Going Green
volume 8, issue 1


“Start by doing what is
then what is possible,
and suddenly
you are doing
the impossible.”

— St. Francis of Assisi

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Wilmington, NC 28406
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YWCA Cape Fear:  26th Annual Women of Achievement Awards

Thank you,
YWCA Cape Fear
for recognizing the
achievements of
remarkable women
in our area.




Tips and Resources

quick links to sources on this page
Green Tips | Local Green Resources | National Green Resources | Glossary

Green Tips

Pitcher PlantBecoming more eco-friendly and learning to “go green” is a gradual process. Make one small change every week and you’ll be making a difference to your community and our planet before you know it.

Local Tip

Sources for Native Plants

Add some native perennials to your garden: they’re beautiful, they come back year after year, they support bees and other pollinators, and they require little or no watering once established. When you visit your favorite local nursery, ask whether they carry native plants.

There are local nurseries that offer natives, and some that sell them exclusively. Visit the nursery list provided by the NC Native Plant Society for companies that sell natives. The nearest to Wilmington are “My Garden” Plants company and Shelton Herb Farm. To learn more about supporting pollinators in your yard, visit http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/pollinators/.

Global Tip

Planting for Monarchs

Learn about plants native to your area, and how biodiversity matters. A fun place to start is with this video of Doug Tallamy’s talk on “Bringing Nature Home” explaining biodiversity and how our gardening choices can support wildlife.

Local Green Resources

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quick links to local resources

Airlie GardensAirlie Gardens Web Site

Historic public garden providing cultural and environmental education.

Alliance for Cape Fear Trees

The mission of the ACFT is to preserve, protect, and plant trees to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations.

American Institute of Architects – Wilmington Section

Continuing education seminars to members as well as public outreach to educate the public.

Audubon North Carolina – Cape Fear Audubon Society

To conserve and restore natural ecosystems within our region, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and North Carolina’s biological diversity.

Bald Head Island Conservancy

Protects and preserves the natural environment of the Smith Island complex. The Conservancy offers educational programs throughout the year — weekly during the summer season — to educate visitors about Bald Head Island’s unique environment.

Brunswick Beekeepers Association

Established chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association. Receive personal advice from beekeepers in the local community to learn beekeeping and to stay up-to-date on successful beekeeping methods.

Brunswick Community College

Offers Associate in Applied Science Degrees in horticulture and in aquaculture technology. BCC’s 2+2 agreement with UNCW enables BCC Aquaculture Technology students to transfer aquaculture coursework into UNCW’s B.S. Marine Biology program.

Brunswick County Cooperative Extension Office

Information resource for residents of Brunswick County.

Brunswick Electric Membership Cooperative

BEMC is North Carolina’s fastest growing electric cooperative with over 62,000 customers.

Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration

The Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration is a nonprofit partnership of organizations and individuals created in 2006 to realize a vision for the Cape Fear Arch region where man’s and nature’s needs are properly balanced. Their mission is to develop and implement a community conservation vision to build awareness, protection and stewardship of the region’s important resources.

Cape Fear Beginning Farmers Guild

Cape Fear Beginning Farmers Guild is a group to inspire and empower beginning farmers through educational and technical support. Beginning and aspiring farmers are combining their talents and skills to grow a new generation of sustainable agrarians.

Cape Fear Citizens for a Safe Environment

Organized to fight the building of Hugo Neu landfill, now encouraging legislation to strengthen landfill regulations in North Carolina.

Cape Fear Cyclists

The information hub for Southeastern cyclists.

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC)

Architectural technology and sustainability technologies programs.

Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC)

CFEDC is an all-volunteer endeavor promoting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship as essential to successful local economic growth, regional competitiveness, and jobs and income generation. 

Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (CFGBA)

Promotes the construction of environmentally responsible, profitable, healthy places to live and work.

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

Oldest museum in North Carolina tells stories of the region’s history, science and cultures through exhibition and educational programs.

Cape Fear Regional Beekeepers Association

Newly-formed chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association. Receive personal advice from beekeepers in the local community to learn beekeeping and to stay up-to-date on successful beekeeping.
email: methods.gldeagle@bellsouth.net

Cape Fear Resource Conservation & Development

Cape Fear RC&D works cooperatively with individuals and groups to improve social, economic and environmental conditions, thereby enhancing the quality of life in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender Counties.

Cape Fear River Watch

Environmental education, advocacy and action for the Lower Cape Fear River basin.

Carolina Bird Club

The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization which represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its official website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships.

Carolina Butterfly Society

Carolina Butterfly SocietyCarolina Butterfly Society emphasizes identifying and watching butterflies in the field and garden rather than collecting them. They organize butterflying field trips to the various biogeographic regions of the Carolinas. They offer advice on butterfly gardening, encourage photography and record-keeping, provide fact sheets for outdoor educators, sponsor gardening workshops, and collect data for conservation use.

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s mission is to promote local and organic agriculture in the Carolinas by inspiring, educating and organizing farmers and consumers. Produces Carolina Guide to Local & Organic Food.

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) develops and promotes food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond. CEFS is one of the nation’s largest centers for the study of environmentally sustainable farming practices.

City of Wilmington Stormwater Services

Maintains and improves the City's stormwater drainage system for the protection of the community and the environment. Provides comprehensive stormwater management that takes into account both the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. Stormwater education, outreach, and public involvement are important components of this mission.

Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) - Cape Fear Chapter

The purpose of Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Coastal Plain Conservation Group

CPCG provides property owners and managers in southeastern North Carolina with ecosytem research, conservation education, and habitat management, with emphasis on longleaf pine, pocossin, and bottomland hardwood swamp habitats. CPCG is working to prevent extinction of two critically rare species of freshwater snails endemic to North Carolina.

Coastal Water Watch

Coastal Water Watch is an organization focused on improving and protecting water quality in Brunswick County, NC through education, advocacy and action.

Conservation Trust for North Carolina

CTNC conserves land to provide clean air, safe drinking water, fresh local foods, and parks and trails. CTNC works with landowners, local land trusts, communities, and government agencies to save streams, forests, farms, parks, and scenic vistas.

Dogwood Alliance

Nonprofit works to educate people about the importance of forests and the negative environmental impacts of business as usual paper production. Having achieved systemic change throughout the paper industry through public campaigns against office super stores--the largest retail paper sellers in the U.S.--they are now addressing protection for Southern forests and forests all over the world.

Earth Day Alliance

Organizers of the Lower Cape Fear Celebration of Earth Day.

Electric Vehicle Automobile Association (EVAA) – Coastal Carolinas / Wilmington

Local chapter provides e-mail of current developments and legislation
www.eaaev.org or e-mail: pagepaterson@mac.com

Environment North Carolina

This is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. The professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for North Carolina's environment.

Feast Down East

Feast Down East, also known as Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems (SENCFS), is a partnership of public and private institutions and agencies among six counties along and adjoining the I-74 corridor east of I-95. The SENCFS includes both rural and urban counties in order to maximize market opportunities and profits from the sales of local farm products for both local and regional markets.

Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail

The Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) of North Carolina is a 935+ mile trail consisting of footpaths, roads, and state bike routes. Friends of MST’s efforts are underway so that one day a complete foot trail will reach across the state, from the Mountains to the Sea.

Friends of the Lower Cape Fear, Inc.

A group of local citizens has created a web site to provide information about Titan America’s plans to build the 4th largest cement plant in the nation, along the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River, just outside of Wilmington, NC. Friends of the Lower Cape Fear opposes this proposed cement plant because of the environmental impacts it will have to this coastal region. See also Stop Titan Action Network, below.

Full Belly Project

Designs and distribJock Brandis' peanut sheller for the Full Belly Projectutes labor-saving, locally-replicable agricultural devices to relieve hunger and create economic opportunities in developing countries.

Historic Wilmington Foundation, Inc.

For 41 years the Historic Wilmington Foundation has worked to preserve the architectural and historical integrity of the Lower Cape Fear region. The HWF is a resource for advice on historical renovations and repairs and provides rehabilitation product advice and technical assistance, as well as tax credit information and assistance.

Ingram Planetarium

State-of-the-art facility in Sunset Beach seats 85 people in its 40-ft dome theater. Our mission is to stimulate the general public’s interest and understanding of natural science, environment, and cultural history of the coastal region of the Carolinas as well as a broader understanding of our Earth, solar system, and universe by providing quality educational facilities for the public and school students through activities and exhibits.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

Dedicated to rescuing sea turtles and educating the public about them. Founder and Director Jean Beasley is Animal Planet’s Hero of the Year.

Keep America Beautiful of New Hanover County

This is a local non-profit that seeks to prevent litter, encourage waste reduction methods such as recycling, and promote community beautification projects. Their efforts include education and outreach, litter cleanups and tree and flower plantings.

Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition

The Coalition honors development projects that demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship through the protection, conservation, improvement, and awareness of our natural resources.

Moms Rising – Wilmington

New local chapter of the national grassroots MomsRising organization. Issues of concern include access to healthy food and eliminating toxins.

Mothers United

Mothers United was formed in Wilmington, NC to defend children’s health by ensuring they have a healthful environmental in which to grow and flourish. They host events and monthly “Moms’ Night Out” meetings where mothers can strategize how the group can protect children’s health in New Hanover County.

Museum of Coastal Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Our Mission is to stimulate interest and understanding
of the natural science, environment, and cultural history of the Coastal Carolinas.

Native Plant Garden Club

Members of this new club meet to share information about gardening with plants native to the Cape Fear region.
Too new for a website, meetings are posted on calendar pages of www.capefearaudubon.org and www.goinggreenpublications.com.
email: cewinterbauer@yahoo.com

The Nature Conservancy

Three decades of conservation in North Carolina have led to 700,000 acres protected.

New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Office

Information resource for residents of New Hanover County.

NC Beautiful

Since 1967 NC Beautiful has helped preserve the physical beauty of North Carolina by providing environmental education and beautification opportunities that elevate the quality of life of North Carolinians. NC Beautiful is committed to fostering environmental stewardship through education and outreach to perpetuate the natural beauty of North Carolina.

NC GreenPower

Independent, nonprofit organization established to improve North Carolina’s environment through voluntary contributions toward renewable energy. First statewide green energy program in the nation supported by all the state’s utilities.

NC HealthyBuilt Homes program

The NC HealthyBuilt Homes Program provides a certificate for homes meeting “green home guidelines” built by residential builders who practice sustainable, high performance building strategies.

NC Native Plant Society – Southeast Coast Chapter

Promotes enjoyment and conservation of native plants and their habitats through education, protection, and propagation.
e-mail: lara@ncwildflower.org

NC Wildlife Resources Commission

WRC is dedicated to the wise-use, conservation, and management of the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

North Carolina AquariumsNorth Carolina Aquariums

Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments. The North Carolina Aquariums operate three facilities located
on Roanoke Island, at Pine Knoll Shores, and at Fort Fisher.

North Carolina Coastal Federation

NCCF is a non-profit tax-exempt organization dedicated to involving citizens in decisions about managing coastal resources. It provides citizens and groups with technical information and assistance they need to take an active role in the stewardship of North Carolina’s coastal water quality and natural resources.

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

Non-profit organization formed to help protect locally and regionally valuable natural areas and waters.

North Carolina Conservation Network

Network of organizations focused on protecting North Carolina’s environment and public health. “Action Center” gives suggestions on making your voice heard on environmental issues. Their “Legislator Look-up” lists your Federal and North Carolina elected officials, complete with email addresses.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is based at North Carolina’s two land-grant institutions, NC State University and NC A&T State University, in all 100 counties and on the Cherokee Reservation.

North Carolina Office of Environmental Education

The Office of Environmental Education serves as a clearinghouse linking people to Environmental Education (EE) materials, facilities, programs and professionals across the state. Their staff serves all North Carolinians whether in the field of education, business, government, non-profit, or members of the general public.

North Carolina Shell Club

Dedicated to providing a friendly and enthusiastic organization where people of all levels of expertise, ranging from beginner to professional, can meet and share knowledge and information about the fascinating world of shells. See www.ncshellclub.com to learn about the club and its activities.

North Carolina Sierra Club – Cape Fear Chapter

The Sierra Club works to pass groundbreaking environmental legislation from local to national levels.

North Carolina Solar Center

Clearinghouses for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance and training, for citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA)

NCSEA is a 501c3 non-profit membership organization of individuals and businesses interested in sustainable energy.  Located in Raleigh but active throughout the state, NCSEA works to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development.

North Carolina Sustainable Building Design Competition (NCSBDC)

NCSBDC began in 2000 as a way to engage students in universities, colleges and community colleges to learn and apply the lessons of sustainable design and construction. Each year statewide winners see their design built as part of the grand prize.

Pender County Cooperative Extension Office

Pender County Center gives our county’s residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University. Through educational programs, publications, and events, Cooperative Extension agents deliver unbiased, research-based information to Pender County citizens. We can answer your questions on a wide array of topics.

Penderwatch & Conservancy

Advocates for the environment.

Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project

Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project works within federal and state guidelines to ensure the preservation and protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles. Project volunteers patrol Kure Beach and Carolina Beach during nesting season (May 1 through August 31) to help protect all sea turtle species.

R.O.A.R. Reaching Out for Animal Rights

The mission of R.O.A.R. is to promote the welfare of all animals. Members are dedicated to end the suffering, abuse and exploitation of animals, through education and information.

Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter

Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter in Oak Island, North Carolina cares for injured or orphaned wild birds. Once an animal is able to care for itself, it is released to the wild.


The Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems (SENCFS) Project is a partnership of public and private institutions and agencies among six counties along and adjoining the I-74 corridor east of I-95. The SENCFS includes both rural and urban counties in order to maximize market opportunities and profits from the sales of local farm products for both local and regional markets. (Also known as Feast Down East.)

SMARTT Challenge

The EV Challenge has expanded its focus to include not only electric but additional alternative transportation fuels and technologies. The program will now be called the SMARTT Challenge. SMARTT is an acronym for “Students Making Advancements in Renewable Transportation Technology.”

Southport Native Plant Society

This new group shares information about area native plants and how to grow them.

Stop Titan Action Network

A group of local citizens has created a web site to provide information about Titan America’s plans to build the 4th largest cement plant in the nation, along the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River, just outside of Wilmington, NC. Stop Titan Action Network (STAN) opposes this proposed cement plant because of the environmental impacts it will have to this coastal region.

Surfrider Foundation – Cape Fear Chapter

Holding our elected officials responsible for the preservation of our natural resources and the continued smart, well planned growth of our city.

Tidal Creek Co-opTidal Creek Co-op

Natural foods cooperative business.

Toxic Free NC

Toxic Free NC members believe toxic pesticides are over-used in North Carolina and around the world, polluting our food, our water and our bodies. Toxic Free NC fights pesticide pollution in North Carolina by advocating for common-sense alternatives that protect our health and environment.


ECO is the main environmental group at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, comprising dozens of energetic and friendly allies of the environment.

University of North Carolina—Wilmington (UNCW)

Environmental degree programs, extensive environmental course offerings.

Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association

The largest trade association in eastern North Carolina, WCFHBA serves as the voice of the building and development industries in New Hanover and Pender Counties. It represents more than 1,025 member-firms, employing 9,000 individuals.

Wilmington Vegan

Wilmington Vegan is a support group where vegans in the Cape Fear area can share information about food and plan local get-togethers.
www.wilmingtonvegan.com or email Sue at wilmingtonvegan@gmail.com

National Green Resources

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Alliance To Save Energy

Helps free up more resources for education while strengthening academic learning. The Alliances Green Schools Program engages students in creating energy-saving activities in their schools, using hands-on, real-world projects.

American Solar Energy Society

Nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies in the U.S.

Boating Clean & Green

California tips that apply to the east coast. The Boating Clean and Green Campaign is an education and outreach program that promotes environmentally sound boating practices to marine business and boaters in California.

Built Green

See whats happening across the country with this nonprofit, residential building program in Washington state that certifies homes built with eco-friendly principles on a five-star system.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

DSIRE (the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is one of the best resources available to help you find information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

Earth Day

Earth Day is just an annual reminder that there are ways to get involved year-round. Check out Wilmington Earth Day for a bit of history and follow the links to global Earth Day sites—get inspired by what’s happening around the world!

Earth Force

Award-winning, international education program that involves young people in hands-on river education, conservation and restoration projects.

Electric Cars are for Girls

Electric Cars are for Girls is a “Mostly Painless Guide to Electric Vehicles and Conversions.” Articles and links provide great information about electric cars, from the basics on up.

Energy Star

Federal program that labels household products that have met energy-efficient standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

FSC Forest Stewardship Council Web Site

Forest Stewardship Council certifies wood and wood products and promotes responsible forest management. Its certification ensures wood is harvested sustainably and then tracks the wood through manufacturing to the store. Considered the leading standard for responsible forestry management.


Green-e is the nations leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market.


This group stops your entire household’s junk mail and plants 10 trees on your behalf for $20. They also offer you the choice to remove only the catalogs you don’t want. In just over a year, they've stopped 3 million pounds of junk mail and saved and/or planted 1,000,000 trees.

Green Hour

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day, a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.

To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids -- and themselves -- outside, NWF has created greenhour.org, a Web site rich in family-friendly content and which hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures.

Green Seal

Nonprofit group that independently tests household products to meet its environmental standards.

Hornby Eagle Group

The Hornby Eagle Group was formed to facilitate the return of Doug Carrick’s Hornby Island Bald Eagle nest cam to the World Wide Web. Our Mission is to foster the appreciation and stewardship of wildlife and the environment. By providing a glimpse into the lives of a pair of bald eagles, we hope to encourage viewers to look beyond the eagles' nest and recognize the interdependence of humankind and the natural world.

Keep Oceans Clean

Keep Oceans Clean is a fun Web site chock full of information on easy ways to help promote the health of our ocean waters. Online games for children make learning about the ocean fun, ocean Web sites of use to parents and teachers. The Oceans Awareness campaign is a joint effort of the Environmental Defense Fund, The National Marine Sanctuary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Department of the Interior, and The Advertising Council. Creative work and use of characters from The Little Mermaid are provided by the Walt Disney Company. “No matter where you live, life in the ocean depends on you!


National program by the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies commercial buildings and homes as environmentally friendly based on performance.

Local Harvest

LocalHarvest is America’s largest website for organic and local food, offering a public nationwide directory of small farms, farmers markets, and other local food sources.

North American Sarracenia Conservancy

The North American Sarracenia Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural habitats and genetic diversity of carnivorous Sarracenia, North American pitcher plants. The Conservancy promotes conservation of the species through plant rescue and maintenance as well as other conservation efforts.

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) protects the health of people and the environment by advancing alternatives to pesticides. NCAP is dedicated to promoting pesticide use reduction.

Plug In America

Plug In America is a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization promoting electric vehicle technology.

Politico Morning Energy Newsletter

Sign up for the Politico Morning Energy news to receive a daily update on energy and environment news—an easy way to keep tabs on legislation in progress.

Sustainable Business

SustainableBusiness.com provides global news and networking services to help green business grow, covering all sectors: renewable energy, green building, sustainable investing, and organics. A weekly Clean Energy Roundup offers sustainable business and sustainable investor news. Check out their “Green Jobs” section to learn about exciting career opportunities across the country… and the world!

USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Each U.S. state and territory has a state office at its land-grant university and a network of local or regional offices. These offices are staffed by one or more experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, consumers, and others in rural areas and communities of all sizes. Link to find your nearest Cooperative Extension office.

U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. Developers of the LEED building rating system.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. For forty years, the Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.


Glossary of Green Terms

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quick links to terms


Acid rain
Rain with increased acidity due to absorption of airborne pollutants such as C02 and sulphur dioxide. Acid rain is rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic. It has harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and buildings. Acid rain is mostly caused by human emissions of sulfur and nitrogen compounds which react in the atmosphere to produce acids.

Bali Roadmap
The Bali roadmap, named after the Indonesian island where the deal was struck in December 2007, is an important milestone. The roadmap will plot how all countries must take action to tackle climate change, with aims to produce an international convention by the end of 2009.

Any material that can be broken down by living things including micro-organisms such as bacteria. Biodegradation is the process by which organic substances are broken down by living organisms, and nitrogen compounds which react in the atmosphere to produce acids.

The variety of different species within a set habitat. For example, the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest is greater than that of the Gobi desert.

Biofuel (also called agrofuel) can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biomass. A fuel that is made from (in whole or in part) renewable organic sources, such as rapeseed oil. These can include refined fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel as well as unrefined such as wood.

In energy terms, biomass refers to the use of organic material for the generation of heat, electricity or motive power. Biomass is the mass per unit area of living plant material, or, the organic materials produced by plants, such as leaves, roots, seeds, and stalks. Biomass is produced from organic materials, either directly from plants or indirectly from industrial, commercial, domestic or agricultural products. It is carbon neutral as the CO2 released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuel’s production.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, are more energy efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs and last longer.

Carbon capture
New technology can now capture large amounts of carbon emissions and store them in isolated areas. This means they dont float into our atmosphere and speed up climate change.

Cap and Trade
Cap and Trade is a market-based policy tool for protecting human health and the environment. A cap and trade program first sets an aggressive cap, or maximum limit, on emissions. Sources covered by the program then receive authorizations to emit in the form of emissions allowances, with the total amount of allowances limited by the cap. Each source can design its own compliance strategy to meet the overall reduction requirement, including sale or purchase of allowances, installation of pollution controls, and implementation of efficiency measures.

Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a gas thats made when fossil fuels are burnt to provide power for everything from driving your car to boiling the kettle. It’s also made when organic things like trees are burnt. It’s then released into the earth’s atmosphere and is one of the harmful gases known as Greenhouse Gases.

Carbon footprint
We all have a carbon footprint; it’s the amount of CO2 each of us produces in our daily lives (for example through using electricity in our homes or driving) and the impact that has on the environment. Other gases like methane (produced by cows!) also contribute to a carbon footprint, for example consuming meat and dairy products adds to our footprint.

Carbon negative
Any process or product that removes carbon from the atmosphere. Growing trees are carbon negative.

Carbon neutral
Because so many of the things we do involve burning carbon at some stage (for example though riding a bike does not produce emissions, manufacturing the bike did) it’s so far been difficult to say what being carbon neutral really is. But many people agree that it’s all about cutting down carbon emissions as much as possible by doing things like switching to renewable energy. You can also be more carbon neutral if you offset things like foreign holidays (see below).

Carbon offset
Carbon offsetting is a way of balancing your carbon emissions. There are a number of ways of doing this including funding schemes to plant trees or replace energy production from fossil fuels with renewable energy such as wind or solar power. It can help to reduce your carbon footprint but is best viewed as a last resort once actual energy use has been reduced as much as possible.

Carbon tax
A carbon tax is a tax on energy sources which emit carbon dioxide - including fossil fuels like oil. It is an example of a pollution tax, which some economists favor because they tax a “bad” rather than a “good” (such as income). It’s based on the amount of carbon each fuel gives out when it’s used.

Carbon trading
Carbon trading is a way of reducing carbon emissions. Many companies are now part of a carbon trading scheme where the government gives each company a set amount of carbon credits each year. If a company doesn’t use all of their credits, they can sell them to other companies who have used all of theirs.

Climate change
Over the years our climate has changed. Climate change can be due to natural causes, but most scientists agree that the rises in the Earth’s temperature are linked to the way we live and activities like burning fossil fuels. This means that the temperature of the Earth is getting hotter, causing ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise. According to the World Wildlife Fund, climate change could cause a global, humanitarian and environmental disaster.

Cradle to cradle
This is a construction and production ethos proposed by Walter R. Stahel that aims to make all components of a made object reusable or disposable with no negative ecological effects - virtually waste free.

Deforestation is simply the process of removing trees from land. Trees help absorb CO2, one of the main gases that contribute to climate change, so the more trees get chopped down, the less carbon is absorbed. Deforestation now contributes to nearly 20% of global carbon emissions, according to the Forestry Commission.

This is the process of removing salt from the sea and other salt water. It’s a way of increasing the water supply for humans and farm animals. 

A group of chemicals, some of which are highly toxic, which can be formed by incomplete combustion (such as you may find in incinerators) and are believed to contribute to pollution and climate change.

Eco friendly
Environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, and nature friendly are synonyms used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. It refers to an object or action that is believed to be less harmful to the environment than a common alternative. Just remember that walking to work is more eco-friendly than driving.

Ecological footprint
The Ecological Footprint measures how our lifestyles affect other people as well as the planet. It works out how much land and sea is needed to feed everyone and to provide all the energy, water and raw materials like wood we use in our everyday lives.

A system made up of a community of living organisms.  You might talk about the ecosystem of a specific forest or the Antarctic as a whole.

Energy efficient
Energy efficient products use less energy, but work just as well, if not better, than standard products. For instance, energy efficient light bulbs use up to 80% less energy and last much longer than standard light bulbs.

Fairtrade Mark
The Fairtrade Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on UK products as a guarantee that they have given their producers a better deal. Farmers supplying Fairtrade products receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects. Visit www.fairtrade.org.uk for more information.

Food milesHarvest time
This is the distance food travels from where it is grown to where it is consumed. This can be used to measure the impact each product has on the environment. However, to get the whole picture it’s also important to look at how the food traveled and how it was initially produced. Fruits, herbs and vegetables from your own garden has no food miles at all.

A volatile organic compound, is used in glue in particle board, medium-density fiberboard and plywood; permanent-press coatings on fabrics and draperies; in some paints; and in foam.

Fossil fuels
Oil, natural gas and coal are all fossil fuels. They are formed in the ground from the remains of dead plants and animals over millions of years.

FSC wood
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) helps to make sure that wood products come from sustainable forests. When you see the FSC label, you can be sure the wood product you are buying has come from a forest that is responsibly managed, with respect for wildlife and the people who live there. Visit www.fsc-uk.org for more information.

Global warming
The temperature of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere is gradually warming. However recently the rate at which this is happening has rapidly increased. Scientists agree that this is caused by greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels and other industrial processes.

Going GreenCape Fear's Going Green
Cape Fear’s local guide to eco-friendly resources of course.
It also refers to the broad philosophy and social movement concerning the conservation and improvement of the natural environment.

Greenhouse effect
The increase in greenhouse gasses means that more of the sun’s heat is trapped in our atmosphere. This is called the greenhouse effect. It alters the delicate balance of our climate and the result is global warming.

Greenhouse gas
There are two main types of greenhouse gases: natural ones like methane and those made by humans burning fossil fuels. They trap and absorb the sun’s heat. The more greenhouse gas we produce, the more we contribute to the Greenhouse Effect.

Greywater (sometimes spelled graywater, grey water or gray water)
Water from showers, baths and washing machines, which can sometimes be used to water the garden and for car washing. Greywater comprises 50-80% of residential wastewater.

Hybrid car
Hybrid Cars are a new generation of cars which use electricity as well as fuel for power. This means they emit less CO2 and are friendlier to our environment.

Hydroelectric power is electricity generated by running water. It’s a great way of using a natural force to create electricity.

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
This is a report on climate change produced by the United Nations. It was put together by over 600 experts and reviewed and agreed by 113 governments. The fourth report concluded that there has been an increase in climate change likely to be caused by human activities.

Trees produce a fluffy fiber in their seed pods. The kapok fiber is a substitute for down.

Kyoto Protocol
This is an agreement reached in 1997 by industrial nations around the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Disposal of trash and garbage by burying it under the ground. Approximately 60 percent of all municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the United States is currently being disposed of in roughly 1,800 operational MSW landfills. For more information on landfills, visit www.epa.gov.

Local and seasonal food
This is food that’s produced close to you and grown in season rather than imported from abroad out of season. It doesn’t include food produced by artificial means like strawberries grown in winter greenhouses.

Low flow plumbing fixtures
Include faucets, toilets and showerheads. Installing low-flow toilets and showerheads, and aerators for faucets is a simple strategy to cut water use.

Methane is the second most important gas contributing to the human-made greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide.

This is when businesses or residential homes make their own energy using solar panels or domestic wind turbines.

MSC fishMSC Web Site
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) rewards environmentally responsible fisheries with its blue product label. This means the fishery is well managed, helping to preserve fish populations for future generations. See www.msc.org for more information.

Non-renewable resource
Any resources that cannot be re-made or re-grown at the rate they are consumed. Examples include coal, oil and natural gas.

Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is energy made by using the heat produced by an atomic reaction.

Organic cotton
Grown without pesticides or fertilizers is showing up in many home textiles like bedding and towels, but does not apply to how the textiles were manufactured. Manufacturing processes are not generally labeled and could include harsh chemicals, so research the manufacturer to find out more.

Organic Food
Organic food is produced using organic farming methods, which restrict the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and avoids the genetic modification of food. Organic foods and fibers must be certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose standards prohibit the use of most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients. (A “pesticide-free” label alone, however, doesnt qualify something as organic.)

This toxic form of oxygen can cause real problems for us at surface level, but protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays in the upper atmosphere – the ozone layer.

Polyvinyl chloride, is found in vinyl and emits the toxin dioxin when produced. It also contains phthalates, a plasticizing and softening chemical. Its commonly found in toys, shower curtains, window blinds, vinyl furniture covers and artificial leather. Its also found in plastics with the recycling symbol 3.

A device that converts light energy into electricity, eg solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity through a series of grids.

Polar melt
The continuing melting of polar ice at a faster rate than its seasonal growth, causing an ongoing shrinking of the ice caps.

Rapidly renewable materials
Renewable resources can be replenished, so theyre not permanently depleted. These include alternate-energy sources such as solar or wind power instead of nonrenewable oil and fast-growing plants like bamboo or cork trees.

Rain barrelrain barrel
Rain barrels are rainwater catching devices. Depending on the size of your roof area — rainwater can be an excellent source for irrigation. Rainwater is even better for your plants and soil than regular potable water. For more information on rain barrels, visit www.rainwatersolutions.com/rainbarrels.

Renewable energy
Sources of energy that produce electricity without harming our environment. Wave, wind and solar power are all renewable energies.

Stern Report
This is a detailed report by Sir Nicholas Stern on the global economic effects of climate change and global warming. Though it was commissioned by the UK government, countries across the world have received it with interest.

Sustainable development
Sustainable development is the process in which we use all of our natural resources more responsibly, so we can meet our needs today without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)
Any carbon compound that evaporates easily in normal environmental conditions – petrol for example.

Wind turbines
You’ll see these dotted around the country quite often now. They’re a modern day windmill which uses the power of the wind to produce electricity.

Zero carbon home
A house that produces no net C02 emissions from the energy used by people living in it. This, however, does not include initial construction materials.

If you have heard an eco-friendly or environmental term that is not defined here, and you would like more information, please contact us and we will do our best to respond and add it to this glossary.



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volume 8, issue 1
Cape Fear's Going Green