Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Featured Volunteer - Nefertiti P.

NC GreenPower is incredibly grateful for our volunteers!
Our “Featured Volunteer” series will recognize some of our do-gooders for their dedication and service.

Nefertiti became interested in renewable energy in her junior year of high school when taking AP Environmental Science. She went on to major in biology at Hampton University and learned more about the benefits of alternative energy sources in classes like Ecology through lectures and labs. That’s when she made a conscious effort to make a positive impact.

“When I first started volunteering with NC GreenPower,the solar schools program was not as immense as it is today. It has been one of main reasons I’ve remained an active volunteer with NCGP and I am thankful to have been a part of the impact it has made.”

Nefertiti found out about NC GreenPower while doing some independent research looking for organizations that support and promote renewable energy in North Carolina and has been volunteering for NC GreenPower for about 5 years.

Her favorite events are STEM expos or events dealing with youth and students. She believes “it’s very important to educate youth on the importance of STEM, including renewable energy, and how they can effect change even if they are still young.” Her most memorable volunteer experience was the 2017 STEM Back to School Minority fair. It was especially important to her because she founded a nonprofit organization (Peoples’ Prep and Progress, Inc.) that uses STEM and other project based learning to help close the achievement gap between low-income youth and their peers. She loved being able to talk to all the students and parents about NC GreenPower and her journey through her career in STEM.

“I enjoy knowing that my time volunteering with NCGP will provide benefits for families and communities long after I’m gone. I enjoy being a part of making my community cleaner while making an impression on the students. I remember when I was young and first took an interest in the environment and sustaining it for future generations. It is nice to be on the other side and be a resource for students that are now where I once was.”

She wants others to know that volunteering at NC GreenPower is very rewarding, and even if you do not know much about renewable energy and solar schools, that shouldn’t intimidate you! “The organization provides all the resources you need to stay current and knowledgeable to spread the word about all the great things going on at NC GreenPower. Besides, every event I’ve been a part of, I’ve had a great partner there volunteering with me, and I used that as an opportunity to learn more from them and become a better volunteer.”

Nefertiti’s main motivation to volunteer is that she wants to contribute her time to making North Carolina cleaner. “When I learned of all the renewable energy and carbon offset projects the organization was engaged in, I wanted to promote their mission. Then I became further motivated once the solar schools project rolled out.”

We are very excited to have volunteers like Nefertiti to help us achieve our mission. NC GreenPower operates using a small staff so to help us spread the word about the program so we depend on hundreds of volunteers to provide education and outreach to the public. If you’re interested in helping out, you can sign up here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Help us Celebrate World Environment Day

June 5th is World Environment Day, and in honor of the occasion, we’re excited to get involved by spreading knowledge to inspire involvement. World Environment Day is dedicated to encouraging awareness and action worldwide to protect our planet. The event this year is specifically dedicated to reducing plastic pollution, which proves to be a growing issue in our oceans across the globe. 

Single use plastic products are one of the largest culprits of our disposable consumer lifestyle, causing damage by polluting our oceans, harming animals, leaching toxins into our food - entering the food chain and ultimately the human body. While the effects are terrible, there are some simple precautions everyone can take to reduce the consumption of single use plastic products. While plastic pollution is the focus of this year’s observance, pollution of all types is a very real and pressing issue for our world.  Here are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint and hopefully help lessen the negative impacts of pollution this World Environment Day:
1.     Unplug - One way to make a positive impact on the environment is to turn off devices and be conscientious about how much power you are using. Think about all the energy sources you use each day: cars, lights, fans left running all the time, cell phones, computers. The list can go on forever. Help us conserve energy by making a conscious effort to power down all unused electronics for the day and put down your cell phone. This type of a “blackout day” is great to make ourselves aware of just how much energy we use, and to think of creative ways to avoid using power. In this day and age, we often forget there are things to do that don’t require technology. Take this World Environment Day to read, play cards, go for a walk, climb a tree and remember how nice it is to have conversations with our friends and families face to face. Once you see how refreshing a day like this can be, consider implementing a blackout day once a month or quarterly to further reduce your energy consumption.
2.     Teach a lesson on the importance of utilizing renewable energy. One of the most important aspects of environmental protection is sharing knowledge. Take it upon yourself to help educate others who aren’t aware of the changes they could make to help protect their planet. Whether you host a talk at your local community center, or find a school to work with on a lesson and project for children. Here at NC GreenPower, we are proud of our Solar Schools grant program which implements solar educational projects in schools throughout the state. The knowledge we can share with both teachers and students about renewable energy is valuable and exciting, as many people aren’t aware of the access to clean energy in our close proximity. Sign up to be a volunteer here!
3.     Utilize reusable bottles, grocery bags, straws, etc. One simple way to reduce your carbon footprint each and every day is to purchase reusable products. From coffee cups to grocery bags, there are products that can replace single use items and reduce your trash production. One rule of thumb to live by in this regard is “If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.” Start by refusing straws at restaurants and bringing your own bags to the grocery store. Any product that you could function without, say no to. Not only will utilizing reusable products help save the environment, it will save you money and keep you healthier.
4.     Organize a cleanup party. Get a community group together and set out to make an immediate impact by picking up trash in your area. Plan out areas that have the most buildup, and break out into smaller groups to cover more ground. Areas that tend to need the most love include highways, medians, parks, and bodies of water. Sign up to Adopt-a-Highway in North Carolina!

Help educate others, do an analysis on your immediate environmental needs and get to work! There is always cleanup that needs to be done, and what better day to start than World Environment Day? Make this the start of a month-long challenge to green up your world.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Featured Volunteer - Noah A.

NC GreenPower is incredibly grateful for our volunteers! Our “Featured Volunteer” series will recognize some of our do-gooders for their dedication and service.

Noah is an NC GreenPower volunteer from Raleigh, NC. He first staffed an event for us at the EV Electric Drive Celebration in September 2017. Over the past few months, he’s been regularly signing up for nearly all of our events and has gone above and beyond to help us spread our message.

Noah graduated from Appalachian State University’s Appropriate Technology program and has had an interest in renewable energy for as long as he’s been aware of the need for a transition away from unsustainable sources.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Green Ideas for your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is one of those commercialized, overly advertised holidays where you feel obligated to lavish gifts on a significant other. But if you just want to tell someone you love how much you appreciate them in your life, and don’t want to be wasteful, check out these green heart ideas!

Choose local flowers

Imported flowers need to be flown or trucked in from states away, AND refrigerated during their journey, so we definitely recommend picking up your loved one flowers or a flowering plant from a local shop or one of the NC Farm Fresh retail nurseries and garden centers. Store-bought, imported flowers usually come wrapped up in cellophane — which is not recyclable.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Reasons to apply for an NCGP Solar Schools Grant

NC GreenPower is excited to announce we are accepting applications for the fourth year of our Solar Schools Program starting January 2, 2018 through February 28! The NC GreenPower Solar Schools Pilot provides grants for a 3-5 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) educational project, complete with a weather station, real-time monitoring, curriculum and training for teachers. Any K-12 school in North Carolina may apply for a 50% matching grant, up to $10,000. Schools are reviewed on a number of criteria – more information about the application process and eligibility requirements can be found in the Application Information document.

Are you interested in applying but need some help getting your principal on board with the Solar Schools Program? Here are some good reasons why your school should apply: