SPECIAL GREEN- Eco-friendly living: How much do you know?


Q: Can you take an electric ride to the the airport?

A: Sort of. A new airport shuttle company– Go Green Hybrid Taxi Service– uses hybrid vehicles.

Q: Which local electronics store will take your old TV, stereo, or computer when you buy a new one?

A: Crutchfield. By the August 1 first-year anniversary of the program at the Rio Hill store,  Crutchfield had taken in 125 tons of discarded equipment. That's junk equivalent in size and weight to about 1,667 big screen TVs weighing 150 pounds each– more than a mile high if you could stack them.

Q: Which local store hands all its profits to Habitat for Humanity?

A: The one run by Habitat for Humanity. The Habitat Store not only recycles building materials, but every month or two, they hold a free monthly green-building seminar at the store on Harris Street. Next seminar: learn about EarthCraft and save money on October 10.

Q: What new items does the City now accept in curbside recycling?

A: More paper! As of the last week of August, citizens can now leave the following paper products loosely in their bin: catalogues, magazines, phone books, junk mail, and office paper– in addition to newspapers, which had long been accepted.  (The City asks that residents put all loose paper in a paper bag and avoid placing these items out for pickup in rainy weather.) Back in February, City began accepting plastic drink bottles and cardboard.

Q: Are there any wacky-sounding green products for sale in town?

A: Yes. Here are just two. You can buy a plant food made of worm poop at all three local Kroger's. And over at Rebecca's Natural Foods, you can buy laundry soap that literally grows on trees.

Q: Why can't I get that free compost anymore?

A: After many people living near the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority's Moore's Creek treatment plant got sick of the smell of composting human waste, the Authority voted to cease the practice– and the compost giveaways– a year ago.

Q: Whatever happened to ecoMod?

A: This joint program of UVA's architecture and engineering schools produces modular ecological affordable house prototypes. On the morning of August 14, three house modules designed and built by the students were moved to 4th Street SW in the Fifeville neighborhood of Charlottesville for the Piedmont Housing Alliance.

Q: Do "zero energy homes" really consume zero energy?

A: Not always, but local firm Oesch Environmental Design got a Green Innovation Award from the Virginia Sustainable Building Network for a 1,236-square-foot house in North Garden that firm principal Fred Oesch says truly uses no net energy.

Q: How many recycling awards has UVA won?

A: Sixteen, and that's just since 1994. The most recent came in May when the Virginia Recycling Association gave it the top award for colleges and universities. The University recycled 4,882 tons of material in 2006, reducing the University's amount of landfilled trash to 10,153 tons.

Q: What green thing was auctioned off last Saturday, September 15?

A: The 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath ranch style modular home built by students of CATEC's carpentry program and constructed last year following the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines.

Q: To what key City body will City Council soon make an appointment?

A: The Planning Commission. The deadline for applications was Thursday, September 13, and Council has one four-year seat to offer.

Q: What is "Little Green"?

A: The first phase of the Charlottesville Waldorf School's "Greenest School in America" program, housing the students until the arrival of "Big Green," which is designed to be the first LEED Platinum-certified elementary school in the nation.