Articles from the BSC Library Sustainable News Articles

  • Largest Number Of Entries At Lulu eGames Startup Competition

    March 26, 2017

    The Lulu eGames is the biggest startup competition within NC State. Awarding over $100,000 in prizes, this year's eGames competition had a record number of entries.

  • NC State Net Impact Chapter hosts Food Waste and Hunger Forum

    March 30, 2016

    The NC State Net Impact convened the Food Waste and Hunger Forum at the Talley Student Union. The event brought together panelists who are working on initiatives to eliminate food waste, and audience participants who are interested in solving food waste and hunger.

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham schools can save millions by going solar

    February 3, 2016

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Durham school districts can meet electricity needs, save millions by going 100 percent solar. In a press release published today, February 3, 2016, two reports by the North… Read More

  • ALDI plans rooftop solar on 10 NC stores

    August 12, 2015

    Target isn't the only bog box retailer investing in North Carolina's clean energy future. 

  • Record number of turtle nests found at Cape Hatteras

    August 6, 2015

    Photo: US Geological Survey/creative commons The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a prime nesting spot for both loggerhead and green sea turtles, threatened species that only return to the shore after years at sea to lay their eggs. That's why conservationists are celebrating news that a record number of turtle nests have been found this season, as reported by WRAL: The Virginian-Pilot reports that 269 nests have so far been spotted, 15 more than a record set two years ago for that stretch of the Outer Banks. All but nine of the federal seashore's nests belong to loggerheads, a threatened… Read More

  • UNC study: millenials drive less than the rest of us

    July 27, 2015

    Photo: Companies like Durham-based Organic Transit may benefit from a generation that isn't too interested in cars.  From the development of a Chapel Hill-Durham light rail route to the economic boost provided by new bike infrastructure, there are plenty of signs that North Carolina—and the Triangle region in particular—is beginning to think about mobility outside of the car-centric business-as-usual paradigm. That might be a very good thing for our economy, if demographic trends are to be believed.  Researchers at UNC recently compared the driving habits of Millenials—meaning those who were beween 19 and 30 in 2009—to those of "Gen Xers"—meaning those… Read More

  • NC to get region’s first large-scale wind power

    July 13, 2015

    Photo: Iberdrola Renewables/promotional image When Target announced last week it was putting solar on eight NC stores (Charlotte Business Journal reports this figure may actually be 25 to 30 stores), and figures showed that natural gas beat out coal for the first time ever in NC, we suggested that North Carolina's energy landscape was changing fast. This week brings more evidence of this fact, with news outlets across the country reporting that construction will begin on a $600 million wind power installation near Elizabeth City. Not only will it be the state's first utility-scale wind power plant, but actually the region's first.… Read More

  • Target installing solar on eight NC stores

    July 10, 2015

    The big box retailer is investing heavily in renewables, including 8 large rooftop installations here in North Carolina. 

  • Natural gas beats coal in NC electricity mix for first time ever

    July 8, 2015

    Photo: Will Thomas/creative commons Figures just released by the federal government suggest that natural gas beat out coal in April as the primary fuel source for electricity for the first time ever in the United States. And that's not just happening on a national scale. Charlotte Business Journal reports that this trend also holds true for the North Carolina energy mix:  In April, North Carolina produced 2,629 megawatt-hours of electricity from natural gas, or 32.1% of all the megawatt-hours generated in the state that month. Coal-fired power accounted for 1,769 megawatt-hours of electricity, or 21.6 percent of the power produced… Read More

  • Biobased economy created 4 million jobs, says USDA study from NC State & Duke

    July 1, 2015

    4 million jobs, and $369 billion, that's how much the BioBased economy contributed to the US economy in 2013 alone.  

  • Chopped produce initiative brings greens from farm to school

    June 22, 2015

    Collards and cabbages from farms in Warren County are finding their way back into nearby school cafeterias, thanks to Working Landscape’s Chopped Produce Initiative. The initiative purchases greens from three local farmers, chops them in their certified processing facility and delivers them to customers’ cafeterias.

  • 2050: 100% renewables possible in NC (and every other state)

    June 10, 2015

    Photo: The Solutions Project/creative commons When Apple, Google and Facebook warned NC legislators against freezing renewables targets, they hinted very strongly that the state's growing prowess in renewable energy was a key factor in their investments here. Yet, whenever discussion about renewable energy comes up, many detractors still cite economic cost and technical challenges as a major reason to stick with the status quo. A new study led by Stanford civil and environmental engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson, and published in Energy and Environmental Sciences, suggests that a 100% renewable energy future is not just possible for North Carolina, but… Read More

  • Apple, Google, Facebook warn against NC renewable energy freeze

    May 29, 2015

    Image credit: Apple North Carolina has been enjoying a solar boom of late, not least because tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook have chosen to locate some of their huge, energy-hungry server farms here and to power them using solar energy and other clean technology. Now, as reported by Greentech Media, the three tech giants are flexing their political muscle in support of renewable energy, signing on to a letter in support of maintaining the state's current renewable energy targets. The move comes in response to a North Carolina Senate panel rushing through legislation that would freeze the amount… Read More

  • NC universities consider biological water treatment facility

    May 28, 2015

    Emory University's new WaterHub. Photo courtesy of Sustainable Water. Representatives from North Carolina State University, Duke and University of Chapel Hill were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Emory Universities’ WaterHub. The WaterHub uses a variety of biological organisms to clean waste water and reduce the university’s draw on Atlanta’s water supply.  The treated waste water is sent to chiller facilities, and is used for flushing toilets. The facility will treat 40% of the water that Emory uses, saving 146 million gallons annually and drastically cutting its municipal water bill. Emory’s system is the first of its kind… Read More

  • Raleigh recognized as four STAR community

    May 21, 2015

    In April, Raleigh became the first community in North Carolina to achieve certification through the national STAR Community Rating System. The rating system uses city data to measure participants sustainability efforts, as well as economic, social and cultural goals. Raleigh received four out of five possible stars, thanks to its commitment to sustainability, its strong local economy and its thriving art scene. From the city of Raleigh’s press release: “The City of Raleigh has a long commitment to sustainability with a focus not only on environmental stewardship but also on economic strength and social equity,” said Mayor McFarlane. “The 4-STAR… Read More

  • Waste to Green recognized for environmental impact

    May 11, 2015

    Waste to Green, a minority and woman-owned electronics recycling company, made the “B Corp Best for the Environment” list for the second year in a row. The Henderson-based company is on a mission to divert as much electronic waste from landfills as possible. Waste to Green works with individuals and companies to make sure electronic waste is recycled to its highest possible use, and that all data is entirely destroyed. Currently, much of the electronic waste that the developed world generates gets shipped to developing countries, where it often piles up in slums, leaching toxic chemicals into the environment. Co-founder… Read More

  • Will NC lawmakers set a higher standard for business?

    May 6, 2015

    Image Credit:  You Tube / Screen Grab State lawmakers have introduced a bill to recognize benefit corporations as a separate category of corporate structure, providing legal recognition for companies with socially responsible missions that extend beyond profit. Proposed House Bill 534, the North Carolina Benefit Act, would establish a legal status for busineses that include one or more declarations of public benefits in their laws of incorporation. Similar laws have been passed in 29 states. The benefit corporation status shares similar goals but is not to be confused with B Corp certification, a third-party audit that measures a company's social,… Read More

  • Water scarcity breeds innovation

    April 29, 2015

    Nathan Kaufman of Viridis Aquaponic Growers explains how their system uses 95% less water than conventional growing methods. Photo credit: Jacob Levin Part one of this article explains why competition over water is becoming fierce in North Carolina. The following article looks at some of the innovative techniques that people living in water scarce regions are developing to make the best possible use of this precious, life-giving resource. Although a severe drought may seem like a plague, scarcity leads to incredible innovation. Out west and in water-scarce regions around the world, humans are developing ways of farming and living that… Read More

  • What does the California drought mean for NC?

    April 29, 2015

    Raleigh's primary water supply, Falls Lake, lost 70% of its volume during the 2007 drought. Photo Credit: LearnNC The western United States are parched. California is now in the fourth year of a severe drought. The Sierra Nevada mountains have less than a tenth of the snow they usually have at this time. In normal years, this snowpack provides a third of the water that California uses during summer and fall. For the first time in the state’s history, Governor Jerry Brown has ordered a mandatory 25 percent statewide reduction in urban water use. Farmers and rural residents have already seen… Read More

  • North Carolina Sustainability Center passes the torch to Poole College‚Äôs Sustainability Initiative

    April 21, 2015

    The North Carolina Sustainability Center (NCSC) on April 21 officially transferred its role as an online sustainability community to the Sustainability Initiative at the NC State University Poole College of… Read More

  • NCEast Alliance celebrates sustainabile manufacturing practices

    April 15, 2015

    Bridgestone's Wilson tire manufacturing facility has not sent waste to the landfill since 2013. Photo credit: Bridgestone On March 26, NCEast Alliance hosted the “Sustainability in Manufacturing” conference in Wilson, N.C. The conference brought together representatives from three manufacturing companies with plants in eastern NC to discuss sustainability initiatives and share best practices. Michael Darr, plant manager of Bridgestone’s Wilson tire manufacturing facility, was on hand to talk about how the plant managed to eliminate landfill waste and use energy more sustainably. From Bridgestone’s press release: “During the panel discussion, Darr shared the sustainability journey of the Wilson passenger and… Read More

  • Researchers release strategic plan for North Carolina wine and grape industry

    April 6, 2015

      Roanoke Island's Mother Vine is one of the oldest in the state. Photo credit: NC Culture Grape vines have been an important part of North Carolina’s coastal plains and foothills since long before European colonists arrived and started planting vineyards. At the start of the 20th century, North Carolina was the leading wine-producing region in the nation, until prohibition destroyed the industry. Since the start of the 21st century, North Carolina’s wine and grape industry has seen explosive growth, with the number of wineries more than quadrupling in the last fifteen years. With funding from the North Carolina Wine… Read More

  • Bringing It Home conference looks to strengthen NC’s local economies

    March 31, 2015

    Photo credit: Bringing It Home On March 18th, close to two hundred people gathered at Asheville-Bumcombe Technical Community College to discuss strategies for strengthening local economies. The inaugural Bringing It Home conference brought together new economic pioneers from across North Carolina to share promising initiatives and models that are helping keep money circulating locally. Note: The following reports on specific panels are drawn from Mountain Xpress’s excellent write up of the conference—please take a look at the full article for a deeper overview of everything that was discussed. Some of the panels looked at particular sectors of the economy, like food,… Read More

  • How will fiber broadband impact sustainability?

    March 19, 2015

    Fiber Optic Spools. Photo credit: woodleywonderworks North Carolina is well on its way to having some of the fastest and cheapest broadband in the whole country. With private companies, municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives all investing in fiber, people across the state will soon enjoy significantly faster speeds at a much lower cost. These new networks have the potential to move our state towards a more sustainable future. They can change how work gets done, and reduce the need to travel or own a car. Abundant bandwidth creates new opportunities to develop sensors to track and communicate environmental indicators, like… Read More

  • Clean energy creates jobs in NC

    March 16, 2015

    Anticipated Job Growth in 2015. Photo credit: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association The NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) completed its seventh annual North Carolina Clean Energy Industry Census for 2014. This years’ report shows steady growth in the clean energy sector, outpacing the growth of any other sectors of the economy.  From the NCSEA press release: “According to the 2014 Census, North Carolina has experienced approximately 15 percent annual increase in revenues generated by clean energy activities since 2012, reaching $4.8 billion in gross revenues in 2014, up $1.2 billion from 2013. The Census also reports significant job growth in… Read More

  • NC BREATHE forum focuses on clean air

    March 12, 2015

    Photo: Creative Commons NC BREATHE, a free one-day event focused on clean air quality across the state, will be held in Raleigh on March 26. The conference will provide a forum for researchers, advocates, and policymakers to examine the intersection of environment, health, and air quality, and to discuss how improved policies can benefit the health and economy of state residents. Featured speakers include Michelle Bell of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Drew Shindell of Duke’s Nicholas School for the Environment, and a range of other leading healthcare and environmental professionals. The conference is sponsored by Clean Air… Read More

  • NC GreenPower tests new focus on solar for schools & community

    March 4, 2015

    Photo Credit: Alex Snyder / Creative Commons NC GreenPower has announced two new pilot projects that signal a shift in the organization's focus. After more than a decade of helping to boost the state's voluntary renewable energy portfolio through production-based incentives, the group is transitioning its direction toward school solar installations and other community impact projects more likely to galvanize contributor support. A Changing Landscape for Renewable Energy Launched in 2003, NC GreenPower is a Raleigh-based non-profit that has supported nearly 1,000 projects across the state, with emphasis on residential solar PV. The first initiative of its kind in the… Read More

  • Is the Piedmont ready for rabbit?

    March 1, 2015

    Pastured rabbits at Polyface Farm in Virginia. Photo credit: Jessica Reeder Rabbit is a popular menu items at many local food restaurants in the Piedmont, but a lack of local certified processing facilities prevents farmers from meeting the demand locally. Rabbit raisers, like Mary DeMare and Dan Shields of Fatty Owl Farm, can sell their farm-processed meat directly to customers, but not to anyone who will re-sell it, like restaurants, catering companies or food trucks. Chefs wanting to include North Carolina rabbit on their menu must purchase it from a North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA) certified processing facility in… Read More

  • Concord-based Alevo leads largest US energy storage deployment

    February 25, 2015

    Alevo / Screen grab Last fall we reported on Alevo's plans for a new battery plant in Concord, NC, that could bring thousands of jobs to the state. Now, the company has announced it is teaming up with energy services provider Customized Energy Solutions (CES) in the largest ever energy storage deployment in the country. Using Alevo's “Gridbank” technology, the two companies will coordinate to provide 200 megawatts of energy storage capacity across CES's operational network, which spans across more than 350 major companies in the U.S. and Canada. Gridbank is a frequency regulation technology that can facilitate the stable… Read More

  • Could carbon farming help reverse climate change?

    February 18, 2015

    New technologies like the roller crimper help farmers grow crops without releasing the carbon from their soils. Photo credit: SARE Outreach This is the second part of an article about the Climate Adaptation Conference. The previous article can be found here. Although agriculture is currently a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, some farms do the exact opposite, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and sinking it into soils. If these carbon sequestering techniques spread to agricultural lands all across the globe, we could offset a huge portion of our yearly emissions and eventually bring the amount of carbon dioxide… Read More

  • Farmers prepare for changing climate

    February 18, 2015

    Orchardist Guy Ames shared a story of not being prepared for a drought and having to use every container he had to haul water to his trees. The next year he invested in a farm cistern. Photo credit: Ames Orchard and Nursery Farmers, researchers and activists gathered in Pittsboro recently to discuss what climate change will mean for North Carolina’s agricultural producers. Abundance NC has hosted the Climate Adaptation Conference annually since 2013 in order to help farmers learn what types of climactic shifts they can expect, share practices that increase resiliency and connect to available resources. This year, Peter… Read More

  • Funds available for longleaf pine restoration

    February 16, 2015

    Bill Owen has completed several controlled burns on his longleaf pine stands through a burn contract with NRCS. Photo credit: US Department of Agriculture The USDA Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers funds to farmers, ranchers and forest owners who want help covering the cost of adopting or maintaining conservation practices on their land. Landowners who apply by February 27 will be eligible for the $100 million that the USDA has allocated to the CSP this year. For the first time this year, a portion of the CSP funds will be dedicated to specific conservation goals, including recovering longleaf pine ecosystems.… Read More

  • America’s leading producer of brewers yeast coming to Asheville

    February 10, 2015

    Photo: White Labs North Carolina brewers make some of the best beer in the country, but they can’t take all the credit. At the heart of every great tasting brew is a specialty yeast culture. Until now, most Carolina brewers had to rely on yeasts produced in California or Washington state, but that is about to change. In January, White Labs, America’s leading producer of brewers yeast, announced it will open a branch in Asheville, solidifying Asheville’s place as the craft brewing capital of the east coast. White Labs is a worldwide leader in fermentation sciences for brewers and winemakers.… Read More

  • I40 PEDESTRIAN/BIKE BRIDGE GOOD FOR HEALTH AND BUSINESS

    February 4, 2015

    Image removed due to copyright issues.  Last year, construction of the I-40 bike and pedestrian bridge was completed, joining the northern and southern sections of The American Tobacco Trail. Now bikers can travel the full twenty one miles from downtown Durham to Apex without having to bike on roads with cars. NC State’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education recently completed a study measuring the effects the trail completion has had on how the trail is used. Researchers found that completing the I-40 bridge contributed to a 133% increase in trail use. Many people used the trail to get to… Read More

  • UNC TO HOST CLEAN TECH SUMMIT

    January 26, 2015

    Institute for the Environment Director Larry Band. Photo credit: University of North Carolina Energy business professionals, policymakers, local leaders, and academics from across the state will gather in Chapel Hill for the second annual NC Clean Tech Summit, February 19 and 20 at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. The event, hosted by UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment and Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise, will feature panels on innovations and emerging technologies, and will provide a forum to discuss challenges and trends in the industry. Retired four-star general and former presidential candidate Wesley K. Clark… Read More

  • DUKE ENERGY TO INSTALL 80-ACRE SOLAR FARM AT CAMP LEJEUNE

    January 25, 2015

    Photo credit: Creative Commons Duke Energy has plans to build an 80-acre solar farm at Camp Lejeune in Oslow County in eastern North Carolina. Estimated to cost $25 million to $30 million, the 13-megawatt facility will provide power to as many as 3,000 homes. The project, a partnership of Duke Energy Progress, the U.S. Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps, is still pending approval from the NC Utilities Commission but is expected to go online in 2015. Robert Griffin, Executive Director of the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office, is quoted in a recent press release: "Secretary of the… Read More

  • ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE MAKES IT EASY TO INVEST IN SOLAR & ENERGY EFFICIENCY

    January 21, 2015

    Seventy-five years ago, people living along the Roanoke River in northeastern North Carolina came together to bring electricity into their homes and businesses. Since its formation in 1938, Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) has steadily grown, now serving more than 14,500 members in Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans and Chowan counties. REC is committed to making sure its members enjoy reliable, affordable energy and a high quality of life. However, the region is largely dependent on agriculture, and has struggled economically since the 1980’s, when small farm revenue began to shrink. The cooperative has created a variety of innovative programs… Read More

  • SEWAGE SPILL RUINS ENO RIVER ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS

    January 20, 2015

    Photo Credit: Jonathan Drake Raw sewage flooded the offices of the Eno River Association last week, when a failed Durham city sewer main backed up, causing major damages that may total as much as $100,000. The oldest land trust organization in North Carolina, the Eno River Association is an environmental nonprofit that has been instrumental in acquiring parkland and promoting conservation since the 1960s. Now the group faces a daunting recovery effort. Staff arrived to work on Monday, January 12, to find sewage spilling out of the office’s four toilets and flowing throughout the building and HVAC system, in some… Read More

  • NC BRINGS HOME NINE GOOD FOOD AWARDS

    January 14, 2015

    Photo: Good Food Awards Eight North Carolinian food producers received national recognition for their outstanding products at the 2015 Good Food Awards. The Good Food Awards take place at the beginning of each year to honor those producers making food that is simultaneously delicious and socially and ecologically responsible. Out of 1,462 entrants, 14 different North Carolina products made it into the final round and nine were awarded the top honor. Hillsborough-based Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves managed to snag two separate awards, one for their Sweet Corn & Pepper Relish and one for their Strawberry-Honeysuckle Jam. Two Chicks Farm,… Read More

  • NC REGULATORS LEAVE SOLAR RULES INTACT

    January 5, 2015

    From Strata Solar celebrating $1bn invested in NC projects to Duke Energy spending big on utility-scale solar, solar power—and in particular large-scale solar power—was on a roll in 2014. Developers had been concerned, however, that the North Carolina Utilities Commission might make changes to regulations governing how solar power producers are compensated by utilities. Among the items under review was a proposal from utilities to reduce the terms of a standard Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) from 15 years to 10 years, and to change the size of qualifying projects from 5MW to just 100 kilowatts. Both of these proposed (along with… Read More

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