Posts Tagged ‘Buford’

Wildlife in Urban and Suburban Settings

July 8, 2010

We usually think of wildlife in parks, national forests, and undeveloped areas like the mountains. But how often do you notice examples right around you?

Behind Mall of GA, the forested wetlands are home to animals you might not imagine: birds and squirrels, but also deer, snakes, ducks, salamanders, beaver, and even coyote. Similar great examples can be spotted along the Suwanee Creek Greenway. The diversity of wildlife can be one type of indicator of the overall ecosystem health and community sustainability.

Wherever you live, what unusual examples have you seen? For anyone near or in the study area, where in particular have you seen wildlife around northern Suwanee, Buford, the mall, and along Suwanee Creek and Ivy Creek Greenways?

Do you think keeping wildlife in this urban setting is a good thing? Or is it a danger or nuisance? Deer get hit by vehicles. Canadian geese take over water features. Why should we encourage wildlife near a major activity center?
Share your thoughts!

– Green In Gwinnett Area – Keeping Gwinnett Green and Sustainable

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Green In Gwinnett with Sustainable Mill Creek

January 4, 2010

Sustainable Mill Creek is a case study underway since fall 2008 and continuing through much of 2010.  The study area touches parts of Suwanee, Buford, and Gwinnett County with a focus on the Mall of Georgia / Mill Creek area.  Many challenges and successes can be found throughout this area: growth demands and recent economic downturns, effects of clearcutting vs. valuing urban agroforestry applications in development, water quality and stream buffers, transportation initiatives, recreational access, and a preserved but little-known wetlands/nature center adjacent to the mall.

The research looks at social, economic, and ecological sustainability within this suburban/urban setting and also features community input and outreach.  Online surveys have started and will continue, giving insight about community values regarding the environment and quality of life — both within and outside the study area so that participants from other regions can share as well.  School surveys are being launched to coincide with volunteer class presentations in April 2010 for Earth Day week.  Please follow this new blog as we share details and touch on specific topics related to community sustainability.

Follow on twitter (@sustainmillcrk), become a fan on fb (Sustainable Mill Creek), and keep up with our website (sustainmillcreek.com). Surveys, local volunteer events, photo contests, guestbooks, and other interactive tools are active or ramping up for 2010.

BrandsMart USA Grand Opening of LEED Retail Store this Friday Aug 21st – Buford, Georgia

August 19, 2009

, an environmentally friendly store is having their Grand Opening in Gwinnett County this Friday, August 21st. I had the pleasure of touring the facility with Larry Levine who is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for BrandsMart. This store is the first Commercial LEED building in North Georgia. Beginning with the construction of the store and continuing through it’s daily operations the main focus has been to reduce negative impact on the environment and promote conservation.

During the construction phase, recycled materials were used as much as possible. The

floor tile, the sheet rock, even the concrete was poured using a minimal amount of raw materials. The store’s roof consists of white neoprene which reflects heat to reduce the amount of time the air conditioning runs. Each AC unit has it’s own compressor that dramatically reduces power needs and the condensation water from the units is recycled. On hot days this can result is as much as 150 gallons of water.

Lighting in the store is optimized by the implementation of large skylights, enabling the fluorescent lighting to be reduced. These skylights open, close and direct light for optimal efficiency. Sensors installed within store lighting automatically turn off the power as the sunlight increases. LED lighting is also used throughout the store. These produce far less heat (almost none), produce superior lighting, and use less electricity to operate. They also use these neat tubes to direct light into the store from the roof called “Sola Tubes”. You could use these same tubes in your home.

Outside the store the parking lot is white instead of black reducing the heat usually generated and allowing better control of the area’s climate. Additionally, less lighting is required at night because of the reflective surface. The plants surrounding the store are drought resistant and labeled so that customers can easily identify them. Once the plants have been established (estimated six months) irrigation will no longer be necessary. Rainwater will be channeled from the slight slope of the parking lot into a retention pond behind the store for future utilization. There is also a preserved wetland behind the store.

You will find trash containers along with recycle containers for employees and customer’s to recycle their sodas, etc!

In the near future, BrandsMart plans to have an educational program directed to children at the fourth grade level with the goal of educating them on sustainability. Great forward thinking!

The construction of this store and it’s operations are a credit to BrandsMart’s and Gwinnett County’s “green” point of view.

What is LEED?

LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Green In Gwinnett Area is a Gwinnett nonprofit located in Suwanee Georgia.

The new BrandsMart Store in Buford, GA is located at:

2918 Buford Dr

Buford, GA 30519-6538

(770) 932-1088

Our Green In Gwinnett Area (GIGA) organization’s mission is to help make Gwinnett County a healthier, more environmentally friendly and socially responsible place to live by becoming a valuable resource for the residents and businesses in our community. This GIGA site is a place to share our passion with others by collecting educational information, and providing a repository for eco-friendly resources and products. Together we can make Gwinnett Greener

James Chronicle

GIGA’s Suwanee Cinema Under the Stars July 11th!

July 4, 2009

Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA “SUWANEE CINEMA UNDER THE STARS” Family Movie Night At Suwanee Town Center Park, In The City of Suwanee, GA. Come join your Gwinnett Community for an evening under the stars with family and friends to celebrate the summer on the green while learning about “green”. Hosted by GIGA and featuring special guests like the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. Saturday June 13th, 27th, and July 11th. Movies in order are: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Happy Feet, and Wizard of Oz. Free recycling of computers and office electronics. Please bring them to the event! For more information, please email: Green In Gwinnett We would like to thank our Main Event Sponsor for making this possible: Ameriprise Financial at Suwanee Town Center ParkThe Practice of Kevin O’Brien” We would also like to thank the Board Member of GIGA for their hard work and dedication to the Green In Gwinnett Area “GIGA” organization and events.

GIGA Board of Directors: James Chronicle – Chairman james@greeningwinnett.org Amy Bray abray@atclawfirm.com Andersen, Tate, and Carr Nancy Martin nancy@greeningwinnett.org Coca-Cola Company Tamela Adkins tamela@greeningwinnett.org Adkins Law Lois Martin lois@loismarketing.com Lois Martin Marketing Robert Mendez rmendez@basisstaffing.com Basis Staffing Mark Thompson mark@greeningwinnett.org Southtrac Bill Rosenberg bill@greeningwinnett.org Ameriprise Financial

-Wizard of OZ Costume contest for the kids(and kids at heart).
– Face painting on site!
– Demonstrations and activities with the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.
-Free Computer, monitor, and electronics recycling on site.
-Free phonebook recycling on site. Just drop it off!
-Local vendors
-Food and ice cream
-Drawings for refurbished computers, gift certificates to local vendors, and other surprises!

We have had attendance at 3000 people from Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Buford, Duluth, Norcross and all around Gwinnett County!

Suwanee Cinema Under Stars

What is Sustainability? Green In Gwinnett Area

April 8, 2009

Bringing The Green Back To Gwinnett

Bringing The Green Back To Gwinnett

Sustainability, in a broad sense is the ability to maintain a specific process or state. Today however, it is most commonly used in reference to biological and human systems. In an ecological context, sustainability can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.

Sustainability has become a complex term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, particularly the many different levels of biological organization, such as; prairies, forests, and wetlands, and is expressed in human organization concepts, such as; eco-municipalities, sustainable cities, and human activities and disciplines, such as; sustainable agriculture, sustainable architecture and renewable energy. Many sustainable practices are being identified as “green” initiatives.  Terming this practice as “green” as we do with GIGA, Green In Gwinnett Area, stems from the forests and environments we are surrounded by.

For the human race to live sustainably or “green”, the Earth’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. However, there is now clear scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably, and that an unprecedented collective effort is needed to return human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits.

Since the 1980s, the idea of human sustainability has become increasingly associated with the integration of economic, social and environmental spheres. In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of sustainability: “[to meet] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  Simply put, we must put the needs of the future as a top priority when using resources.  You wouldn’t want your child or parents or anyone else in your family to suffer.  Our actions now directly impact our families in the future.

We currently have facilities in Gwinnett County such as the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (Buford), Suwanee City Hall (Suwanee), and Brandsmart which is a commercial building in Buford, Georgia that are striving towards sustainability.  These facilities are all LEED facilities.  We hope to see more of these practices in other areas in Gwinnett County in the immediate future and your voice counts.  What counts more than your voice however, are your actions.

Getting Out of the House and Greening Up Gwinnett!

March 26, 2009

Living an eco-friendly life is much more powerful when it is a community mission. This spring, there are plenty of opportunities to get out into the community, promote an eco-friendly lifestyle and learn more about being green. Here are a few events going on, I hope to see you there!

March 28, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, Chattahoochee Nature Center (Roswell, GA)
Not too far from Gwinnett County, the Chattahoochee Nature Center has so many wonderful events going on this summer that I could start a whole blog just about them!  Are you interested in starting a garden, but you want to use plants that are native to the area? This Saturday, budding gardeners can learn about plant propagation with native plants. Also on Saturday, CNC naturalists will be teaching you what to do when you find a baby animal in your yard (2:00 PM).

April 4, 11:00 AM-2:00 PM, Atlanta, GA
A dance party for little kids, celebrating Earth Day? I need to borrow a little kid so I can go! There will also be healthy snacks and an eco-friendly craft project!

April 18, 1:30-4:30, Duluth, GA
Of course this list would not be complete without my event! I’m sure by now you’ve heard how cutting down on meat consumption can be good for the planet. Think vegetarian food is all cold twigs? Think again! Visit our potluck to see vegetarian done right!


April 18,  8:00 AM-5:00 PM, Buford, GA
There are a ton of programs going on at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, so definitely check out their site!

April 21 (Five Forks) and 23 (Collins Hill), 7:00 PM, GCPL
Educational program for kids to learn about Rachel Carson and the environment.

May 13, 8:00 AM-2:00 PM, Buford, GA
The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce presents their first Sustainability Summit, focused on helping businesses become more energy efficient. If you’re a business owner looking for ways to be green and save money, check this out!

Farmer’s Markets

One way to be a little more green is to buy local food. It takes a lot less fuel to bring peaches from rural Georgia to Suwanee than it does to bring one from Chile. It can be hard to find local produce at your neighborhood grocery store, but luckily Gwinnett County  and the surrounding area has a few summertime farmer’s markets!

  • Lawrenceville Farmer’s Market

Saturday Mornings, June 6 – September 26
http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/M22694

  • Suwanee Farmer’s Market

Saturday Mornings,  May 2 – October 17 (Except September 19)

http://www.suwanee.com/whatsnew.events.php

  • Whistlestop Farmer’s Market of Norcross

Tuesday evenings, June 2 – October 27
http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/M27578

Do you know of any other events going on in the Gwinnett area this spring? Please let us know in the comments!

Maria Rittenhouse

DemetersGarden.com

Green In Gwinnett Area – Tesla Roadster 0-60mph in 3.9, 100% Electric! Available Now.

March 24, 2009

Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA

Ok, so I am a bit of a car freak. That is tough to be and be “green” at the same time. Tesla Motors however has released a car that is 100% electric and can go from 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds. That is about as fast or faster than a Dodge Viper or the quickest of Porsches… I have yet to see one of these electric sustainable supercars in Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Norcross, or anywhere in Gwinnett for that matter. If someone has or knows of someone who has one of these cars, please please let me know… below is a brief overview and press release from Tesla Motors…

James Chronicle – Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA

Tesla to Open Midwest Regional Sales & Service Center in Chicago
Tesla Motors Inc. is opening a Midwest regional sales and service center in Chicago, the first of seven retail facilities the electric vehicle manufacturer plans to launch this year.

The Chicago store — which will open this spring — is at 1053 W. Grand Ave., near the Kennedy Expressway in the River West neighborhood. The site is visible from the Ohio Street off-ramp and offers convenient access from the suburbs and further afield. The location gives prospective customers the opportunity to experience Tesla’s best-in-class performance under a range of driving conditions, including highways and urban streets.

Tesla’s first showrooms opened last summer in Los Angeles and Menlo Park, Calif. After Chicago, Tesla plans to open a store in London, U.K. It is finalizing site selection in Manhattan, Miami and Seattle and is scouting sites in Washington, D.C. and Munich, Germany.

“People in Chicago will soon see how the Tesla retail experience is vastly different from that of a traditional dealership,” said Michael van der Sande, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Service. “Tesla’s cars are unique, and the look and feel of our stores reinforce the close connection we have with our customers.”

Tesla is the only production automaker selling highway-capable EVs in the United States. The Tesla Roadster beats nearly every other car for acceleration yet is twice as energy efficient as a Toyota Prius. With an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles per charge, it costs roughly $4 to refuel and can be completely recharged in as little as 3.5 hours.

The Tesla Roadster has far fewer moving (and breakable) parts and requires less maintenance than an internal combustion engine vehicle. Tesla requests that owners bring in the car – which never needs oil changes or exhaust system tune-ups, among other costly repairs — every 12,000 miles or once a year for a diagnostic check and software upgrade.

Tesla will unveil a prototype sedan March 26. The Model S will be an all-electric, zero-emission four-door with an anticipated base price of $57,400. After a federal tax credit of $7,500, the effective price should be less than $50,000. Because of tax incentives and relatively inexpensive maintenance and refueling, the lifetime ownership cost will be much lower than luxury cars with similar sticker prices.

“Tesla has no intention of being a niche automaker,” said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. “The Chicago store will introduce the company to even more people in the United States and position us to launch a more affordable sedan for mainstream drivers.”

About Tesla Motors

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors Inc. designs and manufactures electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster, which has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds and a base price of $109,000, is the only highway-capable production EV for sale in North America and Europe. Tesla expects to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S sedan in late 2011. Please visit http://www.teslamotors.com.

Do Those Laser Toners and Ink Cartridges Get Recycled? Not In Most Cases!

March 4, 2009

The first chapter into exploring my industry and the massive impact that it has on our environment.
Gwinnett! The following is a true account of this unethical field.
Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA encourages turning in your used laser toners and/or ink cartridges to be recycled. The are many programs available.

Print Green USA, Inc. located in Suwanee, GA has a program available to consumers.

Please email: recycle@printgreenga.com for details on how to recycle your laser toners or ink cartridges.

Please comment and I will explore your questions or your industry as well.

Lexmark and THE PREBATE:

Each quarter, Lexmark releases yet another financial statement reinforcing its “supplies-driven” profitability. It is making more dollars from the sale of cartridges than the sale of printers.

And how environmentally friendly are its programs?

Lexmark’s Prebate program (now known as its environmentally friendly “return” program) gives a discount at the time of sale if the customer agrees to return the cartridge to Lexmark, or at least agrees to not give it to a remanufacturer. So, a customer has already been rewarded for buying this “environmentally friendly” product, and any incentive to recycle it is long forgotten. When the cartridge is spent, the customer may find it inconvenient to return it to Lexmark. Still wanting to do the right thing, the customer attempts to sell or give it to a remanufacturer. The cartridge’s Prebate restrictions forbid its being remanufactured, so the preferable reuse option is foreclosed. Lexmark has testified in its lawsuit with Static Control Components that it gets back 50 percent of its Prebate cartridges, and that those cartridges are then remanufactured or recycled by Lexmark.

This begs the question: Are Lexmark’s recycling partners involved in legitimate recycling?

And what about the other 50 percent of the cartridges sold by Lexmark under the Prebate program?

They are condemned to landfills, as the Prebate restrictions mandate that they cannot be remanufactured by a third party. If a remanufacturer risks legal action by remanufacturing the Prebate cartridge, it runs into the chip problem. The chip acts as the enforcement device for the Prebate restrictions. It will determine if the cartridge has been remanufactured and will shut down the printer. Aftermarket chip solutions have been developed by several aftermarket vendors, one of whom has been sued by Lexmark for their ingenuity. Think Green Gwinnett! Start small, recycle, turn off the lights, recycle your laser toners…

To add even more insurance that the cartridge will not be remanufactured, Lexmark frequently changes the firmware in the printers through “upgrades” and during routine service maintenance. The firmware acts like a virus and renders many viable aftermarket solutions worthless.

Therefore, a Lexmark customer wanting to remanufacture the (return program) cartridge is frustrated at every turn. This is a classic bate and switch scheme.

So I beg all of you in Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Norcross, Buford, Lilburn, Snellville, or any other area of Gwinnett County, please do the right thing and recycle your used laser toners and ink cartridges.

Stay tuned for another chapter in this tail…

Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA (Keeping Gwinnett Green and Sustainable)

and sponsor Print Green USA, Inc.

PrintGreenGA.COM

Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA Supports Earth Hour 2009!

February 22, 2009

Sign up for Earth Hour! - PARTICIPATING: James Chronicle

Earth Hour 2009 by WWF – Sign up for Earth Hour!

Green In Gwinnett Area GIGA supports the efforts of Earth Hour 2009.  We are encouraging Gwinnett residents to take part in this global effort to impact energy consumption.  Join millions around the world who will turn off their lights on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm during Earth Hour. So tell everyone around you!  Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Duluth, Braselton, Hamilton Mill, Buford, Lilburn, Grayson, Sugar Hill, and all of Gwinnett.  Lets show our support for a green and sustainable future.  Lets be Green In Gwinnett Area.

“Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning their lights off for one hour. Only a year later and this event had become a global sustainability movement with up to 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.”  – Earthhour.org

Earth Hour is a message of hope and a message of action. Everyone can make a difference.

LEED In Gwinnett. Hamilton Mill Library and Brandsmart USA are both aiming for LEED Cert. Who else?

January 20, 2009

Fellow Gwinnett County Residents and Business Persons,

Please respond to this blog with information on new or upcoming LEED structures for Gwinnett County.  Suwanee, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Dacula, Buford, Hamilton Mill, Lilburn, Snellville, Norcross and any other cities in Gwinnett please inform us…

We would love to keep abreast of these developments and keep our community informed.