Going in “EcoStyle”: Clean, Green, Cruisin’ Machines

Story and photos by Leslie Huffman

Cary, NC – Need a ride to the airport? How about a night out on the town without the worry of driving? You can get this kind of service many places. A taxi, a limo, or a van service.

But take it a bit further. What if your driver came professionally dressed and picked you or your group up in a brand new hybrid electric vehicle? And this company cost you the same or up to 25% less that the standard car services?

That makes a huge difference to me. It also makes a major difference to hotels and corporate clients who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint while still providing quality professional services.

Making Better Choices

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States consumes 378 million gallons of gasoline every single day. The environmental costs to all this fossil fuel consumption is staggering.

Also, the vehicles we drive release over 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, contributing to pollution and global climate change. Each gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of CO2. That’s about 6 to 9 tons of CO2 each year for a typical vehicle.

A good solution; make better choices. We should bike, walk, take public transportation and use our consumer power to use vehicles that are either hybrid, all electric or use biofuels.

Welcome EcoStyle – A Green Transportation Company

I recently met with Scott Tyler, Vice President of EcoStyle, at the Umstead Hotel in Cary. Scott came here after playing pro baseball and meeting his wife. He spent some years in the hospitality industry, but wanted to start his own business. He came up with a unique service that was missing in the Triangle.

In April this year, Scott and his business partner started the Triangle’s first eco-friendly corporate transport company, EcoStyle. Already they have contracts to handle all the transportation needs of corporate clients like SAS, Dex One and The Umstead Hotel.

“It makes me feel great knowing that people are accepting EcoStyle and truly appreciate the services that we are providing for them,” says Tyler. “When we launched EcoStyle, our goal was not only to start a company that revolutionized the industry, but added value to the surrounding communities.”

In addition to providing low-emission and energy-efficient transportation, Scott says that high standards, excellent service and a clean professional look is mandatory for all their drivers. They will pick you up from any location and take you where you need to go.

“I want people to know that when they call EcoStyle, they will receive a level of service that is unmatched. Our team at EcoStyle will always go above and beyond to fill our clients needs.”

They will also provide transportation to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), or Piedmont-Triad International Airport (GSO).

What Makes Them The Green Transportation Company?

Presently EcoStyle has 4 hybrid vehicles in their fleet with 2 more on order. Looking to the future, they plan to add several all electric vehicles.

  • Toyota Prius Hybrid – up to 2 passengers and gets 53 mpg city & 48 mpg hwy
  • Ford Fusion L Hybrid – up to 3 passengers and gets 41 mpg city &  38 mpg hwy
  • Chevy Tahoe Hybrid – up to 6 passengers and gets 20 mpg city & 23 mpg hwy

If you need something bigger like a bus for 10 or more, Scott will provide one from one of his partner companies. But, to negate the CO2 emissions generated, EcoStyle will then purchase carbon offsets through NC Green Power.

Other “green” initiatives include:

  • Paperless email billing & receipts
  • Driver’s uniforms made from recycled materials and organic cotton
  • Donate a percentage of profits to NC GreenPower, which funds renewable energy projects across North Carolina

While the corporate office is in Raleigh, most of the cars are staged at The Umstead Hotel. And, because of their exclusive use of EcoStyle’s services, the Umstead even installed several electric car charging stations for their use.

Next time my dinner club group is heading for a night out on the town, or I need airport transportation I think I will give Scott a call. When it comes to saving money, and reducing my environmental impact, it just seems like such a simple choice.

Money Matters: Investing in Turbulent Times

Story by Lindsey Chester and “Coach” Pete D’Arruda. Photo by Tamás Mészáros.

Cary, NC- Even if you never pay attention to the stock market, you know we are living in what many call turbulent market conditions. The Dow Jones lost all of its gains for 2010 through volatile trading in August. So what should you do if you are investing for your retirement? Read more

Fashion: Adore Opens 2nd Location

Cary, NC – Nancy Alinovi is expanding her Adore concept concept to a second location this month. Adore Resale Boutique has been doing business in the Preston Corners area of Cary since October 2009.  And now she is also in North Raleigh at 8111 Creedmore Road. Read more

Extreme Makeover, Cary-Style

Cary, NC- When Heather Foust and Shanna Middleton (who own Cary-based Designed To Sold) heard about a special family whose home needed some TLC, they knew they could make a difference. What started as redesigning one room quickly turned into Extreme Makeover Cary-style. Read more

Crime: Public Art Vandalized Downtown

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – On Friday morning, the manager of the Fidelity bank in downtown Cary called Clare Sifford, Director of Cary Visual Art. Someone had tipped over the sculpture on loan at the corner of Chatham and Academy. This is the second piece of sculpture vandalized in the last month.

Getawaycar

Getawaycar, the sculpture by Adam Wall was awarded Best in Show this year in Cary. “Last night,” Clare told CaryCitizen, “someone (probably more than one person, as this piece is VERY heavy) pushed it over.”

Damage was evident along the top of the sculpture. A paint smear on the sidewalk showed where the artwork had crashed to the ground.

“I could see that the paint was chipped and the steel was bent,” Clare said. “Fortunately, Adam is semi-local, as he lives in Laurinburg, NC, and will be able to come repair the piece at some point in the near future. This sculpture is valued at $5,000.”

2nd Piece Vandalized

This is the second piece of public art vandalized in downtown Cary in less than a month. “The first one was Collective Conductivity by artist Julia Rogers,” Sifford told this publication.

“It happened on Wednesday evening, 8/24/11. The glass heads of the sculptures were pried loose and dangling by the LED light wires, the glass lotus in the seated figure’s hand was broken, and her large glass hand was pried loose and stolen.”

“The glass hand is not cast,” Sifford said, “it is hand-formed. Each piece is individually made to properly fit the other components in the piece. This sculpture is valued at $15,000.”

Collective Conductivity photograph by Clare Sifford.

 

Victim #1: The Artists

In most cases, the artists themselves must pay for the damage in repair or restoration.

Cary Visual Art carries liability coverage for the exhibition, but artists are advised to self-insure their work. Few do.

So, in the case of vandalism, the artists are the victim.

Victim #2: The Community

Vandalism has a chilling effect in the arts. “I am so disheartened that it seems like vandals have specifically targeted our exhibition. This is heartbreaking to me, and I am afraid that continued vandalism will discourage artists from participating with CVA, therefore hurting our exhibition further.”

So, in the case of public art, the community is the victim as well.

Standing Up For Ourselves

Naturally, community members downtown and across town are outraged. Police Captain Don Hamilton wrote to Clare Sifford, “I hate that this is piece number 2 to be damaged and I agree that continued problems could jeopardize future artists wanting to participate.”

Cary Police run nightly patrols downtown. One expects they will step up their presence in light of this new challenge.

One might also expect video surveillance to be considered as a way to safeguard valuable artwork on loan to the community.

As our downtown redevelops, now is the time to make sure we have a safety regime commensurate with our community investment and needs.

Cary Buys Jones-Foy House

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – More dramatic news about the quickening pace of re-development downtown was revealed this morning at the Heart of Cary Association monthly meeting. Read more

Profile: Carlotta Ungaro, New Morrisville Chamber President

Story by Matt Young. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

Morrisville, NC –  Carlotta Ungaro started her position as President of the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce in May of this year. We had a chance to speak to her this week. Read more

My Kinda Tasty

Hundreds of Craft Brews

Story by Matt Young.

Cary, NC – Sean Pratt of Cary, graduated from Cary High School in 2002 and then went to NCSU, graduating in 2007. While studying in Sweden he fell in love with craft and specialty beers.  He partnered up with  Johnny Belflower (Rocky Mount Senior High School and Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida).  Read more

Kmart Closing in Cary

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Kmart has notified the North Carolina Department of Commerce that it is closing its Kildare Farm Road store in Cary on November 13, 2011. Read more

Belk Bulks Up in Cary

Story from staff reports. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Belk is bulking up in Cary. The Charlotte-based retailer has announced a $4.6 million remodeling of its two-level, 167,000-square-foot department store in Cary Towne Center.  Read more