The N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach has produced a webpage to educate people about how to recycle compact fluorescent lights safely.
The lights save energy and prevent pollution, but must be properly handled and disposed of because they contain mercury.
For more on how to recycle used light bulbs, click here.
Appliance dealers hope the state’s second annual sales tax holiday on Energy Star appliances this weekend helps stimulate business.
To increase the chances of that happening, many retailers are extending hours and offering additional discounts on top of the tax savings to try to entice shoppers to buy.
The tax holiday, which is Friday through Sunday, works much like the school supplies sales tax holiday North Carolina holds each August, except that now it’s Energy Star-rated appliances that are exempt from the tax.
In Catawba County, where the combined sales tax rate is 8 percent, a consumer would save $40 in taxes on a $500 appliance.
Savings are likely to be greater than that, as appliance dealers hold promotions and sales in conjunction with the sales tax holiday.
Lowe’s Home Improvement stores are among major retailers in North Carolina offering discounts on appliances this weekend.
“Now is the perfect time for homeowners to invest in Energy Star-qualified products,” said Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of environmental affairs.
“By installing Energy Star-qualified products, residents can reduce energy consumption significantly and cut costs on utility bills throughout the year.”
In addition to adhering to the North Carolina state-tax exemption, Lowe’s will offer 10 percent off all Energy Star appliances.
Dave Garner of Sunrise Appliance on Catawba Valley Boulevard said last year’s sales tax holiday generated lots of business for Sunrise.
“It was huge for us last year, and we’re looking forward to a big weekend at our Hickory, Boone and Mooresville locations,” Garner said.
Items included in the tax holiday are products that meet the Energy Star requirements and are authorized to carry the Energy Star label, including clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, air source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.
While dishwashers are not included, some dealers will discount Energy Star-rated models this weekend.
There is no price limit or ceiling for products to qualify.
Items purchased for use in a business do not qualify for tax exemption.
North Carolina’s Energy Star sales tax holiday was created during a 2008 session of the General Assembly to encourage the use of more energy-efficient products.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star-qualified products use up to 50 percent less energy than older models or less-efficient counterparts currently on the market.
Steve C. Rittenhouse, manager at Queen City Audio Video Appliances on U.S. 70, SE, said customers will find great deals on Energy Star appliances at his store this weekend, then enjoy more savings in energy costs for years to come.
In addition to its regular hours, the Queen City store will be open from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday in observance of the tax holiday, Rittenhouse said.
The Energy Star program was created in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Since then, consumers have purchased more than 2.5 billion Energy Star products.
As people in North Carolina and across the globe celebrated Earth Day, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced a new initiative to encourage drivers to do their part for the environment by conserving fuel. The “Drive Green, Save Green” Web site is full of useful information and tips about driving habits, vehicle maintenance and alternative transportation that will help drivers use less fuel and save money at the gas pump.
“This educational campaign teaches us how a few simple green driving techniques can put green in our pocket and enable us all to breath a little easier by helping North Carolina’s air quality,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti.
Along with the N.C. Division of Air Quality, several North Carolina environmental organizations have joined NCDOT in supporting this effort. They include the North Carolina office of the Environmental Defense Fund, Clean Air Carolina, the Conservation Council of North Carolina and the North Carolina Conservation Network.
“Driving green is good for the planet, and good for your pocketbook,” said Michael Regan, Environmental Defense Fund director for North Carolina and Southeast Climate and Air Policy.
Sections on the Web site include:
- Drive more efficiently – Learn how small changes in your driving habits, like going a little slower, using cruise control or turning off the air conditioner can add up to big savings.
- Maintain your vehicle – Tips for simple, regular maintenance that can help you save on gas and avoid more costly repairs.
- Drive less – Find public transit in your area, locate a carpool buddy, and get information on biking and walking in North Carolina.
Adopting these simple, cost-effective driving habits can amount to big savings, as detailed in the “Did You Know?” section of the site. Here, drivers can learn that an air conditioner can consume up to one gallon of gas per tank to cool a vehicle and using cruise control on 10,000 of the miles driven in a year can save nearly $200.
The site also contains useful links to various green driving, also called eco-driving, Web sites, including a Fuel Economy Guide to help drivers purchase a fuel efficient vehicle that meets their needs and an extensive eco-driving guide to learn how to drive efficiently depending on location and the weather.
The new “Drive Green, Save Green,” site is part of a larger overall effort by NCDOT and its campaign partners to increase public awareness of cost savings obtained through fuel conservation.
Press Release by Environment North Carolina
North Carolina could see at least 28,000 high-quality new jobs along with a cleaner environment by achieving an ambitious, but attainable, benchmark for solar power, according to a new Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center analysis.
“Everyone knows solar energy is clean. There has never been a solar spill,” said Elizabeth Ouzts, State Director of Environment North Carolina and co-author of the report. “The sun is also abundant in North Carolina and free. That’s why capturing it can create tens of thousands of jobs right here that can’t be outsourced.”
RALEIGH, N.C. — For the 5th year in a row University Housing and the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office (WRR) gives students the option to donate reusable items to the “Wolf Pack N Go” program and divert waste from the landfill. Students donate items which will are picked up, stored and sold to the public.
This year 60 percent of the proceeds collected from the sale will go to Howl For Haiti, a campus-wide initiative to raise money for disaster relief in Haiti.
“Through this initiative students, staff and faculty of NC State are truly helping to assist the Haitian earthquake victims and restore Haiti.” says Kelly Hook, Student Body President.
WRR reported that last year students donated over 15,000 pounds of reusable items. Items typically donated are clothes, shoes, and small appliances.
The Wolf Pack N Go program urges people to participate by also participating at the sale on May 21 in the E.S. King Village Community Center. The sale takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Students, staff and faculty can donate items in reusable condition in the lobbies of all residence halls, as well as Administration Building III.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s top scientists say global warming is so urgent that the United States must make it more expensive to use coal and oil.
The National Academy of Sciences, an advisory panel to the government, is taking the unusual step of urging specific actions to curb global warming. Normally, the academy speaks out on scientific matters but doesn’t recommend policy.
The academy says the nation needs to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from 57 to 83 percent by 2050. That’s about what President Barack Obama has called for. The academy says the way to do that is through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that would limit pollution from carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming.
Kinder Soles, Raleigh-based maker of “buy-one, give-one” flip-flops, is throwing a launch party in downtown Raleigh on May 20 at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub & Restaurant from 6-9 p.m.
The event supports Soles4Souls, the company’s charitable partner, with a shoe drive and percentage of proceeds from sales at the event.
Americans throw away at least 300 million pairs of shoes each year that end up rotting in our own landfills, while an estimated 300 million children around the world have never owned a pair of shoes. Each pair of Kinder Soles sold offers a significant rebate for donating a pair of shoes sitting idle in your closet.
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Land for Tomorrow, a coalition dedicated to supporting the preservation of North Carolina’s land and water resources, announced the winners of the first-ever “North Carolina’s Ten Natural Wonders Contest” Tuesday.
The contest is part of Land for Tomorrow’s effort to highlight past generations’ conservation successes and urge North Carolina lawmakers to continue supporting conservation in our state. In fact, several of the nominations, including many of the Natural Wonders identified, were protected with the help of North Carolina’s conservation trust funds.
Participants were encouraged to nominate any landscape, natural feature, wildlife or plant life that is unique to North Carolina and should be considered among the state’s greatest natural wonders. About 1,300 nominations yielded 200 unique potential “Natural Wonders,” which were narrowed to a field of 25 semifinalists by a panel of prominent North Carolinians. From those 25, “North Carolina’s Ten Natural Wonders” were determined by popular vote. Over 3,000 individual votes were submitted.
And “North Carolina’s Ten Natural Wonders” are:
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The Triangle-area Home Builders Associations welcomes green builders from all over the country during the National Green Building Conference this week.
The conference takes place at the Raleigh Convention Center on May 16-18, 2010. This annual conference, which is presented by the National Association of Home Builders, is targeted to builders, developers, designers, manufacturers, and other professionals in the residential building industry.
It will feature a bus tour of selected green homes in the Triangle, a wide variety of educational sessions, an exhibit hall with many informative displays, and a special “Taste of the South” reception.
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CARY, N.C. — The Town of Cary and Wake County will partner to host an electronics and residential household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at the Town of Cary Public Works and Utilities Facility, 400 James Jackson Avenue, Cary from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Last year this event was very successful, 744 residents participated in the event and dropped off 20,460 pounds of electronics and 53,806 pounds of residential household hazardous waste,” said Wake County Environmental Services Director Tommy Esqueda. “We look forward to another successful event this year.”
People may bring electronic items for recycling such as:
· Computers (CPUs)
· Household Electronics
· Laptop PCs
People may also bring household hazardous materials such as:
· household cleaners/chemicals
For information, visit www.wakegov.com/recycling or call 856-7400.