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News and articles about Green Living in Savannah, Georgia


Tybee Island seeks businesses and organizations interested in water and energy conservation for February 2012 event

(Tybee Island, GA) The Tybee Island Community Resource Committee (CRC) is accepting exhibitors' applications for the Tybee Island Water and Energy Fair. In addition to exhibitors, there are a limited number of openings for speakers and workshops. The signup deadline for speakers is December 1, 2011. The exhibitor deadline is January 1, 2012.

The Energy and Water Fair is sponsored by the City of Tybee Island and the Tybee Island Community Resource Committee and is designed to educate attendees in ways to conserve and reuse community resources. Local vendors, scientists and organizations will participate to show the community how using less to save more is easy and fun.

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Moral Fabric

Organic apparel is currently a business worth $4.3 billion

Between 2008 and last year, while recessionary cutbacks in household spending saw overall sales of apparel and domestic textiles drop by 7 percent, sales of organic cotton grew by double digits -- 35 percent to be exact -- according to the trade group Organic Exchange. In fact, organic cotton's annual growth rate has grown steadily for a decade now: 40 percent on average each year since 2001. Organic apparel is currently a business worth $4.3 billion; by next year, it's expected to hit $6 billion. So how does organic cotton benefit you? Look at the big picture. It's better for the farm worker and better for Mother Earth.

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Four Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill Through Your Roof

Tips to reduce energy bills through your roof

The record-breaking temperatures in outheast Georgia this summer have done more than just sap energy. They have lso contributed to skyrocketing power bills.

RPI Energy, a division of RPI, a Richmond ill-based roofing company that specializes in commercial, industrial and esidential roofs, offers the following tips to reduce energy bills through our roof.

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Maintain Your LEED Credentials

Stay Competitive in the Marketplace sponsored by USGBC-GA Chapter

The USGBC-GA Savannah Chapter cordially invites you to a USGBC GBCI CE Seminar. Attend the full day seminar and earn 7.5 USGBC GBCI CE CREDITS and 6.5 AIA LU. The USGBC-GA Atlanta Chapter is offering the seminar in Atlanta the following day, September 16, 2011.

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Hilton Head Island to Announce Sustainability Advisory Committee

Lowcountry Leadership in Sustainability Roundtable to be Catalyst and Discussion Platform to Inspire Sustainable Practices.


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (August 29, 2011) - Hilton Head Island has long been considered an environmentally sensitive destination, but to advance environmental stewardship and become a more sustainable community, a local Sustainability Advisory Committee for Hilton Head Island has formed, and an introduction of the effort will take place Tuesday, September 20th at 3:30pm.

The Sustainability Advisory Committee for Hilton Head Island is a citizen led group that developed from the Mayor's Task Force Vision Plan recommendations adopted by the Greater Island Council of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, a nonprofit organization. The committee's role is to research, develop, and facilitate opportunities to support sustainable practices that further the journey to sustainability for Hilton Head Island, considering impacts on the economy, ecology, and the people.

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America’s First ‘Green Flag’ Flies Over Sustainable Savannah School

National Wildlife Federation and Eco-Schools USA Recognize Leading School

Savannah Country Day School in Georgia was named the nation's first Green Flag Eco-School in a ceremony yesterday, signifying exceptional achievement in ‘greening' school grounds, operations and curricula. The school achieved this honor through a combination of excellence by "green" management of its facilities and grounds, providing opportunities for outdoor education and by integrating environmental learning throughout its curricula.

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Groundbreaking Ceremony at Shuman Elementary School

Organic Vegetable Garden Groundbreaking


Shuman Elementary School welcomes the community to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the new school garden project on Wednesday, March 23rd at 10:00am. Planting an organic garden is part of Sandra Cason's program to establish Shuman as a model green and healthy school. The goal of the project is to have an interactive, educational garden that will engage the community, offer gardening classes to local residents and bring the Garden to School program in by serving fresh produce to the students.  

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Tax Tips:

Credit For Energy-Saving Home Improvements

You can claim a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of energy-saving home improvements up to a maximum of $1,500. This cap applies to both 2009 and 2010 combined, so if you claimed the maximum $1,500 in 2009, you don't get another crack at it for 2010. The credit applies to biomass fuel stoves, qualifying skylights, windows and outside doors, and high-efficiency furnaces, water heaters and central air conditioners.

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Biodiesel: It’s What’s Cooking on Tybee

Tybee's path to sustainability

This spring there will be a pleasant new aroma of French Fries wafting across town... not just from the usual restaurants, but from Tybee's own municipal equipment.  In an ongoing effort to improve air and water quality, the Public Works Department and Tybee restaurants are teaming up with SES Biofuels to convert waste vegetable oil (WVO) into biodiesel for use in municipal equipment.  WVO will be collected at participating Tybee restaurants, processed at SES Biofuels in Savannah, then brought right back for use on Tybee.

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Farmers Find Organic Arsenal to Wage War on Pests

Natural enemies are key to the organic approach

While conventional farmers have a quiver full of chemical arrows to battle the invasion of weeds and pests, the organic farmer has a tougher row to hoe. There simply aren't organic bug sprays that can match the power of synthetic chemicals and almost nothing in the way of organic herbicides...

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Simple Ideas for a Greener Holiday Season

Some giving and decorating ideas

The holiday season has arrived and it's time to think about what type of giving we will do this year.  My goal this year is to keep it eco-friendly, local or socially productive and to spend extra time with family and friends.  I know I have too much stuff, and I'm pretty sure my friends and family do too.  Below are some ideas for green giving and decorating and don't forget to check out our Holiday Guide for some more specific recommendations

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And the inaugural event for the USGBC GA Savannah Branch Emerging Professionals Committee.


The Savannah Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will present a LEED® Gold Certification plaque at an awards ceremony at 6:00pm, and Choate Construction Company will offer tours of the facility, showcasing the facilities sustainable features.  Immediately following Choate Construction Company will sponsor the inaugural event for the USGBC GA Savannah Branch Emerging Professionals Committee. Appetizers and beverages will be available.  The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

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Jack Star and Julian Smith will speak on current solar technology issues

October 26, 2010 meeting of the USGBC-Georgia Savannah Branch

Local solar technology authorities, Julian Smith, solar systems designer and certified installer, and Jack Star, solar advocate and facilitator of Solar Champions, will engage in a conversation about the present and future state of solar PV and how it impacts both new construction and the built environment. Topics will include system design and components, grid parity, new solar PV materials, the coming solar-hydrogen-fuel cell cycle, financing options, government incentives and LEED point acquisition.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be held October 26, 2010, from 5:45-7 p.m. on the second floor of Wild Wing Cafe in City Market. 

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Savannah Tree Foundation offering small grants through CommuniTrees Fund

The program commences in the Fall of 2010

The Savannah Tree Foundation is happy to announce the availability of a small revolving fund dedicated to helping community organizations purchase and plant canopy trees.

"Our new CommuniTrees fund helps answer the need for smaller tree plantings than we can typically accommodate," stated Diane Houston, President of the Savannah Tree Foundation. Savannah Tree Foundation usually plants 50 or more trees per tree planting because the amount of planning required to carry out a large scale tree planting is relatively the same, whether planting 50 or 250 trees.

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Study: Human Exposure to BPA 'Grossly Underestimated'

Americans are likely to be exposed at higher levels than previously thought

A new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that we are exposed to at least eight times the amount every day that the EPA says is "OK".  

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Emergent Structures

A community reclamation project

Emergent Structures is a large-scale reclamation project executed by a diverse array of artisans, designers, architects and other creative professionals, and intended to create an international model of collaborative material re-use. The goal is to coordinate the salvage, and distribution of as much of the building materials as possible.

This Saturday September 25, 2010 you can help the project out by coming out and pulling nails from studs.  The reclaimed studs will be re-purposed into new trusses and supplied to Mercy House for use in their affordable housing redevelopment of Phase One in Savannah Gardens.

For more information on Emergent Structures you can go to their website or contact Scott Boylston at scottb@emergentstructures.com

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Chatham County Commission has adopted a green building policy

New green building policy will save taxpayers maney and be good for the environment

On Friday September 17, 2010 the Chatham County Commission adopted new green building standards for any new county owned building or renovations costing over $100,000.

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Tybee Island still too bright for sea turtles, conservationists say

Volunteers map lights, educate beachfront owners, renters

By Mary Landers

Does Tybee need a lights out ordinance?

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The Ongoing Oil Spill

What can we do?

There are hardly adequate words to fully describe the anger, frustration and helplessness that most folks are feeling over the ongoing gusher in the Gulf.  The economic and environmental impacts will be felt for generations to come.   The images of wildlife covered in oil are horrifying; the images of BP execs spinning the story make me feel like my head is going to explode; the looming  economic disaster makes me scared,  sad and mad as hell, and the feeling of helplessness makes me feel...well, helpless. 

I've spend over half my life on the Georgia Coast, so it's easy for me to imagine what the devastation could be like.  In the 80's and 90's I lived in McIntosh County, GA, one of the most pristine areas on the SE Coast.  I got to know shrimpers and oystermen.  I explored the marshes and walked the deserted beaches of Black Beard and Sapelo.  I spent time fishing and casting for shrimp, and I learned to love the heavy smell of the marshes.  After moving to Tybee in the late 90's I learned to appreciate not only the coastal ecosystem but the dependency on tourism for residents' livelihoods.   This year many visitors to Tybee are coming here because of the disaster in the Gulf.  For business owners on Tybee

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Hands Across the Sand on Tybee Island

Help Us Build a Human Boom at Noon on June 26th

Drilling off the Southeast coast would imperil a $25 billionANNUAL economy for a lifetime total of $30 billion worth of oil

No private industry should be able to put an entire coastal and marine environment and economy at risk. This issue transcends politics-the only way we can achieve energy independence and protect our way of life is to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems.

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Featured non-profits

Surfrider Foundation and Eastern Surfing Association

Last weekend Savannah Green Source had the pleasure of working with the Surfrider Foundation Coastal Ga Low Country Chapter at International Surfing Day.  What a fun day!  We were able to share some of our wonderful friends with folks we met and gave away gift certificates to Thrive Café and Savannah Hydroponics & Organics. We also gave away a membership the Surfrider Foundation!  The best part was seeing the little kids participate in the "push and surf "contest.  These are the future caretakers of our coastal eco-system.

 The push and surf contest was sponsored by the Eastern Surfing Association Ga District, a wonderful family oriented organization that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle and (unofficially) serves as a feeder organization for the Surfrider Foundation.   

When I moved to Tybee in '97 a "middle aged" friend who had grown up on Tybee told me that surfing made him feel connected to the universe.  There aren't many surfers who don't care about the environment.  The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.  They have earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator (their highest rating).

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Hands Across the Sand: Don’t drill off Tybee Island

BY Ken Edelstein • June 14, 2010

The organizer of a June 26 "Hands Across the Sand" gathering on Tybee Island says BP's recent spill underscores how important it is to protect the Georgia coast from oil drilling.

I wrote Tybee resident Paul Wolff after his former state senator, Eric Johnson, who's now running for governor, announced last week that he still backs drilling off Georgia's coast.

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by Paul Wolff, Tybee City Council Member

Since announcing on Monday, April 26th that I'd gone solar, I've been deluged with questions, so I'm going to try to answer them all with one article and do follow-up reports on how my 5.52 kW Solar World (http://www.solarworld-usa.com/) photovoltaic array is functioning.  I've been researching this for years and decided to quit thinking about it and do it for several reasons: the 35% state tax credit (http://www.gefa.org/) is funded through 2012, but is limited to $2.5 million each calendar year

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Ovie Mughelli, Falcons fullback, is helping Tybee tackle green issues...

and spreading the word on greening up our lives through his foundation

See The Savannah Now article here about Ovie Mughelli's visit to Tybee and his desire to spread the word about green issues on Tybee and elsewhere.

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Thrive Cafe is Now a Certified Green Restaurant

Thrive A Carryout Cafe the First Certified Green Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah-GA-February 2010 - Thrive A Carryout Cafe, located on Whitemarsh Island, has become the first certified green restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.  Now certified by The Green Restaurant Association, Thrive strives to set an example for other restaurants to follow more green minded practices.  To become green certified Thrive Cafe was evaluated on the following: waste reduction and recycling, water efficiency, sustainable food, energy, disposables and chemical and pollution prevention.  Successfully passing the evaluation Thrive Cafe looks forward to continually adding and practicing more green minded practices each and everyday. 

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Global Climate Change: Is It Real?

By Patrick Prokop | Broadcast Meteorologist | WTOC TV in Savannah, GA

Pat has been Broadcast Meteorologist with WTOC TV in Savannah, GA since 1980.  Pat states in his article, "I feel it is my duty and responsibility to learn more about this subject and to share that information to the public, to those who wish to learn more about it and review the information through the mind of someone who is involved with it in their every day work." 

Pat is an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church in Savannah, an avid gardener and walks the walk when it comes to renewable energy.  He utilizes solar panels and solar hot water at his home in Savannah and has plans for future expansion of this system this year.


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SELC sues Navy to stop training near endangered whales

Suit filed on behalf of 12 conservation groups

The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12 conservation groups in order to halt a US Navy training range that could threaten endangered Right Whales. The whales migrate to the coast of GA and northern Florida each winter.  This area is their calving grounds. 

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Sustainable Surfing Rides the Waves

As I wrote in a New York Times article on Thursday, the $7.2 billion surf business has become the latest industry to ride the green wave. Call it sustainable surfing.

Surfers, of course, have always been in tune with their environment, and groups like the Surfrider Foundation take on those who would desecrate beach and wave break. Out of mind for most surfers, though, has been the rather toxic business of making surfboards and the tons of waste generated from broken boards, old wetsuits and other cast-offs from the nature-boy lifestyle.

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A Stimulus That Could Save Money

This time for home weatherization.

The one highly visible success of the stimulus program has been the cash-for-clunkers program. It induced a boom in vehicle sales this summer that clearly would not have happened otherwise.

The rest of the stimulus has created a lot of jobs - 700,000 to 1.5 million, according to economists' estimates. But it has done so in thousands of little ways: scattered construction projects, plugged-up school budgets and the like. Politically, these measures are not popular enough to create a groundswell for more of them.

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SCAD receives 2009 Sustainability Award from Fashion Group International

Sustainablity at SCAD

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Savannah College of Art and Design President Paula Wallace was presented with the Fashion Group International 2009 Sustainability Award on behalf of the university at FGI's star-studded 26th Annual Night of Stars Gala Thursday, Oct. 22, in New York City.

The Sustainability Award is in recognition of SCAD's position as a leader in sustainable practices, urban renewal and the adaptive reuse of historic properties. Vogue Editor-at-Large André Leon Talley, recipient of and namesake to SCAD's annual André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award, presented the Sustainability Award to Wallace.

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PureSpectrum Head To Speak at New York Financial Conference

PureSpectrum is an emerging company in the energy efficient lighting sector

PureSpectrum Head To Speak at New York Financial Conference
PureSpectrum, Inc. president and CEO Lee Vanatta will be a presenter at the Future of Energy Investing: Exploration, Production and Clean Technology Conference sponsored and hosted by the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) on November 4.

PureSpectrum is an emerging company in the energy efficient lighting sector, and Vanatta will discuss the potential long-term and short-term impact the company could have on the global lighting market through its approach to identifying, developing, branding and marketing energy efficient lighting products. The company's market research found that lack of dimming capability was a primary consumer complaint about Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs, and in 2009 PureSpectrum launched a 20-watt dimmable Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) that outperforms other brand name dimmable CFLs.

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The Environment Georgia Clean Water Report 2009-10-22

Executive Summary

Industrial facilities dumped over 10 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways throughout Georgia, according to a report released today by Environment Georgia: Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act. The Savannah River received more toxic pollution than any other river in Georgia and was the fourth most polluted river in the country.

"While over half of the rivers and lakes in Georgia are considered too polluted for safe fishing or swimming, our report shows that polluters continue to use our waterways as dumping grounds for their toxic chemicals-and the Savannah River was one of the hardest hit rivers in the country" said Jennette Gayer, Policy Advocate with Environment Georgia.

The Environment Georgia report documents and analyzes the dangerous levels of pollutants discharged in to America's waters by compiling toxic chemical releases reported to the U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory for 2007, the most recent data available.

Major findings of the report include:...

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The Market at Trustees Garden

Every Wednesday 4pm-7pm

The Market at Trustees Garden provides fertile ground for Savannah's weekly gathering of a growing community of producers and consumers of local, sustainable products. Every Wednesday year around from 4p - 7p. Cooking Demos, Organic Farmers, Local Arts & Crafts, Local and Organic Food from Savannah Restaurants, Live Music, Plants, Herbs, Kids Activities, Sustainable/Green Education and information!!

For more information contact:Market Director Maria Castro (912) 844-3184 castro@trusteesgarden.com or visit http://www.trusteesmarket.com/.

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Taking It Easy on the Earth Need Not Be Hard on the Wallet

By Nancy Trejos | Washington Post Staff Writer | Sunday, October 4, 2009

Going green has become a national priority, but for many Americans, especially those who have lost jobs or have credit card debt, cost can be a major deterrent.

In fact, 69 percent of consumers who had not gone green thought green products were too expensive, according to a survey by Grail Research.

Environmental experts acknowledge that some green products can be costly. Depending on the size of your house, installing a solar heating system can cost up to $100,000. A hybrid car can cost more than $20,000, and it can take a while to make up the savings from buying a cheaper, less-fuel-efficient vehicle. Sure, there are tax advantages -- most energy-efficient improvements to already-built homes qualify for a tax credit of 30 percent of the project cost, for instance ...

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Flu Concern's? Immunity Boosting Food Available at Thrive Cafe!

Savannah, GA - September, 21, 2009

We at Thrive Café would like to announce our new program of immunity boosters.  We've gathered a number of special dishes and ingredients that are renowned for strengthening the immune system, both to ward off flu and colds, as well as, improving overall health.  We feel the best defense is preventative measures.

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Going green is good for business

By: Lisa Lerer | September 16, 2009 05:02 AM EST

The major obstacle to a new, low-carbon economy isn't money, investors or technology, says Kevin Parker, a top executive at German investment firm Deutsche Bank.

It's Congress.

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Ga. gets more than $21 million for energy projects

Associated Press - September 15, 2009 4:04 AM ET


ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia will receive more than $21 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation activities.

Under the U.S. Department of Energy's Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, the state will use the federal money to implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.

The department announced more than $354 million in funding Monday for 22 states, including Alabama.

Georgia will use funds to work with utilities in assisting homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. Department officials say the projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain hundreds of jobs statewide.

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SCAD announces two new degree programs at IDSA

Design for sustainability (M.A.) and service design (B.F.A., M.F.A.)

Published: September 2, 2009

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Savannah College of Art and Design announces two exciting new majors at the Industrial Designers Society of America's national conference, Sept. 23-26, Booths 3 and 4, Loews Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139.

Design for sustainability (M.A.) and service design (B.F.A., M.F.A.), the first degree program of its kind to be offered in the United States, are just two of the diverse offerings in undergraduate and graduate studies in SCAD's School of Design.

"The U.S. is primarily a service-based economy that requires a new type of design graduate who understands technology, business thinking and consumer needs, paired with design thinking," says Tom Gattis, chair of the SCAD industrial design department. "SCAD is the first to graduate students who can impact a wide variety of business sectors with new tools and approaches to solving very complex problems."

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No kidding: State’s serious about recycling

Statewide campaign to promote recycling

He turned his recycling bin into a coffee table and doesn't recycle because his contribution would "just be a drop in the ocean."

Dude doesn't get it. But the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Office of Environmental Management hopes others will.

King is part of a statewide multimedia campaign launched today to educate the 25- to 34-year-old set.

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Georgia Water Conservation Implementation Plan

Just released May 27, 2009

Georgia EPD is proud to release the Georgia's Water Conservation Implementation Plan (WCIP). This document is a resource to guide Georgia's seven major water use sectors in an effort to help sustain the state's water resources and provide for a secure water supply in the future.

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Thomas & Hutton win waterSmart Landscape Challenge

A sustainable, water-efficient garden for Bryan Square.

The public has voted and named Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. the winner of the waterSmart Landscape Design Challenge and a $35,000 contract with the city of Savannah to install its garden design in Bryan Square.

Thomas & Hutton was among 13 landscape architects and designers from around Georgia that initially submitted designs for a sustainable, water-efficient garden for Bryan Square. A panel of judges including staff of the Chatham County Metropolitan Planning Commission, UGA Cooperative Extension, and the City of Savannah, as well as members of the Savannah Tree Foundation and Friends of Oatland Island narrowed the pool down to the three finalists. In order to maximize public awareness of the waterSmart program, the city of Savannah allowed the general public to vote online and select the final design.

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Kicking off the new interdisciplinary Program Design for Sustainability at SCAD

Rain-Showers for Tybee Island and more…

During the 2009 National Teach-in on Global Warming, an event facilitated by the Council on Sustainability at SCAD with speakers from the Cities and communities of Savannah and Tybee Island, SCAD faculty, staff, and students, Paul Wolff (Tybee Island Councilman) presented a -for many- surprising fact: Tybee Island will no longer be able to provide showers at the beaches. In fact, all showers have been taken down already, which many beach visitors are not very happy about.

The issue being a very necessary restriction, according to Councilman Wolff, the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) assigned water consumption from the Floridan Aquifer will have to drop from previously 960,000 gallons a day to now 916,000 gallons.  One of the places to cut down on the water consumption, of course, the beaches, which used up to 55,400 gallons a month!

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Perdue signs clean energy grants bill on Earth Day

Additional incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy

Gov. Sonny Perdue marked Earth Day by signing legislation Wednesday creating...

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Savannah 2009 Earth Day Festival

Saturday, April 18, at the south end of Forsyth Park

The Savannah 2009 Earth Day Festival will be held Saturday, April 18, at the south end of Forsyth Park, and the theme this year is a timely one: Be Green, Save Green

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Green energy gets state aid

Grants for solar, wind power: Overlooked bill uses stimulus funds to pay for up to 35 percent of project’s cost.

By Margaret Newkirk
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, April 16, 2009

In a legislative session dominated by fights over big-ticket items such as nuclear funding, lawmakers' efforts for other kinds of power didn't get much attention.

But lawmakers in fact gave a big boost to solar and wind energy projects before heading back to their districts.

They put a big pile of money on the table for both kinds of power, and made that money relatively easy to get.

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Green Tomato Concepts offers cooking classes using local and organic produce

Cooking Classes in Healthy Cuisine

Stick to your New Years' resolutions by learning how to make healthy and delicious meals at one of our cooking classes. Learn how to take Local and Organic produce and turn it into simple yet, splendid fare for you and your loved ones. Chef Robert Wood encourages questions and leaves plenty of room for notes on the recipes you receive. Typical classes usually last 2 ½ hours, and cover a wide variety of topics. Learning never tasted so good as you receive: tips on storage, suggestions for wine pairings, technique demonstrations, and insight from a chef among other things.  

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February 5 , 2009 - Tybee Radio GREEN TEAM - Episode One

Green Source USA, LLC Co-founder featured on Tybee Island Radio

February 5 , 2009 - Tybee Radio GREEN TEAM - Episode One
The Tybee Radio Green Team takes this first episode as an opportunity to discuss fundamental ways of reducing our carbon footprint. Some big steps. Some small steps. All of which are steps in the right direction.
Thanks to Libby, Paul and Andy for participating.

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Coastal Empire United Way Gets Another First

...as a Bronze Level Partner by the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia

2/5/2009 11:07:00 AM 
The Savannah Daily News

United Way of the Coastal Empire is the first United Way in Georgia to receive designation as a Bronze Level Partner by the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia (PSG).

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Tybee Island Conserves

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release

Tybee Island, GA - (February 4, 2009) Sitting as it is on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Tybee Island, Georgia's outermost barrier island, is likely to be strongly affected by changes in the environment, whether from the somewhat controversial global warming or the inexorable consumption of natural resources affecting us all. The highest point on Tybee, which only averages about 10 feet above mean sea level, is near 23 feet; many projections of a one meter rise in sea level over the next 100 years would still put much of Tybee under water as tides fluctuate as much as nine feet between high and low. The influx of the tourist season, which quadruples the population of the island in the summers, puts a tremendous load on the infrastructure, including waste hauling and recycling, water and sewer, and roads. The island's dependence on the Upper Floridan Aquifer will be quickly compromised if salt water intrusion damages this fresh water supply. The marshlands behind Tybee are a critical resource both as a nursery for birds and other wildlife and as a natural protective barrier for inland residents in the event of a severe hurricane. It is only natural then that the City of Tybee Island should be especially mindful of efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

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Savannahian to be the White House Farmer?

Vote For Daron Joffe (Farmer D) by midnight tonite (1/31)

Email alert from  

The United States has a White House chef . . . and now is the time for a White House Farmer.

PLEASE VOTE for Savannah's Daron Joffe (Farmer D). The Poll will close at Midnight on January 31.

Names of the top three vote-getters, plus all their information and comments, will be forward to an Obama staffer and we will keep you updated as to any developments.

Please vote for Daron Joffe for White House Farmer and spread the word FAST.

The DEADLINE to vote IS JAN. 31st at midnight. We are in the running, so
please send link to as many people as you can as fast as you can. THANKS!

Here is the link:

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Microbes Fuel Energy Debate

Microbes may well be the answer to our global energy crisis

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2009) - Microbes may well be the answer to our global energy crisis. By fermenting biomass to produce biofuels, they offer a possible climate-friendly solution to the anticipated shortfall in fossil fuel supply. A review by Professor Arnold Demain from Drew University in New Jersey, USA, on how microbes could be used to salvage the energy crisis has just been published online Springer's Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology.

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Scientists Agree Human-induced Global Warming Is Real, Survey Says

A new survey finds consensus among scientists

ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2009) - While the harsh winter pounding many areas of North America and Europe seemingly contradicts the fact that global warming continues unabated, a new survey finds consensus among scientists about the reality of climate change and its likely cause.

A group of 3,146 earth scientists surveyed around the world overwhelmingly agree that in the past 200-plus years, mean global temperatures have been rising, and that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures.

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Obama's Agenda


Today is inauguration day and a good time to check out Obama's energy and environmental agenda:

The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn't just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment -- it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. President Obama and Vice President Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

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A Move Toward Veggie Power Aloft

Aviation industry is searching for jet fuel alternatives

WASHINGTON - Burned by the cost of jet fuel, the aviation industry is trying everything from algae to camelina and jatropha as alternatives, but specialists say that some of the new fuels, which include coal, might simply trade one set of problems for another.

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Wave Energy Development On The Rise

the race to find alternative energy sources

In the race to find alternative energy sources, the ocean has become an attractive playing field. Portugal and Scotland have already begun to commercialize wave power and other countries (U.S. included) are catching up.

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Shore Protection and Tybee Surfing (sucks)

But not always!

This is a great short film by some Scad students..................

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BuildingGreen Announces 2008 Top-10

Green Building Products

BOSTON, MA, November 20, 2008-BuildingGreen, LLC, publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building NewsTM, today announced the 2008 Top-10 Green Building Products. This seventh annual award, announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild Conference in Boston, recognizes the most exciting products drawn from additions to the GreenSpec Directory and coverage in Environmental Building News.

"Our selections of the Top-10 Green Building Products represent a wide range of product types in many different application areas," noted BuildingGreen president Alex Wilson. There are a particularly large number of interior products in this year's group of winners: the first FSC-certified and formaldehyde-free bamboo flooring; doors made with wheat-straw particleboard; a line of zero-VOC paint; a transparent finish produced from a byproduct of cheese making; and a line of organic fabrics.

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Scrubbing out marine life

Finding harmful polymers in unexpected and unfortunate places

1 Dec 2008 | Teghan Beaudette

Most people consider themselves environmentally friendly, to the extent that conforming to this new trendy norm doesn't really interfere with their everyday conveniences. You might use cloth bags instead of plastic for grocery shopping and turn out the lights when you leave the room, both considerate things to do in consideration of the planet that suffers from our repeated abuses.

Most people are also blissfully unaware of how their early-morning and before-bed routines are seriously harming marine life - including sea turtles on the brink of extinction, birds and many fish species. But unlike most environmental issues, there is a fairly simple solution to a problem very few people are aware they are contributing to.

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Ancient visitors follow instincts to Georgia

The annual migration of northern right whales has begun

By Mark Davis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, December 07, 2008

She crossed the state line about two weeks ago, trailed by a newcomer, following ancient impulse. Thus did another spawning season for Eubalaena glacialis begin off the coasts of Georgia and Florida.

The annual migration of northern right whales has begun, and spotters say three calves already have been born in the shifting, green swells of the Atlantic Ocean. More births are sure to follow: The mammals have been migrating from northern waters to spawn for millenniums.

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Obama Wants to Fix Up Your House

Economic Recovery Plan Could Include $15 Billion, and Jobs, for Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

President-elect Barack Obama will make good on his campaign pledge to invest in jobs that improve the energy efficiency of the nation's homes, according to a New York Times story, based on a confidential interview with a top aide.

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Magic Mushrooms: Organic, Biodegradable Insulation

Organic, biodegradable insulation—made from mushrooms!

By Kelly Smith
Natural Home Magazine Nov-Dec '08

Two recent engineering graduates have created an organic, biodegradable insulation that's turning heads in the building industry. Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre's Greensulate is made from agricultural waste products-such as rice or buckwheat hulls-combined with mycelium, the fibrous network created by mushrooms. After the organic composite boards are "grown," they're dried and heat-treated in convection ovens. (This process requires little energy, but the company is developing solar ovens to offset the energy that is used.)

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Fossil-Free Motor Oil: Running Cars on Cows

G-Oil from Green Earth Technologies Hopes to Break Our Petroleum Addiction with Animal Byproducts

November 25, 2008 at 10:20AM by Jim Motavalli  

It may come as a surprise to learn that the meat industry contributes 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transportation sector. It's true, and you can find the details in a 2006 United Nations report entitled "Livestock's Long Shadow."

This is not only because cows emit methane, which is a global warming gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide, but because of all the land use changes, the production of animal feed, the shipment of all that meat around the world, and other factors.

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Debating the Green Building Premium

Building to “green” specifications costs less than you think.........

By Kate Galbraith
Building to "green" specifications costs less than you think, a new study reports. Above, the ultra-green design for the new San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building, a project that was put on hold earlier this year due to costs. (Image: KMD Architects)

Building green costs an average of 2.5 percent more up front, a study sponsored by the US Green Building Council and other real-estate and architectural groups has found.

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Blue Is the New Green

Some big ideas for water conservation

November 20, 2008, 10:00 pm
By Allison Arieff

For a couple of months there, it was sort of exciting to witness how dramatically higher oil prices were affecting human behavior. Ridership of public transit was up, homeowners were swapping exurban houses for urban condos, S.U.V. sales were down, people were walking. T. Boone Pickens threw cash at a wind farm.

But in more recent weeks, as oil prices dropped, I started hearing indications of backpedaling on all of the above. With gas back down in the $2 to $2.50 a gallon range, there was talk of this all being less urgent, something that could be addressed later. Pickens even scrapped plans for the wind farm!

This is such a strange notion: that an interim price drop somehow solves the larger issue of our dependence on oil. And it's something we see with another precious resource: water.

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Some facts about geothermal energy

by Colin Glover

During the 2008 elections, Americans have become locked in a debate over the best way to reach energy independence while minimizing our impact on the planet. This discussion quickly turned into a national security issue over the summer, as volatile energy markets and economic recession produced catch phrases such as "drill baby drill" and "Picken's Plan". While the merits and costs of alternative energy sources like wind and natural gas are debatable, there has been an absence of discussion over geothermal energy. So, what is geothermal energy and how does someone go about getting some?

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Loggerheads set record for nesting in Georgia

Loggerhead sea turtles are holding on in Georgia

By Mark Davis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Loggerhead sea turtles are holding on in Georgia, despite storms and development. The state Department of Natural Resources, which monitors the turtles' presence along the coast, said the recently ended nesting season set a record for Caretta caretta.


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United Way Begins Recycling Program!

Local non-profit recycles thanks to volunteer citizen's efforts

Hands On Savannah is a direct service of the United Way of the Coastal Empire and is excited to report that our United Way has been accepted into the Partnership  for a Sustainable Georgia at the Bronze level in the Sustainable Office Toolkit Track Program. 

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Georgia's Fragile Coast:

Will Building Green Pay Off?

Developers begin to realize, and UGA researchers confirm, that business savvy and environmental good sense are often in sync.

By David Bryant

The roads at Barbour Pointe-a marsh-side Savannah development of 36 homesites-are literally paved with good intentions, brick pavers laid down in a pattern that allows water to seep through and move into the soil in a benign and natural way. With similar intent, Barbour Pointe developers Gregg Bayard and Curry Wadsworth have clustered homesites to create an extensive common area, preserved as much natural vegetation as possible, installed geothermal loops for heating and cooling, created low-impact access for canoes and kayaks into an adjacent marsh creek, and provided other environment-friendly features as well.

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Turning FDR's Depression-era Corps Green for the 21st Century

An Interview with Eco-Pioneer Van Jones

Van Jones talks in perfectly shaped sound bites, which is great when you're having him as a guest on your radio show.

The author of the new book The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (HarperOne) alighted on my WPKN-FM show between engagements with Tavis Smiley, Fox News, CNN and the Colbert Report, and he sprayed bullet-point ideas like clips from an AK-47.

Jones, whose book made it onto the New York Times bestseller list through a well-coordinated media campaign, thinks the Obama administration should hit the ground running with Green New Deal programs that will achieve the three-in-one of combating global warming, jump-starting renewable energy and getting us out of the recession.

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U.S. correct to protect right whales

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution supports protection of Right Whales in shipping lanes

By Mike King

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Behemoth right whales are starting to congregate along the Georgia-Florida coast this time of year to give birth, but there are so few of them left -- about 350 or so, scientists estimate -- that whale watchers can call many by name.

Protected since 1935 from being hunted, these giant mammals nevertheless face a perilous journey. Commercial vessels going in and out of harbors on the Eastern seaboard strike and kill at least two or three a year. A similar number are thought to be killed every year without being discovered.

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The Climate for Change


Op-Ed Contributor
The Climate for Change
Published: November 9, 2008

The inspiring and transformative choice by the American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president lays the foundation for another fateful choice that he -- and we -- must make this January to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis.

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How Green Is Your Cuisine?

Test your green cooking skills

This is a fun quiz brought to us by the Sierra Club. 

Want to green your cooking, but don't want to shell out for a cucumber-colored Cuisinart? An eco-friendly kitchen is about more than your appliances and counters -- it's about serving food that's easy on the belly and the planet.

Sample question: Your guests want their martinis shaken, not stirred. You'll fill the shaker with ice cubes from (a) a tray in your freezer, (b) the icemaker built into the refrigerator door, so you don't have to open the freezer. That's one of the easy ones.

Test your green-cooking skills here.

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Energy efficiency drives home building

Builders entice buyers with healthier more energy efficient homes

By Bob Keefe

Cox Washington Bureau

Sunday, November 09, 2008

First came the push for fuel-efficient cars. Are fuel-efficient houses next?

As builders look for ways to move homes in a lousy market, they're increasingly taking their cue from automakers and turning toward energy efficiency as a selling tool.

In Atlanta, builders are pushing what the head of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association calls "high-performance homes" that sip water and electricity like a Toyota Prius might sip gas.

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Specialty garage makes hybrids even greener

Clean cars

November 5, 2008 San Francisco Journal By FELICITY BARRINGER

SAN FRANCISCO - The fig tree and the philodendron are the first things that meet the eye in the repair bay of Luscious Garage. Then the two Toyota Priuses come into focus - one with a slightly dented rear door, the other on a lift with two tires off and rusty brake rotors exposed. Then comes the eerie sense that something is missing: grime.

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Long May You Run: Neil Young’s Eco-Lincoln

Electric Cars

October 30, 2008


NEIL YOUNG wants fuel-efficient cars, and as a politically active rock star, he wants everyone else to have them, too. But Mr. Young is not ready to give up his love of big cars, and he doesn't think many other drivers are, either.

So Mr. Young, the iconoclastic godfather of grunge, has assembled a team to turn a nearly 20-foot-long, 5,000-pound 1959 Lincoln Continental into a vehicle that will run on natural gas, electricity or some other form of clean energy. His aim is to win the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, a $10 million challenge to develop a vehicle that can get 100 miles per gallon or better by 2009.

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Cane sorghum latest prospect for creating ethanol or biodeisel

Ethanol / biofuel production in Georgia

Friday, Oct 31, 2008 Posted on Thu, Oct. 30, 2008

By S. Heather Duncan

What was once drizzled on hot biscuits could now power cars if several Middle Georgia companies make headway turning cane sorghum into a biofuel.

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How to green your Halloween

The economy may have gone to pot and the country's future leadership may be wildly unclear, but there's one thing we can count on: Halloween. Yes, October 31 is a holiday of certainty, full of ringing doorbells, sweet treats, and tiny ghosts and witches (or, more likely, Kung Fu Pandas and Hannah Montanas). But All Hallow's Eve has a spooky flip side, laced with refined sugar, vinyl costumes, and other horrors that can give you the eco-shivers. If you want a greener fright night, here's how to start.

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TCCa Innovation awards

Local innovators receive awards

The Creative Coast Alliance Innovation Awards were held Friday at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum.

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6 Ways to Save More than $12,000 on Your 2009 Taxes

The new renewable energy and energy efficient incentives for individuals

By Dan Shapley

Updated: 10/20/2008 2:26:17 PM

It's been widely noted that the passage of the financial bailout bill included $150 billion in additional "sweeteners" to gain passage in the House of Representatives. It's true that only in Washington could the solution to an overly expensive bill be an even more expensive bill, but it's also true that one of the provisions - energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits - was among the important sweeteners to win passage.

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The Cost of Comfort

Is it time for an energy audit?


Ten years ago, would you have known how much a barrel of oil cost? Today, with the price of gasoline fluctuating from hour to hour, we have all become much more aware of the cost of oil.

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What does green mean?

A few suggestions to green your life

 by Libby Bacon

It's easy to jump on the green bandwagon, but this is not something new and trendy that will make us cool today. Being green is a way of life that many of our mothers...

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