Saturday, November 30, 2013

St. Jude's Recycled Greeting Card Program

We Accept New and Used, All-Occasion Greeting Cards Year-Round!!

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children recycles your used greeting cards and creates new holiday and all-occasion greeting cards. Recycled cards are sold to support our programs and services for abused, neglected and homeless children, young adults and families.

The program is beneficial to everyone – customers receive fun, “green” holiday or other occasion cards they can feel good sending to their friends and loved ones, and the children at St. Jude’s Ranch receive payment for their work and learn basic job skills and the importance of recycling.

Recycled Card Program History
More than thirty years ago, wishing to show our donors appreciation for making St. Jude’s Ranch for Children possible, the idea was conceived to turn the previous year’s Christmas cards into “new” cards for the coming season. The recipients were so delighted when they received the unique “thank you,” that they requested to purchase the special cards. The program soon expanded to include all-occasion greeting cards.

How It Works
Operated by Kids’ Corp., a program designed to teach entrepreneurship skills, the children at the Ranch participate in making the new “green” cards by removing the front and attaching a new back. The result is a beautiful new card made by children and volunteers.

NOTE: We currently have an increased need for both Birthday and Thank You card submissions.

You may purchase cards in our online store or call (877) 977-SJRC (7572)

Cards are sold in packets of 10 for $17.00 including shipping and are available in the following categories:

General Christmas Cards
Religious Christmas Cards
Easter Cards
Birthday Cards
Thank You Cards
All-Occasion Blank Greeting Cards
To Donate Cards:
Year-round, we happily accept used all-occasion greeting cards. Please review the following tips before sending in your donation.

Only the card front can be used (please check to be sure the backside of the front of the card is clear of any writing, etc.)
We can not accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards
5″ x 7″ size or smaller is preferred
To mail large quantities in the least expensive way, use a USPS (United States Post Office) Flat Rate Box (available at your local Post Office), which holds up to 70 pounds

Mail donations to:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

The Tuscarora Landfill, the Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transfer Station will be closed Thanksgiving Day. The Administrative offices will be closed November 28 and 29.

We hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

The Tuscarora Landfill, the Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transfer Station will be closed Thanksgiving Day. The Administrative offices will be closed November 28 and 29.

We hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

The Tuscarora Landfill, the Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transfer Station will be closed Thanksgiving Day. The Administrative offices will be closed November 28 and 29.

We hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stomp out cigarette litter

Vancouver aims to stomp out cigarette litter with new recycling scheme
The aggressively green British Canadian city partners with TerraCycle to launch the world's first municipal cigarette butt recycling program.

Having previously introduced tobacco waste recycling to Canadian and American consumers via twin Cigarette Brigade programs, TerraCycle, the New Jersey-headquartered “waste solution development” firm dedicated to dealing with “worthless and unsavory” recyclables, is now helping to bring cigarette butt recycling to a city-wide level in a new partnership with the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Tackling discarded cigarette butts, one of the most if not the most pervasive types of litter in the world, can be tricky given that people, whether full-time smokers or social smokers who occasionally enjoy a puff in the company of friends, who wouldn’t be caught dead littering normally are often very much guilty of nonchalantly flicking their spent butts to the curb or stomping them out on city sidewalks, tossing them aside in parking lots, throwing them out car windows, extinguishing them in the sand at the beach, and on and on. The prevalent line of thinking associated with this act: What am I going to do do? Pick it up and carry it around in my pocket until I come across a garbage can? It’s almost if, by general rule, littering cigarette butts "doesn’t count" or is for some reason exempt due the offending item's relatively small size. I would never, ever toss an empty soda can out my car window but a cigarette butt … sure, why not.

Vancouver’s newly instituted cigarette butt-recycling scheme, the first of its kind in the world according to the city, is geared toward exactly these type of people: smokers who, while vigilant about recycling, seem to bend the rules when it comes to discarding cigarette butts. Launched last week, the six-month pilot program involves the installation of 110 fireproof, pole-mounted cigarette waste recycling receptacles across four bustling downtown business districts: Robson Street, Gastown, the West End, and Downtown. Each receptacle will be clad in oversized “Recycle Your Butts Here” stickers.

Essentially, the canisters —"Butt Bins" if you will — are public ashtrays but with one key difference: instead of entering the waste stream and eventually winding up in landfills where they will remain for decades upon decades leaching toxins into the ground, the properly discarded butts will routinely collected by members of nonprofit "street charity," United We Can. From there, the contents of the receptacles will be shipped off to TerraCycle’s Canadian recycling facility and, ultimately, the waste — the cellulose acetate found in filters, specifically — will be used to create industrial products such as plastic pallets and lumber while any lingering tobacco will be composted.

“The recycling initiatives in this unique pilot program will help keep the streets of Vancouver looking clean and provide working opportunities for disadvantaged people from the Downtown Eastside. United We Can is proud to be involved in this social venture,” says the nonprofit’s general manager, Gerry Martin, in a press release issued by the city of Vancouver. In addition to the involvement of United We Can on the service/collection end of things, another Eastside-based economic development charity, EMBERS, performed the installation of the receptacles.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun, TerraCycle’s fearless VP of Communications Albe Zakes explains that an impressive 10,000 pounds of cigarette butts has already been collected by the company through the aforementioned American and Canadian Brigade programs in which tobacco-using individuals, bar and restaurant owners, building managers, and litter clean-up groups send their spent butts and tobacco waste to the company through a pre-paid mailing system.

If Vancouver's pilot program — it only cost taxpayers a total of $110 or $1 per receptacle as TerraCycle is picking up most of the tab — proves to be a success, an additional 2,000 butt bins will be installed and residents prone to flicking their butts to the curb will really have no other option but to recycle them.

Says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson: "We have heard loud and clear that people want easy and convenient ways to keep our downtown streets and public spaces clean. Cigarette butts are a real source of litter downtown, and this innovative pilot project with TerraCycle will help keep toxic butts off our streets and out of the landfill. This is a great example of how we can move closer to our Greenest City goals, provide job opportunities for low-income residents, and keep our downtown looking great.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

7 More Ways to Save Money and Go Green This Thanksgiving

7 More Ways to Save Money and Go Green This Thanksgiving
By Maura Judkis

1. Use a slow-cooker. Fall is the season for slow-simmered soups, so there's no better time to bust out the Crock Pot. As an added bonus, the slow-cooker is one of the most energy-efficient devices in the kitchen. According to Planet Green: "When compared to a conventional oven which uses 2.7 pounds of CO2 for one hour of use, a slow cooker uses .9 pounds of CO2 for seven hours of use." The Daily Green offers some slow-cooker Thanksgiving recipes here.

2. Plan ahead for your leftovers. After three days of turkey sandwiches, it's easy to let leftovers linger in the fridge too long while you decide on a novel way to use them. Before you know it, they've spoiled, and you have to thrown them out—a waste of food and money. Look up some Thanksgiving leftover recipes before the feast, and plan out a whole week's worth of meals in advance. Here is a nice collection of leftover recipes from Serious Eats. Not sure how long those mashed potatoes will keep? Plan ahead with StillTasty, which tells you the average shelf life of nearly any food.

3. Light up your table with soy or beeswax candles. They're better than your everyday tapers made of wax paraffin, which will keep you breathing in soot and chemicals such as volatile organic compounds and phalates. Not to mention, soy candles burn longer, are biodegradable, do not contain petroleum, and emit very little smoke.

4. Run the dishwasher efficiently. Holiday guests dirty up many dishes, but when it's time to clean up, make sure that you're running your dishwasher in the most efficient way possible. Energy efficiency software company OPOWER recommends scraping plates instead of rinsing them with hot water, and making sure the dishwasher is full each time it's run. To save on the costs of heating water, avoid special cycles like pre-rinse and rinse-hold, which can be unnecessary, and stop the dishwasher before it's time to dry—the dishes can air dry, instead.

5. Don't feel like you have to follow tradition. Just because our country's Norman Rockwell vision of Thanksgiving involves turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green beans, it doesn't mean you're obligated to make any of those dishes. So if you notice year after year that the stuffing goes uneaten, replace it with something a little less traditional, or eliminate it entirely. If the turkey comes out slightly dry each year, try fish instead. And for vegetarians, there's no rule that says that turkey must be replaced with tofurkey. Get creative.

6. Go without the plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is a single-use petroleum product, and contains PVC, a chemical that can leach into your food. The most environmentally-friendly way to store food is in reusable containers, such as glass jars. You can start saving these ahead of time, so you'll be prepared to send guests home with leftovers. Aluminum foil is a greener choice than plastic wrap because it can be recycled.

7. Travel green. You'll have to expend some resources to get from point A to point B, but if you plan ahead, you can keep your travel footprint light. Take a train or public transportation to your Thanksgiving feast, if it's available. If you're flying, choose a non-stop flight and bring your own snacks to the airport to cut down on waste. If you're driving, make sure that your car is tuned up so that you can drive as efficiently as possible.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Less is More for Thanksgiving

Less is more.

Families across America waste nearly 25% of all food prepared on Thanksgiving. But just because our country's Norman Rockwell vision of Thanksgiving involves turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green beans, it doesn't mean you're obligated to make any of those dishes—especially if they've gone uneaten before. Consider scaling back to save money, and prevent food from being wasted unnecessarily.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Clean Pizza Boxes

Although you can’t recycle your whole pizza box, you can tear off and recycle the top half, as long as it’s grease-free. As always, check with your local solid waste and recycling office to be sure. Keep this tip in mind if you’re picking up a pizza or ordering in this weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Recycle Paper

How to Recycle Paper
By Amanda Smith-Teutsch

Recycling paper provides important benefits, both to the economy and the environment.

Paper is one of the most commonly recycled materials on earth. Throughout the world, if paper is consumed, a collection system has been created to recycle the material.

Paper can be recycled at home, at work and at school. Wherever you are, look for a paper recycling bin and use it!

The history of paper
Paper, as we now know it, was invited by the Chinese the second century B.C. As trade increased throughout the world, paper came along for the ride. Before using paper, manmade materials like papyrus, parchment and vellum were used. Papyrus, parchment and vellum were extremely expensive to make, meaning only the well to do had access to these writing materials. The first papers did not use wood as their basis, however — opting for rags and fabrics instead.

By the Middle Ages, paper made its way to Europe; by the Renaissance of the 1400s, the first mechanized paper mill had been invented. With the advent of the printing press, paper became a cost-effective manner of storing information and transmitting ideas. This helped lead to the rise of the printing press and the nearly universal access to reading and knowledge that we enjoy today.

Before Europeans began importing and manufacturing paper, however, the Japanese had learned how to recycle it. By 1035, residents of the island nation, accustomed to making the most of limited resources, had discovered a way to turn waste paper into pulp and then recreate it into new, usable paper.

In the U.S., paper recycling has always had a strong presence, with the image of the “rag picker” or “rag man” a part of the national conscious. The first paper mills did not use wood as their pulp material of choice, instead reverting back to the tried-and-true Chinese methods when printing the first materials in the New World.

Why paper recycling is important
Recycling paper provides important benefits, both to the economy and the environment. The worldwide average for use of paper is 110 pounds per person, per year. Recycling just 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees from being harvested to make paper pulp. That same effort conserves 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil and enough electricity to power an American home for six months, the U.S. EPA estimates.

Recycled paper is also a valuable commodity — the recycling industry says in 2012, $3.5 billion worth of recycled paper was exported and sold overseas. More than three-quarters of the paper mills in the U.S. require recycled material to make new products.

How paper is recycled
Paper is collected from local recycling centers and in curbside recycling bins. From the collection point, paper is taken to a sorting facility where it is sorted by grade — office paper, newspaper, cardboard (smooth and corrugated) and craft paper are all separated and prepped for recycling.

After it has been sorted, paper is packed into tight bales and sent to paper mills. At the paper mill, paper grades are stockpiled until needed (as different types of paper are used to produce different types of new paper products).

During the recycling process, paper is first sent into a pulper, which contains water and chemicals to help break down the paper. The paper is broken down into small pieces and heated, then chopped into pulp. The pulp is cleaned by being fed through screens of various shapes and sizes to remove contaminants like plastic and glue from bindings. Sometimes, a de-inking process is also used.

Next, pulp is refined, stripped of colors and dyes and, if white products are being made, bleached. Once cleaned, de-inked and bleached, the pulp is ready to become new paper. This recycled pulp can be used alone in the new papermaking process, or combined with pulp made from new wood (virgin fiber) to lend added strength and smoothness.

Paper is generally recycled into grades that are equal or lower quality than the paper it started as. Old corrugated cardboard can be used to make new recycled corrugated boxes, recovered printed and writing paper can become new copy paper and newsprint can become new newsprint.

How can I recycle paper?
Many locations offer organized paper collection programs. You can visit our recycling location search to find a collection spot near you. As well, many towns accept waste paper in curbside collection programs, and each U.S. state has registered paper-recycling companies located inside its borders.

Don’t forget to recycle paper at work, too. While electronic record-keeping and information storage is quickly expanding, the vast majority of businesses still produce paper records of some kind.

If curbside recycling is not an option, contact your local government and see where community collection points are, and ask what companies accept paper for recycling. You can also contact your local newspaper and see if they accept returns of old newspapers as well.

Many kids’ craft projects reuse paper, but paper can be recycled at home as a fun, hands-on science experiment.

To recycle newspaper at home:

1.Cut newspaper into small pieces. About four or five sheets of newspaper will make two pieces of recycled paper.
2.Put the scraps into a bowl, cover them with water and stir and mix until all the paper is wet. Let the paper sit for a few hours, until the mixture has the consistency of oatmeal.
3.Mix in a few tablespoons of cornstarch and more hot water. Congratulations, you have created pulp!
4.Now, use a pencil to punch holes in a sheet of aluminum foil the size of the paper you want to make. This will allow you to press out extra water from your paper. Lay your strainer sheet of foil aside.
5.Place a new piece of foil on top of other newspaper pages to catch drips. Spread your pulp in a thin layer on top of the solid sheet of foil, and press your strainer sheet on top. Press out as much water as possible. Position books — with a layer of newspaper between them and your strainer sheet to protect them — on top of your paper press. Leave it overnight, and by the next morning, the paper should have dried enough to peel back the foil. Children can make cards or other crafts from their newly recycled paper!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trader Joe's Ex-President Plans Market to Prevent Food Waste

Trader Joe's Ex-President Plans Market to Prevent Food Waste

News from Mary Mazzoni

A staggering 40 percent of all edible food is wasted in the U.S., according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (PDF).

Many factors contribute to this chilling total, but a recent report from NRDC and the Harvard Law and Policy Clinic indicates misinterpretation of food labels may be a big part of the problem.

Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s, is determined to cut waste totals down to size by preventing food that is slightly past its sell-by date but still perfectly edible from ending up in the landfill.

Early next year, the executive-turned-philanthropist plans to open a new market in Dorchester, Mass., that will prepare and repackage past-sell-by-date foods and sell them at rock-bottom prices.

“It’s kind of like a hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant, if you would,” Rauch told NPR. “Primarily it’s going to take this food in, prep it, cook it [for] what I call speed-scratch cooking. But the idea is to offer this at prices that compete with fast food.”

According to a study conducted by The Food Trust on behalf of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, most of Dorchester sits in what urban planners call a “food desert” — meaning the area has little to no grocery stores or options for purchasing fresh foods.

In most food deserts, corner convenience stores and fast food restaurants are the only choices for putting dinner on the table — a problem Rauch hopes to solve by rescuing wholesome, edible produce from grocery store trash bins and selling it in the underserved community.

His store, called The Daily Table, will sell prepared foods, as well as fruits and vegetables

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

50 Cans Campaign

50 Cans campaign encourages teens to get creative, recycle's youth-led aluminum recycling drive helps the planet and gives teens a chance to win a $4,000 scholarship.

ByLaura Moss

Thousands of teens across the country are collecting aluminum cans as part of’s 50 Cans campaign.

The campaign is the largest youth-led aluminum recycling drive in the nation and already has more than 35,000 participants.

Teens collect 50 or more cans, photograph their collection and upload the image to Instagram with the hashtag #50cans. This year the campaign has photo themes, such as Art Week and Sports Week. has already received numerous creative entries, including a dragon made from aluminum cans.

The campaign has caught the eye of celebrities like actor Ian Somerhalder, who recently tweeted about 50 Cans.

The campaign began Sept. 24 and runs until Dec. 12, and participating teens are entered for a chance to win a $4,000 scholarship for every 50 cans they collect.

Last year, 50 Cans participants collected 1.3 million cans.

Why aluminum? It can be recycled indefinitely, and 100 percent of the material can be made into another aluminum can in as little as 60 days, according to the Aluminum Association.

Visit to learn more about the campaign and register to participate. The site features tips on how to organize a can drive in your school or community.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ISRI and Earth911 Join Forces to Promote Recycling

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Earth911, a subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corporation (OTCQB: QRHC) ("Quest"), announced today the formation of a partnership designed to educate the public about the importance of recycling and living a lower-waste lifestyle. The strategic partnership brings together the knowledge of ISRI's industry experts and Earth911's ability to reach and engage an audience of more than nine million readers interested in reducing waste and learning more about recycling.

"Partnering with Earth911 was a natural fit for ISRI," said Robin Wiener, President of ISRI. "This innovative collaboration combines content from experts in the field with a large audience looking for additional resources on how to reduce waste. Working together, each of our organizations can broaden our reach and have a greater and more positive impact on preserving the environment. We look forward to working with Earth911 to showcase the recycling industry in fun, creative, and informative ways."

The partnership will have several key components, including ISRI providing content for Earth911's website, monthly newsletters, and a series of educational infographics. In addition, the two organizations will conduct quarterly polling to gather data on the public's view of recycling. ISRI members will also be featured in the Earth911 Recycling Guide to help consumers find nearby recyclers.

"ISRI is a dynamic organization representing some of the largest recyclers in the United States. Our partnership will convey heightened awareness to consumers of the ongoing need to enhance the country's recycling programs," said Brian Dick, Chief Executive Officer of Quest. "This is a great example of how Earth 911 can be a powerful voice to the industry and help deliver the message to consumers to make a meaningful impact on the environment."

Consumers can learn more about how to reduce waste through recycling, participate in recycling-related polls, and read more about the recycling industry by visiting

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry(TM). ISRI represents more than 1,700 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker, and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides safety, education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment, and sustainable development. For more information about ISRI, visit

About Earth911, Inc.

Earth911, Inc. ("Earth911") supports the growth and goals of businesses and the information needs of consumers on topics relevant to recycling and low waste. Through its data division, Earth911 is the technology partner for businesses to create unique consumer engagement opportunities through recycling intelligence, powered by the largest directory of recycling information in the United States. is our lifestyle and media publishing division that connects advertising partners with consumers in all aspects of their daily lives, from work and home to food and style. Earth911 is a subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corporation (OTCQB: QRHC). (

IR Contact:

Casey Stegman

Office: 214-987-4212


Monday, November 18, 2013

Go LED this Holiday

Conventional holiday lights are less than eco-friendly. Go green by swapping yours for LED lights instead.

The sparkle of Christmas lights is one of our favorite things about the holidays. Unfortunately, not only are traditional holiday lights a pain to untangle, they can also be bad for the environment.

That doesn’t mean that earth lovers have to settle for a dark and dreary holiday season. LED lights are the cost-efficient, eco-friendly solution. These lights come in a variety of colors and styles, just like conventional holiday lights, plus they’re greener, safer and longer lasting.

If you’re still not convinced, you might want to check out more benefits of LED lights.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Food Grease to fuel a Mercedes?

Not sure what to do with your leftover food grease? The Dostal family of Pasadena, Calif., uses its leftovers, along with that from nearby restaurants, to fuel its Mercedes. They then use the glycerin leftover from the process in its line of soaps, lotions and candles. How have you used leftover grease to fuel your own passion projects? #foodwaste

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Green Energy Park

“The biggest thing is that people have to recognize the energy resources their community has. It might not be obvious,” says Timm Muth of North Carolina. Be it food waste, wooden pallets, pig poop — all of those are things you can turn into... energy, he says. Muth helped divert methane gas from an old landfill in North Carolina to power a group of artists' shops called Green Energy Park. What not-so-obvious energy sources are hidden in your community?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy America Recycles Day!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The only place I grow

Rather than buying compost for rooftop gardens, The Durst Organization, Inc. creates its own from employee food waste.
Manhattan might not have the sprawling, open fields you’d typically think of when considering compost as garden fertilizer, but one New York City company is taking the idea straight to the top of the city’s skyline.

The Durst Organization, Inc., a real estate company whose properties include spots at the World Trade Center, Bryant Park and Times Square, has begun collecting compostable food waste from 11 of its Manhattan properties. The waste is transported upstate to be turned into compost, then returned to the city to fertilize rooftop gardens.

It’s all part of The Durst Organization’s green rooftop initiative, which will spend between $750,000 and $1 million to install over an acre of green rooftop space throughout its NYC properties, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The green rooftops are about more than just growing plants. The Durst Organization’s green spot also collect rain water. In 2012, the rooftops retained about 55,000 gallons of water that would have otherwise run down the drain and into sewer, the article says.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Up on the Roof

Trend to Watch: Rooftop Farming Is on the Rise
Feature from Mary Mazzoni

We’ve had our eye on the burgeoning urban agriculture trend for quite some time. In many urban centers facing vacant land problems, such as Detroit and Philadelphia, residents are reclaiming formerly blighted lots and transforming them into tiny meccas of food production — a move studies show can decrease crime and encourage development.

In cities like New York and Chicago, where land prices come at far higher premiums, farmers are eyeing spaces that can be had for free: formerly empty rooftops.

Chicago is now home to 359 roofs that are partially or fully covered with vegetation — totaling 5.4 million square feet — while New York will soon be home to a massive 100,000-square-foot rooftop farm, the largest in the nation.

To give you the scoop on the growing trend, Earth911 spoke with Leila M. Farah and Mark Gorgolewski from the Carrot City Research Group, an initiative of Ryerson University in Ontario that explores how design can enable urban food production, to get their perspective on where rooftop farming is now and what’s in store for the future. Read on for the details.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Cape Fear River AEC Study

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Cape Fear River AEC Study
RALEIGH - The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, has released a draft of the Cape Fear River Area of Environmental Concern Feasibility Study for public review and comment. In 2012, the N.C. General Assembly directed the CRC to consider the feasibility of creating a special management area that would include the lands adjacent to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

Session Law 2012-202 requires the CRC to consider the unique coastal morphologies and hydrographic conditions of the Cape Fear River region. It also calls on the CRC to determine if action is necessary to preserve, protect, and balance the economic and natural resources of this region through the elimination of current overlapping Areas of Environmental Concern, or AECs, by incorporating appropriate development standards into a single AEC unique to this location. For the purposes of this study, the CRC was directed to consider a region that encompasses the Town of Caswell Beach, the Village of Bald Head Island and surrounding areas.

Since late 2012, the N.C. Division of Coastal Management has worked with the municipalities and nearby landowners to identify concerns with the existing regulatory framework and to discuss potential strategies for a new AEC. The draft report was compiled by staff with the Division of Coastal Management primarily from information provided by the Village of Bald Head Island, the town of Caswell Beach, and their consultants. The draft report provides background information regarding the study, describes the existing conditions at Bald Head Island and Caswell Beach, provides an overview of the existing regulatory framework, and presents the regulatory concerns of the stakeholders as well as their proposed strategies for a new Cape Fear River AEC. The report also includes appendices containing public meeting summaries and supporting information provided by the communities and their consultants.

This report is being distributed for public input and comment, and does not convey any official positions or findings of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or Coastal Resources Commission.

Areas of Environmental Concern are the foundation of the CRC’s permitting program for coastal development. An AEC is an area of natural importance that may be susceptible to erosion or flooding; or it may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the state. The CRC classifies areas as AECs to protect them from incompatible development, which may cause irreversible damage to property, public health or the environment. AECs cover almost all coastal waters and about 3 percent of the land in the 20 coastal counties.

The report is available for download from DCM’s website at

Comments on the draft report may be sent to Mike Lopazanski, N.C. Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City N.C. 28557, or via email to Comments must be receivedby Dec. 7, 2013.

All public comments will be presented to the CRC for consideration of the proposed AEC, and in a final report to the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources and the N.C. General Assembly.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Trash By The Numbers

Check it out!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Things You'd Never Know Were Made from Skateboard Decks

Quick Bit from Paula Felps

Old skateboards find new uses, such as tiles that created this backsplash, thanks to Art of Board. Their I Ride I Recycle program lets skateshops and riders give old boards a second life.

The skateboard culture has influenced fads and fashions from the time it first began. And now it has launched to a new approach to recycling.

Art of Board, which launched in 2004, is leading the recycling movement in the skateboard world. The company creates lifestyle products out of recycled skateboard decks, giving new life to old boards and keeping them out of landfills. The unique and often edgy products combine the love of the sport with top-notch design. Some of these include:

Wall tiles that can be found in skateshop walls and on stairs at skateboard parks
Floor mats
Belt buckles
iPhone cases
Door mats

I Ride I Recycle, the recycling movement founded by the company, allows skateboard shops, skate parks, board manufacturers and even individual riders to participate in saving boards by tossing worn skate decks into a recycling box. A typical skateshop collects about 50 broken skate decks a month, which, until the program was launched, usually landed in the trash.

Now, a recent partnership with Element — one of the leading brands in sustainability in the world of action sports — will allow Art of Board to provide 100 additional recycle bins for the recycling program. The bins will be placed at skate shops.

“We hope this prompts more skate companies to step up and get involved,” says Bruce Boul, vice president and cofounder of Art of Board. “I Ride I Recycle not only fuels our brand, but it also supports local shops, empowers the skateboard community and illustrates our dedication to being environmentally friendly.”

To date, the program has recycled more than 10,000 used or broken skateboard decks, which Boul says amounts to thousands of pounds of waste that have been kept out of landfills. The company has also launched recycling programs in Australia and New Zealand.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Greenest Office Building in the World

'Greenest Office Building in the World' to Open in Seattle
News from Patricia Escarcega

Solar panels are installed on the Bullit Center’s rooftop.

The Bullitt Foundation, a Seattle-based sustainability advocacy group, is building what they call the “greenest, most energy efficient commercial building in the world.”

The six-story, 50,000-square-foot building in downtown Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is designed to be energy- and carbon-neutral, featuring solar panels for energy, water from a harvested rainwater system, indoor composting toilets, natural lighting, a system of geothermal wells for heating and a wood structure made out of FSC-certified wood.

“The goal of the Bullitt Center is to change the way buildings are designed, built and operated to improve long-term environmental performance and promote broader implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other green building technologies in the Northwest,” the foundation says on its website.

One of the most eye-catching elements of the building will be its large, expansive rooftop covered in solar panels. Builders had to get a special permit from the ceiling to allow the panels to stretch out over the sides of the roof.

Another remarkable feature is a 50,000-gallon underground cistern, which will capture and treat rainwater using an onsite biofiltration system, reports Time magazine.

High ceilings and oversize windows will provide 82 percent of lighting from the sun, and windows are programmed to open and close automatically to regulate temperature inside the building. The staircase affords spectacular views of the Space Needle and downtown skyline–encouraging tenants to skip the elevator and take the stairs instead.

“The end result is an elegant, simple, modern structure,” says Denis Hayes, President of the Bullit Foundation, writing in Arcade magazine.

The building was designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge, as put forth by the International Living Building Institute, a non-governmental organization committed to global sustainability.

To be certified as a Living Building, a structure is required to be self-sufficient for energy and water for at least 12 continuous months and to meet specific imperatives within seven performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.

So far, the institute has awarded “Living Building” certification to only three buildings worldwide.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Solid Waste Finance

Trash. Most of us don’t really think about it – you throw it in the bin, a truck comes by to pick it up, and it’s gone. Though your garbage may not take up much of your brain space, it sure does take up a lot of physical space (and not surprisingly, it also happens to take a lot of money to manage).

Boy Scout Camp Emerges as a Model of Sustainability

Boy Scout Camp Emerges as a Model of Sustainability

Feature from Paula Felps

Toilets and showers at the Summit Bechtel Reserve promote the theme of sustainability, with low-flow water fixtures. Gray water from the showers is used to flush toilets and urinals.

When the Boy Scouts of America decided to build its latest high-adventure base camp, the organization set out to create something that went beyond simply providing a permanent home for its National Scout Jamboree. And when their search team selected a 10,600-acre piece of property in Mount Hope, W.Va., they knew that they had an unprecedented opportunity to create a model for sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, which opened just in time to host its first Jamboree in July 2013, provides an impressive example of balancing modern convenience and technology with a commitment to preserving the land.

At the time the Scouting organization found the land, it was badly in need of nurturing. Over the years, it had been strip-mined and depleted of its natural reserves of coal and timber before being all but abandoned. But its location adjacent to the New River Gorge National River, a 70,000-acre site that’s popular for whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock-climbing and other tourism activities, made it a natural fit for the Boy Scouts’ camp.

Starting from Scratch
The property was selected in 2009 after a search that included reviewing more than 80 sites in 28 states. The BSA wanted the new facility to embody sustainability both in an economic sense and an environmental one. The Summit infused the struggling West Virginia economy with an estimated $50 million in construction wages and will continue to generate about $25 million annually in local income.

“We wanted to begin a new era of sustainability,” explains Jack Furst, who spearheaded the search for the property. “This project was about getting back to the universal basics that our organization was founded on. It’s about sustainability on a green level, on a financial level and on a physical level.”

While the site’s primary role is to host the Jamboree — Scouting’s biggest event and one that attracted some 50,000 Scouts and volunteers to the Summit this summer — it also serves as a high-adventure camp where Scouts can participate in outdoor programs and work toward merit badges. Although it is designed with Scouts in mind, non-Scouting visitors can get a taste of the adventure camp and enjoy activities like rock-climbing, zip-lining, rappelling, BMX riding, skateboarding, mountain biking and ropes challenge courses. The 60-acre Goodrich Lake offers water-based activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking — a calmer alternative to the river’s whitewater rafting and other rigorous water sports.

During a Jamboree, the Summit becomes the third largest city in West Virginia, so finding a way to make the camp eco-friendly was crucial. The first objective was to create a site that would be a “net zero energy” environment, which means it will produce as much energy as it uses.

Developers also used passive design strategies to help buildings stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter just through their shape, location and the direction the building faces. The passive design features include deep porches, which keep the hot sun out of the building in the summer, and wind-powered roof monitors that remove hot air from the building.

Buildings were designed to take advantage of natural daylight, further allowing them to reduce energy consumption. The installation of geothermal wells allows the Summit to access the free, clean energy in the ground to heat and cool buildings.

The Summit uses as little water as possible, and reuses that water whenever it can. Water used for the shower becomes gray water that is then used to flush toilets and urinals. Low-flow fixtures slash water consumption in half, while hydration stations allow visitors to refill containers rather than adding more plastic bottles to the landfill.

To further support the environment, wetlands bordering the lakes actively treat runoff from roads and campsites, and wastewater is passively treated in lagoons, then used to drip-irrigate the local forest.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Couple Reuses Cans, Tires to Make Sustainable B&B

Couple Reuses Cans, Tires to Make Sustainable B&B
Feature from Paula Felps

The common room at the Dobson House B&B includes an area for dining and has walls made from discarded materials such as tires and aluminum cans. Photo: Cindy Baldhoff
High atop a 100-foot hill overlooking the gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge, the Dobson House is surrounded by the kind of stark natural beauty that only the desert can offer. Surrounded by mountains and close to scenic rivers and natural hot springs, it’s the kind of place where a couple like Joan and John Dobson could build their dream house and retire.

But as anyone who has met the Dobsons will tell you, they’re not exactly the retiring type. So when they moved to the Taos area — after John ended his career as an engineer and Joan finished her tenure as a librarian — it made sense to them to start a bed and breakfast.

Inspired by the eco-friendly, completely sustainable earthships that began springing up in Taos in the late 1980s, the Dobsons used many of the same techniques to build their B&B. Michael Reynolds, the Taos architect who pioneered the earthship movement, used discarded materials such as tires and aluminum cans, along with earth berms, thick ceilings and lots of south-facing glass to optimize use of natural resources. The self-sustaining buildings use solar power and collect rain water for use in the home.

A spacious kitchen is both a place for preparing food and for gathering. Photo: Cindy Baldhoff
Attracted by the combination of its small environmental footprint and the soft curves of the interior, the Dobsons decided to build their own interpretation of an earthship. “I liked the curves you could do with bottles and cans that you can’t do with a frame wall,” John Dobson explains. “It is pretty hard to get that kind of look with sheetrock.”

The Dobson House, which opened in 1995, is not considered a traditional earthship. Because the well is located at the bottom of the hill, the owners have added traditional plumbing and must use electricity to pump the water to their hilltop location. Even with its modifications, the Dobson House remains an example of sustainability that has gained worldwide attention — and just happens to be one of the most unique B&B experiences you can enjoy on this planet.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Just Build It

Nike’s concept store in Shanghai was built completely out of trash and recylced materials by Miniwiz Sustainable Development.

When sports and athletic apparel retail giant Nike opened its concept store in China earlier this year, it took the idea of recycling to a whole new level. The Shanghai store, which was designed by the Taiwan-based architectural firm Miniwiz Sustainable Development, is called the Nike X158 Hyper Nature — and it’s made completely out of trash.

With no virgin materials to be found, the building has gained acclaim for its forward-thinking approach to construction. In addition to using all recycled materials, the construction was done without the use of any glue — which means the materials used to build the facility can all be re-recycled down the line.

Among the items used to construct the modern, urban building are:

•More than 50,000 used CDs and DVDs
•More than 5,000 drink cans
•2,000 post-consumer recycled water bottles, which were used to make nearly 7,000 feet of tension cables
In addition, the ceiling — which is made of the recycled compact discs and DVDs — is reinforced with a natural organic material called Rice Husk Si02.

Since forming in 2006, Miniwiz has built its reputation as a leader in creating such forward-thinking models of sustainability. Its products include PolliBricks, a wall system made completely of recycled PET bottles, and Natrilon, a fiber made from 100 percent recycled PET.

The company also makes iPhone cases, called Re-Cases, out of 100 percent trash products, and also designed the EcoARK, a nine-story building in Taipei, Taiwan, made from more than 1.5 million plastic bottles. The builiding features natural ventilation, solar power and even an exterior waterfall.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Leftover Pumpkin Goodies

What will you do with all those spooky jack-o-lanterns and festive centerpieces after Halloween has come and gone? Don’t toss them in the trash. Creative uses abound! Check out these 10 reuse ideas for your pumpkin, and start putting good ol’ Jack to work.

Before you get started

Before you start chopping up your pumpkin, take a moment to asses how it should be used. It’s not advisable to use carved jack-o-lanterns for food or personal hygiene applications, as the inner flesh may dry out, spoil or sour after sitting out for a day or two. The compost pile is usually your best bet for all your carvings.

Uncarved pumpkins can stay fresh for months depending on how they’re kept. But be careful with pumpkins that have been outside for a while. Be sure to check the exterior for mold, bruising and other defects before getting started. And if the skin feels soft or saggy, don’t use the pumpkin for food or beauty products. Check out some of the home d├ęcor alternatives on our list, or compost these babies instead.

Once your pumpkin passes the health-check, wash the exterior well with soap and warm water to remove any dirt or nontoxic paints, glues and markers you may have used for decoration. After you’ve cleaned it, it’s ready for reuse.

1. Basic pumpkin puree
Pumpkin puree is the most common use for the fleshy insides of your pumpkin, and it’s super easy to make. To get started, cut off the stem of your pumpkin and set it aside to be composted. Then, cut your pumpkin down the middle, scoop out the seeds and guts and set them aside for later.

Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with a cup of water, and bake at 325 degrees for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Once your pumpkin softens up, just scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor.

Once you’ve whipped up your puree, use it in some of the applications on our list, or save it in the freezer for Thanksgiving pies. If kept in an airtight container, your puree can be stored in the freezer for several months – meaning you can nix that canned pumpkin for all your holiday desserts.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, reuse, recycle (also known as R3) is a widely accepted waste management method designed to reduce the total use of environmental resources and lessen humans' carbon footprint on earth.

Reducing involves limiting purchases and accummulation; consequently reducing the amount of waste produced. Reduction strategies include buying used products; avoiding disposable products; renting or borrowing in place of new purchases; and phasing print mail out of your life.

Reusing products makes both environmental and economical sense. Reusing strategies include buying used goods, reusing products such as bags for the same purpose, repairing broken products instead of buying new ones and borrowing or sharing infrequently used items such as decorations.

Recycling refers to processing, treating or converting an object into reusable materials. Commercial products made from recyclable or recycled materials almost always contain a symbol on their packaging. Buy these products instead of conventional ones. You can also practice recycling by collecting recyclable materials such as old electronics in your house and dropping them off at a collection center

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Public Hearing on Mad Inlet Designation

State Coastal Agency Plans Nov. 6 Public Hearing on Mad Inlet Designation

RALEIGH - The state Division of Coastal Management will hold a public hearing Nov. 6 in Sunset Beach on a proposed rule amendment to remove the Inlet Hazard Area designation from the site formerly occupied by Mad Inlet.

The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sunset Beach Fire Station, 102 Shoreline Drive.

Mad Inlet closed in 1997 and is not expected to reopen. The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, deems the Inlet Hazard Area designation to be no longer necessary for permitting purposes.

Inlet Hazard Areas are Areas of Environmental Concern designated by the commission that cover the lands next to ocean inlets. Development in these areas is subject to specific CRC rules.

Comments on the proposed rule change will be accepted until Dec. 12 and may be sent via mail to Braxton C. Davis, Director, N.C. Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave. Morehead City, N.C., 28557, or via e-mail to Copies of the proposed rule change and a map of the area are available from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s website at

Friday, November 1, 2013

Plastic Islands Larger Than Texas Float in the Pacific

Plastic Islands Larger Than Texas Float in the Pacific
Feature from Paula Felps

Angela Sun was working as a correspondent for Al Gore’s Current TV when a colleague told her about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As a surfer, scuba diver and ocean lover, the California native was both intrigued and outraged — and her drive to learn more about this growing patch of plastic launched an unlikely 7-year journey.

“When I tried researching it, there was nothing out there on it,” says Sun, who hosts Yahoo! Sports Minute, the No. 1-rated online sports show. “It was like this big urban myth, and it took me seven years to peel back the onion and figure out what it is and why people should care about it.”

That journey ultimately became the foundation of her documentary, “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is making the film festival circuit and will have widespread release later this year. Even though she’d heard about the largest landfill in the world, which happens to be floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Sun says that seeing it first-hand was a life-changing experience. She realized that making a film could bring the reality of the garbage patch home to people, and could possibly influence how they consider using plastics in their own lives.

Home Electronics Disposal