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Villa Heights Has Clean Up For Cordelia Park

June 16th, 2011 | No Comments

Wednesday June 15th, 2011
Two area clean-ups scheduled for this Saturday, June 18

Villa Heights Community Organization will hold a clean-up for Cordelia park on Saturday, beginning at 10am. Everyone is encouraged to attend and this is a great event for kids, so bring them along! Activities will include walking through the park and picking up trash, weeding the butterfly garden, touching up handrail paint, and painting over graffitti if necessary. VHCO has adopted Cordelia Park so it is important that we show the County that we love the park by coming out to volunteer our time.

If you are eager to get started early on Saturday, stop by the Matheson Bridge overpass at North Davidson Street to help out NoDa neighborhood with their clean-up before you head over to Cordelia Park. This clean-up will begin at 9am. NoDa artist Will Puckett is painting a mural on the columns and underside of the bridge and this clean-up is designed to help clear out all the brush and debris around the area to allow the artwork to shine.

Thank you for helping keep our neighborhood clean and beautiful!

Villa Heights website:http://www.villaheightscommunity.org/stories/145

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Charlotte Neighborhoods Going Green

September 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Thursday, September 09, 2010
How some Charlotte neighborhoods are going green

Seven Charlotte neighborhoods, ranging from a high-rise uptown condos to a suburban subdivision, have been selected to receive $80,000 in grants as part of the city’s Neighborhood Energy Challenge Grant program. That program is one of 17 projects to be paid with a $6.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant the City of Charlotte won from the U.S. Department of Energy. The idea is to approach energy conservation efforts at a neighborhood level.

The neighborhoods are: The Avenue condos (210 N. Church St. uptown), the “EcoDistrict” (Villa Heights, Belmont, Optimist Park neighborhoods), Merry Oaks in east Charlotte, the NoDa neighborhood just northeast of uptown, Plaza-Midwood just east of uptown, Wilmore south of uptown and Spring Park in northeast Charlotte.

Daria K. Milburn, community energy conservation coordinator in the city’s Neighborhood & Business Services department, says projects include bike rack installations, neighborhood light-bulb and shower-head swaps (where you turn in your old ones and get new ones that save electricity or water), promoting alternative transportation such as transit and bicycling. Spring Park is going to try to integrate solar power into street lighting. The Avenue will use different lighting in its parking garage to cut its electricity usage by about half. All their applications included education/awareness campaigns, she said.

Want to read more? Here’s the memo on the project that went out to City Council members.

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TIPS FOR IMPROVING INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN YOUR HOME

March 13th, 2010 | No Comments

You wouldn’t eat trash. I don’t know you personally, but I am pretty sure that you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t rub garbage juice on your skin or bathe in it. So why would you breathe garbage?

Air quality is just as important as water and food quality. Air quality often goes unnoticed, however, because air is invisible. We need to take breathing as seriously as we do eating and exercising. We obsess over the solids and the liquids that go into our bodies. Now it is time to do the same for the gases.

Check out these tips:

  1. Don’t allow smoking in your house. If you smoke, you should quit. It’s unhealthy. That’s an easy tip. I’ll give you more.
  2. Change the filter on your furnace or air conditioner every three months. Use a high-efficiency filter to keep out a third more pollutants.
  3. Get rid of your particle-board furniture. Particle board and other pressed woods often contain formaldehyde. That’s a known carcinogen, Bub. Get rid of it.
  4. Keep your home dry. Do you have a leaky faucet? A basement with water stains all over the floor? Dry that place out. Mold and mildew can be some of the most damaging things in your home’s air.
  5. Carpets can be horrible for air quality. There are some new kinds of carpet that reduce these problems, but for the most part, carpets collect dust and dander. Vacuum your carpets regularly.
  6. Ditch the air fresheners. They may cover embarrassing bathroom smells, but they do a number on your air quality.
  7. Use environmentally friendly cleansers. Those harsh, abrasive chemically potent cleansers aren’t just tough on stains. They are tough on your lungs.
  8. Avoid moth balls. I’ve never had moth problems, but if I did, I sure as sugar wouldn’t put balls of poison near my clothes.
  9. Keep your house clean. You air quality can be increased by leaps and bounds by simply keeping the joint tidy.
  10. Test for radon, asbestos, lead and other horrors that might be lurking in your home. These are the most poisonous and potentially the most harmful things found in your air.
  11. By Josh Peterson
    Fayetteville, AR, USA

Make it a healthy home. Going green isn’t just about saving money; it’s also about preserving the earth and our lives.

Getting Ready for Cash for Caulkers

January 8th, 2010 | 2 Comments

How to get ready for Cash for Caulkers

By Lori Bongiorno

Posted Tue Jan 5, 2010 1:52pm PST

       
(Photo: Getty Images)

Details for the U.S. government’s Cash for Caulkers program aren’t available yet, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how to cash in on the proposed stimulus program. “Homeowners that educate themselves will be the first ones to take advantage of the program,” says Lane Burt, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He recommends that you get educated about your home now so you’ll know what kinds of changes you’d like to make when the money becomes available. This is good point when you remember that Cash for Clunkers ran out of cash in the end. “Understand what you want to do so that you’re not the one left in line when the program runs out of money,” says Burt.

While the details are still being hammered out, there are potentially two ways to have the government help with the costs of making your home more energy efficient:

One idea is that an accredited buildings professional would come in to conduct an energy audit to determine where energy efficiency improvements can be made, help you decide on a plan of action, and then execute that plan. The expectation is that homeowners could get back 50 percent of what they spend up to a maximum rebate of $12,000.

The other way to get government money is to buy an energy-efficient furnace, windows, or other component. There are federal rebates already available and several states also offer rebates for purchasing energy-efficient appliances and more.   

If you decide to make changes yourself and get a rebate on an individual purchase, then know that which order to make home improvements in is important. You’ll want to seal leaks and tighten your building’s shell so the air you pay to warm or cool doesn’t leak out before you buy a new furnace, for example. 

While we’re all waiting for the proposal to get passed, Burt suggests thinking what your home needs. Figure out where you are wasting energy. Take a look at your energy bill and compare it to others in the area. Start looking for leaks. Look at ducts and make sure they are all connected.  

Do the things that you can do yourself and that don’t cost much money. Some suggestions: 

Install a programmable thermostat.

These are all baseline changes that should be made before you embark on more extensive changes so that you can maximize energy and money savings.  

Also, think about whether you want to hire a contractor and go for the whole-house approach or if you’d like to pick one project to focus on.  

Experts say that you’ll most likely need to hire a professional contractor to get the most financial support from the government. If you hire a contractor, that person will tell you exactly where you can save money and in which order you should make changes so that you can maximize savings.
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Cash for Caulkers

December 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment

greenhome2-300x225‘Cash for Caulkers’: The Details

At a meeting of President Obama’s board of outside economic advisers two weeks ago, the venture capitalist John Doerr said the following:

In the very near term, the way we can generate the most jobs, we believe, is through home retrofits…. The way I like to put it is, Cash for Clunkers mobilized all of America’s car dealerships and caused change very rapidly. Well, the equivalent of that for home retrofits would be “Cash for Caulkers,” and what we would do is engage private enterprise, the likes of a Lowe’s or a Home Depot, these organizations that have tens of millions of people a week coming into their storefronts, and use that private capital to incentivize consumers to then work with our out-of-work trades — remodelers, production builders — to do this kind of work.

Here are the basics:

* The official name of the program would be Homestar, playing off the name Energy Star, a government program that promotes energy-efficient appliances.
* It would cost $23 billion over two years. Of that, $6 billion would go to incentives to people who did at least two significant weatherization projects — such as air sealing, insulation, new light bulbs and new appliances. Homestar would have a list of 10 such projects. Households that did at least two would be eligible for up to $2,000. Households that did four would be eligible for up to $3,500. The government money could not pay for more than half of any project.
* Another $12 billion would be set aside for households that undertook a weatherization project that reduced energy consumption by at least 20 percent. A 20 percent reduction would bring a $4,000 subsidy. Each additional 5 percent reduction would bring another $1,500. Again, government money could not pay for more than half of any project.
* Some portion of weatherization projects would be audited to ensure they had done what they were supposed to. These audits would be paid for with $2 billion for program administration.
* The remaining $3 billion for the program would pay for incentives to retailers, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, and contractors. “What you want to be able to do,” Mr. Doerr said, “is walk into Sears or Home Depot and see a great big Homestar logo and a Homestar sales representative.”

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