ECO-Mob: Old Navy

Old Navy hosted an ECO-Mob on Saturday, May 12.  They offered reusable tote bags and a chance to spin the wheel for prizes to any customer who rode their bike to the store.  Old Navy sits just off the Fayetteville Bike Trail and installed a bike rack after a renovation last summer.

Store Manager Alex Gonzales does everything within his power to insure sustainability and give back to the community.  They recycle plastics and have found room for a nonprofit called Youth Strategies to share warehouse space.  Youth Strategies does many things for teens including job interview preparedness.

“We feel that Youth Strategies helps mold people into what they can be,” said Jenetta Souvatdy, customer service and training manager for Old Navy.  “The program gets a lot of teens.  We do practice job interviews with them.  Some of the graduates are even working for us now.”

Gonzales is nominated for an ECO-Award for Best Green Employee Engagement.

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Uptown Eyes hosts ECO-Mob, GreeNWAY ribbon cutting

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Uptown Eyes recently held an ECO-Mob and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s GreeNWAy certification program.  The eye clinic has been pursuing sustainable endeavors since they opened a few years ago.  This marked the celebration of those efforts.

“We really want to help the Earth and do our small part not to leave such a large footprint,” said Dr. Megan Baureis, of Uptown Eyes.

Uptown Eyes had snacks made from ingredients from the Local Harvest and Community Supported Agriculture Program. During the ECO-Mob, people who brought in their passport received 20 percent off all our sunwear including the new eco-friendly sunglasses called Zeal by Maui Jim. Zeal frames are manufactured with the Castor bean.

Uptown Eyes underwent a lengthy certification process to become GreeNWAy certified.  According to Curtis Northcutt, of the Fayetteville Chamber, they “went through an audit for six areas of sustainability to get certified.  They had to turn in their utility bill for 12 months (around three years total) to track their carbon footprint and they had to attend quarterly training.”

The GreeNWAy certification tracks their usage in the areas of energy, waste, water, education, purchasing, and people, according to Katherine Brandt, of the Fayetteville Chamber.  The program began with five pilot companies in early 2012 and has grown to include 30 local businesses.  Brandt said that at its inception, it was the only green business certification program of its kind in the state.

As for Uptown Eyes, Baureis detailed several ways that they incorporate several different methods to be sustainable.  They include:

  • Keeping the office paperless by using Electronic Medical records, inventory management, and billing.
  • Utilizing email marketing and communication when possible, rather than mailing of postcards
  • Offering cloth towels instead of paper towels in the bathroom.
  • Having ceramic mugs in the coffee bistro, rather than paper or Styrofoam.
  • Using LED lighting in some of our displays
  • Monitoring A/C and Heating use.
  • Recycling shipping boxes, magazines, and paper.

Baureis feels that while these may be small steps, they offer several benefits for the plant and their pocketbook.  She said, “For a small business, the little savings add up.  Just keeping paper use to a minimum saves us a whole lot of money.”

To learn more about Uptown Eyes, visit their website.

Earth Day NWA ECO-Awards Nominees

Best Green Business
1).  Lori Boatright – Fayetteville Farmers Market
2).  Jerrmy Gawthorp – Greenhouse Grille
3).  Heather Atripe – Ozark Natural Foods
 
Best Green Entrepreneur
1).  Josh Clemence – The Iceberg
2).  Joyce & Gary Robertson – Mountain Air Organic Beds
3).  Nick Jones – Lavish Longboards
 
Best Green Government 
1).  Sarah Elaine Lewis
2).  Mayor Jordan
3).  Representative Uvalde Lindsey
 
Best Sustainable Investment
1).  Stephen Luoni – UofA Community Design Center – Fayetteville Trolley
2).  Michele Halsell – Ozark Regional Transit
3).  Keith Kadderly – Ozarks Electric Cooperative – Chevy Volt & Public Charging Station
 
Best Green Technology
1).  Douglas Hutchings & Seth – Silicon Solar Solutions
2).  Bill Ball & Frank Kelly – Power by the People
3).  Shannon Jones – City of Fayetteville – BioSolids Drying Facility
 
Best Green Energy Efficiency Initiative
1).  Keaton Smith – Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
2).  Sam Palmer – Fayetteville Public Library – Green Your Life Series
3).  Gary Kahanak – Home Energy Consultants – Energy Building Code
 
Best Reduce, Reuse & Recycling
1).  Louise Mann – Waste Reduction Resources
2).  Brian Pugh – City of Fayetteville – Recycling Measuring & Reporting
3).  Fred Wiser & Brent Leas – eSCO – Processing & Recycling, LLC
 
Best Greenest Buildings
1).  Dan Coody – Coody Residence – highest HERZ rating in the country
2).  Jeremy Hudson & Seth Mims – ECO-Modern Flats – 1st LEED Platinum Multi-family apartments in Arkansas
3).  Leslie Bennock  – Arvest Bank – 1st LEED Gold Bank Branch in Arkansas
 
Best Green New Product Innovation
1).  Jerry McCormick & Jeffery Beaver – Next Gen Illumination
2).  Joe Tucker & Cam Schaffer – T&T Green Insulation
3).  Josh Hart – Natural State Treehouses
 
Best Green Service Innovation
1).  Stuart Walker – ClubHaus Gym
2).  Ben & Lucy Ozanne – Maximized Health
3).  Dr. John Bain DDS – Implants and Smiles
 
Best Green Education & Sustainability Awareness
1).  Dana Smith & Connie Crisp – Fayetteville Public Schools – Green Teams
2).  Shannon Joyce – UofA Applied Sustainability Center – EcoLogical Communities
3).  Nick Brown – UofA Campus Sustainability – UofA Earth Day 2011
 
Best Green Employee Engagement
1).  Steve Clark – Fayetteville Chamber
2).  Curtis Northcutt & Katheryn Brandt – GreeNWAy Initiative
3).  Alex Gonzales – Old Navy –Youth Strategies
 
Best Green Not for Profit Organization
1).  Robert McAfee & Gladys Tiffany – OMNI
2).  Mark Cloud – USGBC Western Branch
3).  Joanna Pollock – Sierra Club
 
Best Green Conservation / Biodiversity
1).  Nicole Hardiman – NWA Land Trust
2).  Tim Ernst – Tim Ernst Photography
3).  Aubrey Sheppard – Aubonique
 
Best Green Water Stewardship
1).  Amy Wilson & Dot Neeley – Beaver Water District
2).  Delia Haak & Becky Roark – Illinois River Watershed
3).  Sanaa Elnajjar — Sams Club Fayetteville
 
Best Green Collaborator
1).  Pattie Williams & Mark Lamoyeaux – FFEAC Inclusion Group Facilitator
2).  Sarah Marsh – Green Economy Group Facilitator
3).  Phil Stafford & Peggy Hart – UofA Technology Development Foundation 

ECO-Mob: Uptown Eyes — 5/10/12

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Join us for an ECO-Mob and GreeNWAy Ribbon cutting at Uptown Eyes, located at 100 E. Joyce Blvd. #104, from 4-6 p.m.  Uptown Eyes does a lot of great things to be sustainable by reducing, reusing, and recycling around the office.  Bring your ECO-Passport and get 20% off of sunwear.

Contact Megan Baureis at 479-856-3844 if you have any questions.

ECO-Awards to honor green businesses & individuals

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Earth Day NWA, the nation’s longest running consecutive Earth Day festival, will host the “ECO-Awards” from 6-9 p.m. on Monday, May 14 at Greenhouse Grille, located at 481 S. School Avenue in Fayetteville.  The event will feature food and drinks provided by Greenhouse Grille. The 2nd annual “Get Trashed” Fashion Trashion show by Chadd Wilson will take place during the event. A $10 donation is suggested.

 Mikel Lolley, Grand Poh Bah of Earth Day NWA, felt it was time to step up and recognize members of the community who are leading the way towards making the area more sustainable — “normalizing behaviors through positive affirmation, lots of gold stars for green behaviors,” said Lolley. “There has been a lot of talk in green circles for the need for some sort of green awards for raising awareness and providing modest incentive the necessity to change toward a more and more advanced sustainability.  We decided to stop talking and take action.”

According to Lolley, one of the primary criteria for nomination was selflessness—who has served in the best interest of the most people and shelved petty self interest in the spirit of promoting the cause of sustainability in each category.  The 48 categories for the ECO-Awards include: Best Green Business, Best Green Not-for-Profit Organization, and the Green Prix Winner, who will serve as the overall Green Will Ambassador for Fayetteville for the next Earth Day Calendar year.

Fayetteville has long been at the forefront of sustainability in Arkansas.  From recycling programs to a Streamside Protection Ordinance, the city has found ways to protect the environment and help the city budget and economy.  Lolley also feels that the people in our community have taken great initiative although we are not quite there yet.

“It is a cultural shift, and it is going to take everyone on board,” he said. “All to often we get distracted, or feel powerless in the face of the big stuff like Climate Change, but we need to focus on the small stuff and understand the power of accumulative effect, when after a few years the small stuff adds-up to be really big stuff.”

 Some of the “stuff” includes the sort of common sense recommendations our grandparents might have made like turning off the lights when not in the room, recycling, and not buying bottled water when you can get it from the tap.  While these are easy everyday things, he still believes that the accumulative effects for the dumb stuff can add up to some really big savings, oh and save the climate in the process.  Lolley calls it “regaining our lost intelligence, before technology came along and outsourced our brains.”
“Sustainability is all about increasing efficiencies to improve the bottom line,” said Lolley. “It is not some altruistic warm green fuzzy.  If in the end sustainability measures do not improve efficiencies and the bottom line, then sustainability is itself unsustainable.”

Ozanne Family Chiropractic shares toxicity fighting tips at ECO-Mob

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Everyday we’re bombarded with toxic chemicals. They’re in our clothes, our food, even our cookware.  It’s impossible to escape, but can anything be done?  Yes, according to Dr. Benjamin Ozanne.

On Monday, April 30, Ozanne Family Chiropractic, located at the Maximized Living Health Center at 4115 N Steele Blvd, Suite #3, held an ECO-Mob and spoke to a packed room about toxicity in our daily lives.

“Toxicity is a topic that many people know nothing about or don’t consider a problem,” Ozanne said. “As a chiropractor and a maximized living doctor I look to address the cause of health problems. Toxicity is one aspect of our environment that must be addressed in order for us to truly be healthy.  It was important to me to share a subject that is not well known and can have a major impact on the health of our society.”

During his presentation, Ozanne detailed the ways that we are exposed to toxic chemicals constantly, whether it be in the paint on our walls to the pans in our kitchen.  He cited a statistic that 86 percent of cancer is due to the environment.

Toxicity can have a major impact on the health of the human body. According to Ozanne, almost 35,000 of the chemicals used in the U.S. are classified by the EPA as being either definitely or potentially hazardous to human health. His presentation detailed the variety of chemicals and their affects along with their consumer product culprits.

He claimed that medications are the number one toxin that we are exposed to.  “Take anti-depressants,” he said to the crowd.  “The number one side effect is suicidal tendencies.  It’s making people do what it’s supposed to stop them from doing.”

Chemicals find their way into every room in the house.  According to Ozanne, beds a major carrier of toxins.  He stated that it may take up to 50 gallons of high grade petroleum to make a Temper-pedic mattress.  Alternatives to this include organic mattresses.  Mountain Air Beds, northwest Arkansas’ premiere organic bedding store, was on hand to promote the alternatives that they provide.

Carcinogens like formaldehyde, which is used in embalming, is found in a variety of products like clothes and toothpaste according to Ozanne. Other household dangers he listed included microwaves and cookware that contains Teflon, which is banned in many nations already. He suggested cast iron or stainless steel as a healthy alternative.  Fruit is a major carrier of pesticides with apples, celery, and strawberries being the worst.

Over all, the indoors is 5 to 10 times more toxic than the outdoors, he claimed. However, he noted a silver lining and said that up to 96 percent of all cancer-causing agents can be eliminated.  Websites like Healthy Child or Green Med Info can help provide consumers with information on which products are healthy and which are harmful.

Living the organic lifestyle can cost a lot of money, which can be a turn-off for many middle-class consumers.  Ozanne offered some advice for concerned citizens on a budget.

“Take it one step at a time,” he said. “When you make small changes over time, those changes will add up and make a great impact on your health. The first step towards minimizing toxicity is to make lateral movements. For example, instead of using canola oil to cook with, make a lateral move to using coconut or grape-seed oil. That move does not cost much more, but can make a big difference to the health of you body.”

Several vendors were on hand, such as Club Haus Fitness (which is LEED certified), Natural Building Massage, Kangen Water, and Mountain Air Beds.  Goodwill Massage provided free massages.  Over all, Ozanne was pleased with the ECO-Mob.

“There was a great response from the community and the event was well attended,” he said. “Many of the participants were thankful for the information and made several decisions to reduce the amount of toxins in their life. One couple told me that they were going home that night to throw away their Teflon cookware and replace it with cast iron instead!”

Ozanne became interested in toxicity after several family members became personally affected.  Ozanne Family Chiropractic has a mission to empower individuals and families to take control of their health through nutrition, exercise, life management, and chiropractic care. He specializes in “structural correction” in which the spine is put back into proper alignment through the combination of chiropractic adjustments and state of the art rehab. He is a part of the Maximized Living network of over 400 doctors across North America.

He is currently looking for more ways to partner with local businesses and healthcare practitioners in the Fayetteville area to provide healthcare instruction that will improve the health of the community and support the local economy.  For more information, visit: www.maximizedlivingfayetteville.com.

 

 

 

 

 

ECO Modern Flats leads the way for modern green living in Fayetteville

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ECO Modern Flats, Fayetteville’s premiere living quarters, held an ECO-Mob on Saturday, April 27.  Guests helped themselves to sweets from Rick’s Bakery and toured the top-notch facility, which has filled to near capacity since the first building, ECO 1, opened in January 2011.

“We’ve really had a wonderful community response,” said Jeremy Hudson, a member of the MC3 Development Group that is responsible for the living community along with several upcoming developments in Fayetteville. “Currently, we’ve got a waiting list, which is really fun to see.  We believed that people wanted a complex with a better design, more efficient use of space, and we believed they would embrace the sustainable side of it too.”

For the uninitiated, ECO Modern Flats are Arkansas’ first multi-family community registered for LEED green building certification.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was developed by the US Green Building Council.  The program takes into account all aspects of a building, from design to maintenance.

ECO began with a phased opening in January 2011 when the first building, ECO 1, came online. According to Hudson, they used this building as a guinea pig to work out the kinks for the next three, which opened in the following months. He says the real inspiration for the apartment complex came from his own experience after he graduated from John Brown University and couldn’t find an apartment to his liking.

“There just weren’t a lot of rent-by-choice products out there,” he said. “Most places were made for people who were in college or just had to rent. No one offered great design and great commodities.”

ECO does both.  The apartment community features a modern design aesthetic that is appealing and efficient. The apartments even feature a “transformer” media library wall that allows people to watch TV in their living area or their bedroom.

Another important part of ECO is the emphasis on health.  All paints used in the facility are free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).  The building designers chose non-toxic building materials that release little to no VOCs into indoor air. Also, natural cleaning products are providing by A Splash of Green, a locally owned online green products store.  The complex is also smoke-free.

For those who love the sustainable lifestyle, ECO offers everything from low-flow faucets to dual-flush toilets. Exterior walls use closed cell insulation that reduces noise and keeps apartments warm.  Rooftop solar panels power the hot water system.  Low-E windows keep rooms at a comfortable temperature.  Energy Star certified appliances ensure that individuals keep their carbon footprint to a minimum.

Outside, a rainwater harvesting system collects water runoff from the roofs of the buildings in freestanding cisterns.  This water irrigates flowerbeds and the community gardens.  Native and drought-tolerant trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses line buildings.  Besides increasing the beauty of the area, they also provide food for native birds and butterflies.

Fayetteville citizens may remember the aged and worn look of the apartment complex a few years ago. When Hudson and his associates purchased the property, they knew some things had to be done to create a community where people wanted to live.

When Hudson first toured the facility, he noticed water running out of the gutters even though it hadn’t rain for days.  Upon further inspection, he found out that the previous owners had to run sprinklers on the roof since there was only ¾” insulation separating the concrete above from the rooms below.  The HVAC systems couldn’t handle the pressure so the water was used to cool down the buildings.  This was just one of many challenges they faced during the development.

“When we came in, we looked at all the problems and found the most logical and economical way to upgrade everything was to focus on sustainable living,” said Hudson. “It made economic sense and we believe in being good stewards of the environment.”

According to Hudson, their group is developing several other green living properties around town. He credited Mikel Lolley, of Earth Day NWA and Treadwell Properties, as being a pioneer for the green property boom in Fayetteville.

“Mikel pioneered the way to redevelop properties and make them sustainable,” said Hudson. “He deserves a lot of credit. There was no real precedent besides him. Had Mikel not done that, we probably couldn’t have done this.”

To learn more about ECO Modern Flats, visit: www.ecomodernflats.com.

Kody Ford

EcoModern Flats Mob 4.27.12

ECO Modern Flats, http://www.ecomodernflats.com/ just a few blocks from the Fayetteville Square, is opening its doors to the public for an “ECO Mob” open house on Saturday, April 28 from 2-4pm.  The apartment community features a solar-heated hot water, rainwater harvesting, recycling stations, a community garden, and many other earth-friendly features. ECO Modern Flats has been honored as an outstanding project by the US Green Building Council and the Illinois River Watershed Partnership.  The ECO Mob event is one of scores of events that are part of Fayetteville’s 40-day Earth Day Festival http://earthdaynwa.com/. Stop in and pick up a packet of heirloom purple hyacinth bean seeds collected on site. At ECO Modern Flats, these beautiful annual vines grow on a steel cable trellis, providing a shady canopy from the afternoon sun.


How to Incrementally Fight Sprawl

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By Neil Heller

Today much of the built environment of Northwest Arkansas that we live and work in is a product of the policies and prevailing thoughts of previous generations. The majority of shopping and housing areas we experience have their beginnings in the ‘happy motoring’ days Post WWII, where the automobile became a symbol of individual freedom and success. This, coupled with inexpensive, factory replicable materials and low fuel costs saw the proliferation of single-use housing subdivisions designed with auto-convenience at the forefront. This trend has since continued.

Something happened along the way.

The biking, walking, and casual socialization environments of the pre-auto days gave way to vast swaths of hot pavement and multi-lane high speed roads. Homes were continually constructed farther and farther away from the goods, services, and entertainment that people required on a weekly basis. This only resulted in further perpetuating the reliance on the automobile.

After 70 years, this type of experimental development is ultimately proving to be a significant strain on our environmental, social, and economic well-being. It is also taxing on municipal coffers that must pay down the investments into, and maintain, the vast amounts of supporting infrastructure.

A movement that began 30 years ago with the New Urbanists and Smart Growth advocates, whose design focus is centered around human scaled, pedestrian-friendly environments, has continued to gain traction with an ever widening audience resulting in a generation that now desires more sustainable and livable towns.

In a time when money is limited and lending is tight, we must look to retrofit and repair that which has already been built. This can prove an unhurried process at the municipal level. Understandably so, the policies of many state highway and local planning / engineering departments can be entrenched in the old way of thinking as it has been the zeitgeist of the past five generations.

This has given rise to a new breed of urban thinker. Many community groups, urban activists, friends, and families not wanting to wait on the government to institute change have devised ingenious ways of converting their auto-dominated living and work environments into more safe, humane, beautiful, and sustainable ones.

The following small scale interventions can have a tremendous effect on the area around them and can be done inexpensively and by a small number of people:

Intersection Repair:

What if all it took to build better neighborhoods was a little paint? Intersection repair reclaims an endlessly repeated but non-convivial fixture of a town and transforms it into a public gathering space.

Guerrilla Crosswalk:

Individuals have taken it upon themselves to enhance pedestrian safety, where it has been neglected, by painting their own crosswalks.

Reclaim Setback:

Many times the front yard of a home in a subdivision is dominated by a boring utility easement. Simple gestures such as this ‘Little Free Library’ act as a gift to the street by providing interest along someone’s path as well as offering a chance for neighborly socialization.

Driveway Alternatives:

If a house must have a driveway, then why not like this? Reducing square footage of pavement is aesthetically pleasing and reduces the amount of stormwater runoff and excess heat.

Neil Heller is an urban designer and co-founder of the Incremental Sprawl Repair blog. You can follow sprawl repair ideas on twitter: @incsprawlrepair

For additional DIY strategies and ideas:

Incremental Sprawl Repair
Tactical Urbanism 

Publications for an in depth look at the topic:
Sprawl Repair Manual
Retrofitting Suburbia