Recycle that old cell phone

Be good to the earth and also to our soldiers by recycling your old cell phone.

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a nonprofit that accepts all models (even really old ones!) and resells them to a recycling company. Proceeds buy calling cards for U.S. soldiers abroad to call their families. So far 27 million minutes have been provided.

Go to www.CellPhonesforSoldiers.com to print a receipt and free postage label, then mail your phone(s) to:

Cell Phones for Soldiers
2555 Bishop Circle West
Dexter, MI 48130-9916


Happy Thanksgiving!

The Drucker & Falk family wishes you and yours a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday!


Durham's Green Energy

Thanks to a partnership between Duke Energy Carolinas and Methane Power, Inc., Durham is latest municipality to benefit from the Landfill Gas-to-Energy Green Power Project.

 The program harnesses its landfill gas, which is largely methane, to produce renewable energy. Such gas is created when organic materials in large landfills decompose. This greenhouse gas, if released, is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Using three 20-cylinder engines, Durham's project uses the gas produced at the city's closed landfill and converts it into electricity. Using the gas to produce electricity is not only cost effective, but also eliminates this potent gas that otherwise is a major contributor to global warming. Ultimately, this project will generate approximately three megawatts of electricity, which is equivalent to powering about 1,900 average-sized homes annually.

"Not only does this project support Durham's green energy efforts by converting landfill gas into renewable energy, it also provides a financial benefit to our taxpayers by offsetting the costs of the required post-closure landfill monitoring," said Mayor, Bill Bell. "This is just another example of how Durham is leading the way in protecting and preserving our community's natural environment."

Under the terms of the partnership, Duke Energy will purchase the renewable energy certificates and three megawatts of renewable energy generated at the landfill.

According to Lewis Gay, vice president of Methane Power, landfill gas is one of the most economical renewable options available in North Carolina and it uses proven technology.

"Methane Power is pleased to be a part of this project working with the innovative leadership of the City of Durham and Duke Energy Carolinas," said Gay. "We are dedicated to providing North Carolina with as much renewable energy as possible from landfill gas."  Durham was already burning methane to keep it out of the atmosphere, but the engines provide "a double benefit of getting rid of methane and getting rid of the coal burning as well," said Durham sustainability coordinator Tobin Freid, who oversees the city and county's gas emissions reduction efforts.

The project will use about 6,000 tons of gas from the landfill, said Chris Godlove with the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy's Landfill Methane Outreach Program.
Durham 's project follows a similar effort in Orange County. UNC-Chapel Hill signed a contract with Orange County in February to use methane gas from the county landfill to power the future Carolina North satellite campus. That project is in the design phase, said Raymond DuBose, the university's director of energy services. Expected completion is by mid-2011.

Durham city and county officials hope to reduce government greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and business and residential emissions by 30 percent by 2030.


De-germing Kids Toys the Natural Way

If your kids have been sick or if you've had kids over to your house who were sick, it's a good idea to not only give your light switches, door knobs and surfaces a disinfecting wipe down, but also your kids toys.

Even if your kids haven't been sick it's a good rule of thumb to clean their toys monthly, but plastic, metal, and wood toys that babies put in their mouths need to be cleaned more frequently- as often as daily or three times a week.

To make an good, environmentally friendly antibacterial cleaner at home, fill a spray bottle 3/4 of the way with white vinegar, add a drop or two of dish soap and fill the remaining space in the bottle with water. For those of you who equate a 'clean' smell with the smell of bleach, get used to the fresh scent of this cleaner! If you want it to smell more fragrant you can add a drop or two of lavender oil, which also has natural antibacterial powers.

Non-electronic plastic and metal toys can be dropped in the shower and sprayed with the home made cleaner listed above, then rinsed.

To clean board books, spray with white vinegar or a widely available eco-cleaner and wipe with damp cloth.

For stuffed animals and other plush toys, toss them into a pillow case or mesh bag made for delicates and put in the freezer for 24 hours to kill germs and mites, then run them through your next laundry cycle.

Good luck keeping germs at bay this winter season with our tips and home made cleaner recipe!


West Village- Triangle Business Journal GREEN Award Winner

West Village Urban Loft Apartments is the winner under the Green Building Management Project category. West Village was developed and is owned by Blue Devil Partners, and is professionally managed by Drucker & Falk, LLC.

West Village has 453 urban loft apartments and 250,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in the heart of Downtown Durham. With grants from the City of Durham and the Cleanwater Trust Fund, the property features approximately 5,000 square feet of green roof area and storm water treatment systems that include bioretention gardens vegetative filtration systems. These include cisterns that collect and recycle rainwater through courtyard landscapes and fountains. Certified bamboo and recycled antique pine floors limit impact on natural forests.

"Historic preservation is the ultimate form of recycling," says Fred Dean, Regional Property Manager. "At West Village, we believe that our social and environmental responsibility should go a few steps further. That is why our community has been designed to limit its impact on the environment and ensure long-term sustainability." The primary green products are the buildings- they are 100 plus years old.

The property will be honored in a luncheon on Friday, October 23, 2009 at the Raleigh Crabtree Marriott.

Congratulations to Blue Devil Partners and Drucker & Falk's management team at West Village Urban Loft Apartments on this outstanding achievement.


N.C. Recycling Mandate Effective October 1st

Please read the following, courtesy of the Apartment Association of North Carolina.

During the 2005 legislative session, the N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 1465, banning plastic bottles from landfill disposal effective October 1, 2009. The law does not apply to plastic containers used for motor oil or pesticides. Essentially, the state is mandating recycling of plastic bottles.

At least 95 percent of North Carolina residents have access to some type of plastic bottle recycling through local government programs – although the “access” is highly variable in urban North Carolina, ranging from specialized service at apartment properties in some major cities such as Raleigh and Charlotte to managing a single recycling center in a city or a county where individual households must transport recyclables to a single point on a regular basis. Unfortunately, North Carolinians collectively currently only recycle 18 percent of PET plastic bottles! In apartments,several major North Carolina cities provide recycling service at the property level. Others do not. Many cities have evolving programs, such as going to so-called “singlestream” recycling programs (this allows co-mingling of recyclables instead of having to saddle apartment residents with the duty of having to separate recyclables such as paper, plastic, and aluminum).

There are many ways to recycle plastic bottles. To determine the recycling services available in your city or county, use this link: http://p2pays.org/localgov../ncwaste.html. You can also work with your current trash hauler or recycling service provider to start a program. If you need additional help or guidance, call the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance at 919-715-6500 or 800-763-0136.


Raleigh fire station goes green with new roof

Thank you, WRAL, for covering this story! This fire station is located at North Hills, which is very close to our property, Park & Market.

A north Raleigh fire station has a new roof that doubles as an above-ground garden.

Engineers started Wednesday on the new roof at Station 9, at 4465 Six Forks Road. It is designed to be environmentally friendly as it will substantially reduce storm water runoff. About half of the rain will stay out of the gutter and be absorbed into the plant system.

Because the system absorbs rain so well, designers said the owners will not have to water the roof.

“We’ve been wanting to do a green roof for a couple years,” said project engineer Amy Hathaway, of Raleigh Public Works.
Assistant Fire Chief Bryant Woodall said this is the first of several green projects the department has planned.

The city is paying for the roof, which is estimated at $123,000.
“In the long run, it will save quite a bit,” project designer Stan Caton said. Caton said the roof not only improves water quality by reducing runoff, it also cuts down on energy costs by adding insulation to the building. The project is expected to be completed next week.

“It’s definitely something unusual and I think it’s going to add a lot of character to the station,” Hathaway said.

Station 9 is the only one in Raleigh to receive a green roof. Some other fire stations are expected to get rain gardens and cisterns installed to collect water. Federal stimulus funds will help fund those projects.


Eco Lube Now Accepting Electronic Items

The City of Raleigh Solid Waste Services Department is partnering with Eco Lube to set up a mini-recycling drop-off center that will accept electronic items- "anything with a cord." Examples include old computers, stereo equipment, small appliances, and TVs. Residents are allowed to bring materials for recycling and must drop off items during Eco Lube’s operating hours. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents are asked not to leave items at the location outside of store hours as it can jeopardize the success of the program.

The Eco Lube Service Station is located at 4901 Atlantic Avenue.
In addition to being a recycling center, Eco Lube is doing its part in being enviromnental friendly in a traditionally non-environmentally friendly industry:
  • They recycle everything they can, including filters.
  • They use re-refined oil, which saves 85% of oil sourcing. If all oil change shops used this method of cleaning and reusing oil imagine how much less our dependence would be on oil drilling!
  • They use only local businesses for oil and other supplies.
  • For do-it-yourselfers, they will gladly accept your oil, antifreeze or transmission fluid and will recycle it for you.
For more information, check out their website: http://www.ecolubeusa.com/ and call Carlo today at (919) 850-2106 to schedule your own green oil change!


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Swap!

If you're a follower of this blog you're already doing your best to:
  • Reduce- buying only what you really need
  • Reuse- giving items you don't want to a charity instead of putting them in the trash or finding a clever way to reuse an item that would normally be trash (ex. using the plastic wrapper of your paper towels to line a small trash can)
  • Recycle- whatever you can, even used aluminum foil
Well, now you can add Swapping to your green list. Swaptree.com allows you to trade books, music, dvds and video games with someone else for free. Do you have some cd's kicking around that you don't listen to anymore? There are people out there who might enjoy them! You can even print a shipping label straight from your computer- no trip to the post office is necessary.

Check it out, log in and let us know what you swapped!




Although summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, summertime is in the air! And in that air is the sweet scent of one of the best parts of summer in North Carolina- fresh strawberries.

Strawberries are in season right now and if you haven't visited a produce stand or Farmer's Market, you absolutely must! North Carolina strawberries are bred for sweetness- so make sure you eat, share or freeze them within a few days of bringing them home. Following are some links that you may find helpful:

Find a strawberry stand or Farmer's Market:

Strawberry recipes:

An all around great site for finding fresh produce, restaurants, organic food, gift baskets:

When you chose to buy fresh, locally grown produce you're a making smart choice in so many ways. Here is the ripple effect of choosing to buy local produce:
  • You're helping local farmers to maintain their farming lifestyle, thereby supporting our economy
  • You're helping our environment- tons of harmful emissions are used to transport produce across state and country lines
  • Fresh produce just plain tastes better!
So get on out and enjoy the (almost) summertime and some fresh strawberries! If you feel so inspired, please share your favorite strawberry recipe with us.



With spring approaching, summer cannot be far behind. Consider joining a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) for either the spring and/or the summer season. It's easy, fun and educational. You basically buy a share in a farm and either receive an unknown box of veggie goodies a week or receive an email and pick the veggies you want. It is the perfect time to try out some new stuff. Google "Kale" and see what recipes are available.

This is just like the good old days. Buy the bottled milk and pay the bottle deposit. Once you start, returning the bottle when you are grocery shopping again is easy. It is great tasting, totally recycling (except for the cap) and green!

When I shop, if i do not have a reusable bag with me, I just take the purchase in arm with my receipt held high out the store. There are a bunch of small reusable bags that you can take with you to use anytime. This is ideal for a visit to the library, grocery, or department store. Keep a bunch of reusable bags in each auto and get in the habit of refusing all plastic.

Give blood. If everyone gave blood that could give, there would never be a shortage. You can give every 56 days, receive good snacks and every now and then receive a cool t-shirt. Who could ask for more. Do something good, eat junk food and get something new to wear.........Isn't life grand.