Environment: Walk-Friendly Cary

Story & Photo by Hal Goodtree

Cary, NC – Thanks to our friend Don Frantz for sharing the news that Cary has been designated a Walk-Friendly Community.

Walk-Friendly Communities (WFC)

The WFC is a national organization that accredits communities which encourage pedestrian traffic. That is, walking.

Cary is one of only three communities in North Carolina that have earned the certification (the other two are Charlotte and Davidson).

Cary was credited with having a walk-friendly community including:

  • Town of Cary staff resources devoted to encouraging pedestrian traffic
  • 60 miles of trails and green ways, with another 190 miles in the planning stage
  • Downtown Streetscape Project
  • Land Development Ordinance that supports the creation of a highly connected transportation system
  • $1 million annual sidewalk request program

Celebrate with a Walk

Celebrate Cary’s newest designation with a walk in one our our many Parks or download the Cary Bike/Hike map.

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.

Beware: Asian Needle Ant

 

By Matt Young, Photo by Benoit Guenard of NCSU Biology Department.

Cary, NC – The North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) and NC State are alerting Carolinians to be on the lookout for the Asian Needle Ant, a relatively new pest in the region. NCPMA is the trade association representing the professional pest management industry in North Carolina. Read more

Cary’s First Reuse Rodeo: What’s in Your Closet?

Story by Leslie Huffman. Photo by K.

Cary, NC – I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of stuff in my closets that really needs to go. My kids are growing so fast. Their closets are full of last year’s barely worn clothing and shoes that no longer fit.

I have an old desk chair and child-size beach chairs that we don’t use anymore. A perfectly good coffee machine and a never used Easy Bake Oven are just waiting for a new home. What’s in your closet? Read more

The Solar Farm on the Parking Deck

Story by Leslie Huffman, photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Back in 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly implemented the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). Under this law, investor-owned utility companies in North Carolina (like Duke Energy) are required to meet 12.5% of their electrical needs through renewable energy sources.

Now, Cary is forging ahead with an innovative plan for a solar farm on a parking deck. Read more

Environment: Aerating Jordan Lake

Story from staff reports. Photo by Julie Roland.

Cary, NC – By almost any measure, Cary is in an enviable position when it comes to water. Unliek many municipalities across the Triangle and around the country, we have a large, clean and dependable water supply in Jordan Lake.

Now, plans are afoot to study a new system to aerate parts of the lake and improve its overall health. Read more

Backyard Birding in Cary with Roger Tory Peterson

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – I moved to Cary thirteen years ago from a fairly urban area, 15 miles outside of Manhattan. We didn’t see many birds there beside the common robin, sparrow or occasional bluejay. I did a double take when I saw my first bright yellow gold finch in Cary. I simply had to know what this tropical looking bird was!

That’s when I fell in love with Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds. Read more

Environment: More on EV Charging Stations in Cary

Cary, NC – Following up on our Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station story yesterday, Emily Barrett from ToC has passed along some info about other charging stations and plans in Cary. Read more

Cary Picks Siemens for EV Charging Stations

Cary, NC – According to a report on TheAutoChannel, Siemens has been selected to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for Cary. Read more

Trash Talk: New Law Bans Computers and TVs from Landfills

Story by Leslie Huffman, photo by Mosman Council.

Cary, NC – The Town of Cary was the first in the state to offer curbside pickup of discarded computers for recycling. Now, a new statewide law bans all computers and TVs from landfills.  Read more