasure.

So come out and see us and have fun this weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hotel First to Offer In-Room Compost Collection

Hotel First to Offer In-Room Compost Collection

Photo: Flickr/rdmey

A five-star luxury hotel in Texas will soon offer in-room organic material collection for composting to eco-minded guests.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, working with waste processor Texas Disposal Systems, is launching a program to encourage guests to recycle food scraps and other organic waste.
Hotel guests will have the option of separate containers for compost and recycling in their rooms.

“The program gives guests an active role in the hotel’s sustainability project that aims to divert 90 percent of its waste from the landfill,” says Texas Disposal Systems in a press release.

The company will combine food waste from the hotel with tree trimmings and other organic material to make high grade compost, which is sold under their Garden-Ville brand. The compost will also be used to fertilize the hotel’s landscaping.
“It all comes full circle when we get that Garden-Ville compost made from food waste we contributed,” says Four Seasons General Manager Rob Hagelberg in a press release. “Then our efforts are fully realized in the environment around us.”
The hospitality industry has taken steps to be more green in recent years, including adopting towel and linen reuse programs and offering guests eco-friendly bath amenities. The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin is the first major brand hotel to offer in-room composting in the United States.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Miss The Craven Community College Green Fair Today!!

Sustainable Craven

Campus Happenings

  • The 2013 Green Fair is on April 23 in the Craven Community College Student Center on the New Bern Campus.
  • Dr. Pat Long, the Director of ECU's Center for Sustainable Tourism, will be speaking on campus as part of the Liberal Arts Lecture Series. Pat will be here on Tuesday, April 23 at 4 p.m. (shortly after the end of CCC's Green Fair).
Pat brings to the Center extensive experience in grappling with the competing requirements of regional development and resource conservation. Pat Long He comes to ECU from the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder, where he established the nation's first sustainable tourism center.

Long holds tenure in ECU's College of Business and applies a much-practiced interdisciplinary approach in guiding the development of a new MS degree offering in Sustainable Tourism, as well as directing the Center's plans for multi-campus partnerships. He served for a number of years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Rural Tourism Foundation as well as President/CEO of that organization.

His scholarly publications have appeared in Annals of Tourism, the Journal of Travel Research, the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, the Journal of Business Research and Tourism Management, among others.

What is "sustainability"?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of sustainability is: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.
Hands On World image

Sustainable Craven is designed to bring awareness to the efforts of Craven Community College students, faculty and staff to increase campus sustainability.

Sustainability Committee Mission and Vision Statement

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sustainability Committee is to inspire stakeholders to make meaningful personal commitments that collectively will have an impact in reducing the ecological footprint of the CCC community. This mission is accomplished through initiating sustainable practices and hosting events for the College community. The committee is also charged with formulating a sustainability plan for the institution.

Vision Statement

By 2015, Craven Community College will be recognized for its commitment to sustainability, Green-focused practices, education and training, strategic partnerships and community engagement.

Purpose of the Sustainability Plan

This plan defines the strategic and operational direction, goals, and objectives for sustainability over the next three years. The Sustainability Plan provides a common vision for the future sustainability efforts at Craven Community College, which is focused on enriching the learning experience for students and improving the college’s business processes and goals for “going green”. This plan has been prepared with input from the Sustainability Committee and members of the college community.

Code Green Super - Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP)

Beginning in the Fall of 2010, Craven Community College will be one of 54 community colleges in North Carolina participating in the "Code Green Super CIP." This is a two-year project involving both continuing education and curriculum to:
  1. Prepare students to enter the Green Workforce
  2. Allow colleges more flexibility to meet workforce demand
  3. Promote NC as a leader in the Green Economy
Craven Community College will be participating in areas of Environment, Energy, Transportation, and Building.
Select Code Green Information from NCBioNetwork to learn more about the initiative.


Craven Community College is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. Our mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. We do this by providing resources, professional development, and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research.
Select the AASHE logo to visit their website and learn more about how AASHE is working with colleges and universities to create a sustainable future.


Select recycling for more information on the campus-wide program.


Review our tips you can accomplish to do your part for the healthier environment beyond recycling.
Select http://www.energysavers.gov/ to view the US Department of Energy's information on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Member Logo

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!!!

Happy Earth Day!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day Eve

Tomorrow is Earth Day.  How will you celebrate?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Don't Fret

Friday, April 19, 2013

CD Lizzard?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Colander Planter

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

America's youngest garbage man

America's youngest garbage man

Houston resident Joe Jarvis is the most popular guy on his street, and if you took your neighbors' trash out every week, you probably would be, too.  But it's highly unlikely that you'd look as adorable as Joe while on the job because Joe is only 5 years old.

As part of his curbside garbage service, which he started last February, Joe takes his neighbors' trash out every Sunday and brings the carts back in the next day for the reasonable price of 25 cents per household.

"Joey Jarvis has been our garbage 'man' for one year now," said Bette and Paul Lester in an email. "Now that he is almost 6 years old, he may need to get a raise from his 25-cent weekly pay."

As if part of a mini parade, Joe marches down the street each week with his parents, Jill and Carl, and his siblings, 3-year-old Brooke and 18-month-old James, to take out their neighbors' trash and recycling.

"Everyone thought it was great to have someone pull out their trash cans, and then back in the next day for a quarter a week," Jill said.

Jill and her husband, Carl, got the initial idea for Joe's trash service from a magazine article.
"We saw an article in FamilyFun Magazine about someone who was taking part in a garbage can roll out service for their neighbors," Jill said. "It was an older child, but we thought Joe might like it."

Jill and Carl work mostly from home and spend a lot of time at the computer, she said. Joe, who was 4 years old at the time and very curious about his parents' obligation to their jobs, would often ask them why work was necessary.

"First we said it's to make money, but he didn't really see us making money, you know, printing money," Jill said. "So we needed a way to explain what work is and why we spend so much time doing work."

Joe has locked down a solid customer base of eight neighbors since last February, earning $2 a week and a total of $120 for his efforts.

"It's easy when mom and dad pay for everything," Jill said. "But if he earns his quarters, he can count his quarters, so he knows how much a quarter is worth and that four in a pile make a dollar."

Having to face tough decisions, like whether to spend his money on little things or to save it for something more expensive, has taught Joe important lessons about the value of money, she said.

For example, Joe was patient enough to save up $70 worth of quarters to purchase a Lego Duplo bridge for his train set. He will also buy the occasional ice cream from the ice cream man and will sometimes take his quarters to church for donation, Jill said.

As of lately, Joe has been mulling over a Lego fire truck purchase. He's also planning to save some quarters to buy himself some gold, Joe told me in an interview.

"He's mostly saved it," Carl said. "Though every once in a while he'll get an idea in his head."
Still, the lessons he is learning by doing this job are much more important than the money he is earning, his parents said.

With eight neighbors counting on him to take out their trash, Joe has learned a lot about the importance of reliability and finishing what he started, Jill said.

"Doing this garbage can job every week has really forced us to teach our kids things that we want them to know to be good kids and turn into good people," Jill said.

Carl hopes that in the future, Joe will pass the business on to Brooke so she can one day learn the same lessons.

"Maybe he'll get an idea for another little business he can do, and give [the trash can job] to his sister."

Courtesy, the Jarvis family 5-year-old Joe Jarvis earns 25 cents per can taking his neighbors' trash out.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Conquer the clutter with 'Throw Out 50 Things'

Start organizing your home and office with help from Gail Blanke's book about clearing the clutter from your life.
Photo: Shutterstock
I saw the title ("Throw Out 50 Things") and thought, wrong! But don't worry, there is a lot of good that can be taken from this book. Author Gail Blanke isn't saying throw it all in the garbage, but more like "remove it" from where it's doing more harm than good. Blanke takes four areas of your life — your home, your office, your mind and clarifying who you are. The last half of the book is that new-agey, feel good, increase-your-energy-to-increase-your-inner-peace stuff — but there's nothing wrong with a little inner peace.
So, "Throwing Out 50 Things." Why 50? Well, Blanke feels that you need to make a big enough dent in clearing out the clutter to actually have an impact and to get you on the roll to doing more. When it comes to items, she doesn't mean just ditch 50 magazines (that would just count as one item). You have to choose 50 "categories," which may seem like a lot, but don't worry, the book helps break down different rooms in your house and office so you don't get caught dwelling on the minutiae. Now, we clearly recognize that you don't need a book to tell you how to do the stuff you should already do, but the personal anecdotes can be inspiring and motivating if you're having a hard time getting started. While reading the book, I found myself thinking of all kinds of things that I no longer use, or that I hate wearing that I really should glean out of my wardrobe.
Throughout the book, Blanke offers tips and advice for reusing and recycling items — like recycling old tennis shoes via Nike, and how you can recycle your old computer at Staples for a $10 fee. If the book had more of an eco-mindset, there are tons of other resources and creative options Blanke might have included to clean and green your house, but the book is, at least, a good start and she does include an extended list of resources in the back for getting rid of and/or recycling your old objects.
How does this relate to saving the planet? Well, the basic idea of just slimming down, and living more simply cannot be overstated, especially in terms of not overconsuming in order to not deplete the planet of every last resource. This book might just be the kick-start motivation you need to trim out the excess in your life. We do wish she would quit using the phrase "just throw it in the trash" — which is kind of like nails on a chalkboard after awhile. In addition, if the point is to clear out the clutter of your life (and mind), then it would also be important to say that clearing out space doesn't mean that you should buy more to fill it back up — this is also important for the planet (and your sanity).
I did a similar exercise about two years ago and one thing I can advise is that cleaning out the clutter, especially trying to be eco-conscious about it, requires an extra level of effort. Sorting items for Goodwill, neighbors, local school, recycling, electronics recycling, etc. etc. etc., takes more organization and way more time to get rid of the correct way instead of getting frustrated and throwing everything in the garbage. Blanke advises that this exercise should take two weeks to complete, but if that's the case then you should get started today. Trying to do this on a 30-day-notice-before-your-lease expires timeline will leave you in a time crunch and extra stressed and you might not be as green and eco-friendly otherwise.
You can find "Throw Out 50 Things" by Gail Blanke on Amazon.com or check out your local library. You can also find more information online at Throw Out 50 Things, which includes videos and other tips for clearing the clutter out of your life.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Top 10 ways to save money through sharing

10. Tools & lawn equipment. Dustin Zuckerman in Santa Rosa, California, worked as both a librarian and a handyman. When he discovered that residents of Oakland and Berkeley could check out tools like books from local libraries, he decided to combine his two passions and start his own tool-lending library.
"Today, routers, power tools, shovels, painting kits, saws, sanders, are packed into every conceivable spot of his apartment and garage," writes Rachel Botsman. "In a camper van in his driveway he keeps weed whackers, power hoses and other bulkier equipment."
There might be a tool-lending library in your community, offered by someone like Zuckerman, or through your local library.
And while you're sharing tools, why not also save money by sharing fixing skills? The Brooklyn-based Fixers' Collective brings neighbors together once a week to share tools and help each other fix broken goods that would ordinarily get thrown away. This saves money in more ways than one! Why not start one in your neighborhood?

9. Gardens & yards. You can also share yards and gardens, which saves money on tools and food, among other things. According to attorney Janelle Orsi, "Yard-sharing has many benefits, from access to fresh food to stronger neighborhood connections to environmental sustainability." In The Sharing Solution, Janelle walks readers through all the steps to yard-sharing, from setting expectations to overcoming rules forbidding gardens in front yards.
"After all, such rules are archaic and predate our society's growing awareness of problems such as farmland depletion," she writes. "People everywhere have decided to grow food, not lawns!"
While you don't need technology to share a yard, a service like Hyperlocavore can help you manage the process, and perhaps more importantly find potential yardshare partners.
If you live in an urban area and don't have a yard to share, many cities have launched community garden programs, where neighbors share plots in a common space. But you can also start your own public, cooperative garden: When friends went to the city and asked if our neighborhood group could plant a garden in our local playground, the park and recreation department said yes, and even provided tons of support.
8. Your home. Orsi also notes that "Sharing is one solution to an unforgiving housing crisis, and it may even be a trend." Again, in The Sharing Solutionshe describes many examples of how people saved money and resources by sharing houses, and provides detailed, nuts-and-bolts guidelines for different kinds of homesharing arrangements.
There are also economical models for homeownership including cohousing,community land trusts, and limited equity cooperative housing that leverage shared assets to decrease costs.
There are other ways to share the costs of housing, even if you do not actually own a house. For example, if you live in an apartment building or dense urban area, there is truly no need for each household to have its own private wireless router. Talk to your closest neighbors and see if they'd like to participate in the same wireless network — you'll be able to cut your monthly bill in half, at least, and you might go in together on the cost of the router.
Another example: If you pay a monthly fee for trash pickup, for example, try sharing cans or arranging two-can pickups. Again, you'll probably be able to cut your monthly bill in half.
You can also save money on home maintenance by working with your neighbors on home repair and weatherization. The members of one "work group" in Oakland, Calif., take turns doing repair projects on each other's homes. Another group in Cambridge, Mass., has been organizing monthly weatherization "barnraisings." The barnraisings save energy and money, of course, but they also build community.
Then there's the time honored practice of taking in borders, which has been given a facelift by services like Airbnb — a marketplace for spare rooms, houses, stunning lofts, and even cabooses!
7. Food. There are many ways to save money on food by sharing, and many of them also lead to healthier food on your table. You can organize potlucks and dinner nights among friends, of course, but today there are so many other ways to share healthy food.
You can get involved in helping to grow and harvest the crops. You can join a local community-supported agriculture program or a community-supported kitchen, start a farmers market, and share beef and eggs through regional cooperatives. You might even sign up for a "crop mob" that will give you a chance to get your hands dirty for a day in exchange for a little food.
In addition, people in cities around the country have organized foraging programs that collect fruit from people's yards and redistribute them throughout the neighborhood and to people who can't afford fresh fruit.Neighborhood Fruit has a web site and an iPhone app that can facilitate your foraging.
Believe it or not, there are also restaurants around the world that allow people to barter for food. "I don't know that our five foot bartering wall will be the thing that turns this local economy in the right direction, but I do think we can make a significant impact," says Omer Orian, twenty-something co-owner of Off the Waffle in Eugene, Ore. He argues that his town possesses ample "human and natural resources" to sustain itself. "The lack of cash flow due to the economy should not stop this city from prospering."

6. Stuff. There are now dozens of websites that exist to help you share, exchange, or rent stuff, from furniture to electronics to books — almost anything you need in daily life you can get for low or no cost on the Internet. There's Craigslist and Freecycle, of course, but also start-ups like Rentalic,NeighborGoods, Closest Closet, and EcoModo.
If you look around, you'll likely also find local "really really free markets" where people meet face to face. Share Tompkins, a volunteer-run group based in Ithaca, N.Y., organizes monthly Community Swap Meets, where people give away and barter everything from homemade apple butter to original art to musical instruments. Beyond the tangible activities, writes Shira Golding, "We feel we are contributing to the creation of a social fabric rich in giving and sharing."
5. Babysitting. Parents around the country set up babysitting cooperatives, where they either take turns watching each other's kids or hire a sitter together.
It is less common for parents to share a regular nanny. A full-time nanny can earn $400-$700 per week, which is beyond the budget of many working families. Sharing a nanny cuts those costs substantially.
"Costs are split in any number of creative ways, often evenly split between the families," writes Kathleen Webb. "In a nanny-share arrangement, the nanny usually earns 10-20 percent more than her counterparts employed by a single family. Split down the middle, however, this creates a win-win situation for the families and the caregiver."

4. Knowledge. Are you an expert on homebrews, bicycle repair, or mending clothes? Do you want to know how to do these things? You could spend money on classes...or you could teach your skills to somebody else and learn something from them in the process!
Brooklyn Skillshare in New York organizes meet-ups where people show up and share their personal expertise. According to Meg Wachter, "Everyone really has something to teach, and something to learn. The seeds for the Brooklyn Skillshare began in the spring of 2009 when I attended a similar event in Boston and was inspired by the weekend-long workshops offered on a regular basis, free of charge." Today, Meg helps organize Brooklyn Skillshare events throughout the year.
And as long as you're pursuing free knowledge, don't forget libraries (the original shareable institution!) and online educational resources like the Open Educational Resources Commons.

3. Clothes. My wife walked into a laundromat seeking change for a dollar, and there she discovered the "sock exchange," where customers pin single socks to a board for anyone to take and match. Such gestures make city living more fun, and they save money!
There are lots of ways to share your old duds or get your hands on someone else's recycled fashions. In addition to conventional routes — buying from or donating to Goodwill — you can swap clothes online at sites like thredUp andFreecycle. At thredUp, for example, participants list what clothes they want to share on the company's site and exchange items through the mail.
Clothing-swap parties are easy to organize and are becoming popular throughout the country — round up your old clothes, invite your friends over, and swap apparel. In New York, a group called Score! organizes mega-clothing exchanges and parties across the city. They bring DJs, artists, and fashion photographers to take pictures of attendees in their "scored" outfits. Why not organize one of these in your town?
2. Bikes. There are now almost 200 citywide bikesharing programs around the world, which use GPS and internet and mobile phone access to connect people with bikes. For example, each bicycle in Denver's new B-Cycleprogram can track mileage, calories burned, and amount of carbon offset — and each user is able to monitor their own fitness and see their contributions to the city's sustainability!
No bikesharing program in your city? Why not help start one? A new technology called Social Bicycles promises to unleash the promise of DIY bikesharing. For a more ambitious citywide program, Boston's official "bike czar," Nicole Freedman, says that the first step is to do a lot of research. "Learn if your city is already looking at it," she says. "City government has to be involved; it has to be a public-private partnership, because no bike sharing program can work without using public space. Anyone good in government is listening to the public; we're hired by the public, and hearing people's requests is one of the best ways to hear what's good." 
And the number one money-saving shareable is (drumroll, please)....
1. Your Ride. How much does car ownership cost? Most studies estimate that the average American spends $8,000 a year on cars. Not me — I don't have a car and I spend about $1,500/year on transportation (excluding plane travel), with most of it going to public transit, cabs, and very occasional car rentals. I'm not a superhero — I'm a family man and I like convenience as much as anyone.
In fact, it's easier than ever to live without a car. You can start by exploring options like biking, walking, and public transit, which are all better for your wallet, your health, and your environment. Of course, sometimes you'll still need a car — and that's where carsharing services come in.
Between 2007 and 2009, membership in North American services like Zipcar and the nonprofit City Carshare rose by 117 percent — and is projected to hit 4.4 million members within six years.
Own a set of wheels? You can still share them. We're seeing a proliferation of new peer-to-peer carsharing services like RelayRides, Spride Share, and WhipCar, which allow both neighbors and strangers to rent each other cars. Let's say, for example, that you're visiting Baltimore, Md., for a day and need a car for touring the city. You'd look at the RelayRides website, find the nearest participant who is renting out her car, check availability and reserve the time, and then go get your ride. There are also many new companies — such Avego, Zebigo, Zimride, and Carticipate — that connect carpoolers and ridesharers over the Internet.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Visit New Bern - New Bern, NC - About - Maps

Visit New Bern - New Bern, NC - About - Maps

How throwing stuff away makes you frugal

From time to time, it's important to reevaluate all the stuff you own, and whether or not you really need it.
Moving day in black and white
I've argued before that saving money makes us more mindful of our consumption. I've also made the case that reuse can quickly become hoarding, and that sometimes the best approach is to throw something away — or at least to donate or regift it. In a guest post over at Get Rich Slowly, reader Claire Brown explains how she learned to be frugal by throwing stuff away. As usual, the lessons about frugality are equally well applied to living green. Recounting how a series of 10 house moves between the ages of 20 and 35 lead her to evaluate and reevaluate all the stuff she owned, Brown explains how she learned frugality from decluttering.
  • Why did I have all this stuff that I never used from one year to the next?
  • How on earth had I managed to buy all this on my modest income?
  • I had never had 19 people drinking champagne in my flat at one time, so why did I feel the need to have 19 champagne flutes?
  • Why did I keep running out of cardboard boxes?
Brown goes on to explain how this newfound appreciation of exactly how much she can accumulate, and what she actually owns, has lead her to buy less, borrow more, and generally appreciate what she has — and think hard about acquiring what she hasn't.
Sure, if hers were explicitly a post about sustainable lifestyles, there might be more emphasis on donating to the thrift store — but then a focus on frugality might also suggest she should resell rather than throw away. Most likely, she did just that — but her point is not really to discuss the best way to dispose of your stuff, but rather the importance of disposing of your stuff in the first place.
It really is important to learn to love your stuff. But that love comes so much easier when there is less stuff to love.

Home Electronics Disposal