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Resource guide



American Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program: The program aims to increase the development and use of wind and hydropower technologies across the country. It provides ample research materials and links to publications.

Clean Energy Durham: Works on a neighborhood level to encourage and assist citizens to save energy through weatherization programs, solar hot water, conservation tips, etc.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: An online guide to help consumers choose the best lighting options and usage, plus a maintenance guide on how to care for your lights to keep them at optimal energy efficiency.

N.C. Green Power: The nonprofit, statewide energy program works to improve North Carolina's environment through voluntary contributions toward renewable energy and the mitigation of greenhouse gases. Its goal is to supplement the state's existing power supply with more green energy—electricity generated from renewable energy sources like the sun, wind and organic matter. It also offers carbon offsets to address growing concerns about the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment.

N.C. Solar Center: See listing under Universities.

N.C. Sustainable Energy Association: A nonprofit that works to promote sustainable energy across North Carolina. They provide information on resources, tax credits, climate change, etc.

N.C. Wind Energy: Provides wind energy information as well as a guide to resources and companies across the state for those who wish to learn more about and install technology to harness the power of the wind.

Solar Energy International: A nonprofit organization that offers renewable energy education through hands-on training and classes across the country (and in other parts of the world) as well as online classes.

The Source for Renewable Energy: A guide to more than 14,000 renewable energy businesses and organizations worldwide.

WindPower Monthly: A monthly magazine that specializes in wind power. It offers stories on global wind power news and technology.


Carolina Farm Stewardship Association: Promotes sustainable agriculture in the Carolinas.

Center for Environmental Farming Systems: Works closely with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, farmers and citizens to provide agricultural research, extension and education for our state.


Nature Conservancy: National organization with an N.C. chapter that has protected nearly 700,000 acres across the state.

N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund: Part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the fund works to preserve working farms and forestry and horticulture industries.


State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency: An online database containing information for tax incentives, utility discounts, rules and regulations concerning renewable and efficient energy. The database also includes federal information.

Tax Incentive Assistance Project: TIAP is designed to help homeowners and builders find out if they qualify for federal income-tax credits because of energy efficiency with buildings and vehicles. The site offers federal tax forms as well as updates on incentives.


Efficient Windows Collaborative: An online guide that explains the benefits of switching to energy efficient windows. The site also provides information about tax incentives, legislative incentives and building-code updates.

Energy-Efficient Lighting: An online guide that takes users through the benefits of switching to compact fluorescent lights and LEDs.

Energy Star Appliances: The online site provides information and lists of Energy Star- approved appliances as well as information to consider when making home improvements (including information regarding tax credits) and building a new home.

GreenBuilding: A resource guide that allows users to find local dealers who sell green building materials. Searches can be done by ZIP code to find nearby vendors.

Green Building Pages: An online resource that offers a searchable green building materials section under green products, including manufacturers by ZIP code.

The Green Building Resource Guide: A guide to more than 600 green-building materials and products. These products are not only green but useful.

Green Home Builders of the Triangle: A subcommittee of the Home Builders Associations in area counties, it offers green building guidance, rating systems and certification, and educational tools for helping builders adopt green building techniques across the country. It is affiliated with the NAHB National Green Building Program.

Natural Resources Defense Council: Provides tips to help make sure you buy the right energy saving appliances. The Web site also provides information to help you save energy.

N.C. Green Building Technology Database: Provides informative case studies of different green building technologies and techniques.

The Smart Communities Network: This site offers information and articles related to green building and developing, success stories, N.C. codes and ordinances as well as educational materials.

U.S. Green Building Council, Triangle Chapter: A coalition of building leaders across the region who strive to promote green building and environmentally friendly techniques to create sustainable places to work and live.

Western North Carolina Green Building Council: A nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable, health-conscious building practices through education. It also provides information on resources from alternative energy to remodeling.

Whole Building Design Guide: An in-depth look at windows, including an overview of many aspects of windows from the U-value (which indicates the heat flow through a window) to the solar heat grain coefficient (which indicates how much of the sun's energy that hits the window is transmitted through the window as heat). It also discusses adding tints and glazes to window and the benefits of selecting the right windows for your home or office.


Indoor Air Quality, EPA: In this online guide, users can learn about air quality, what might be hampering it and what to do if your air has mold, radon or carbon monoxide.

Indoor Air Quality, State: Information provided by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on common air pollutants and what users can do to eliminate or reduce them in houses, schools, offices and buildings, and state government and university buildings.


Conservation Trust for N.C.: A nonprofit organization that protects North Carolina's land and water resources through statewide conservation and cooperative work with local land trusts.

Land for Tomorrow: A statewide partnership of concerned citizens, businesses, interest groups and local governments urging the General Assembly to fund protection of the state's land and water resources.

N.C. Coastal Land Trust: The group helps preserve the coastal communities through the acquisition of open space and natural areas, conservation education and the promotion of good land stewardship.

Triangle Land Conservancy: A nonprofit organization that protects important open space—stream corridors, forests, wildlife habitat, farmland and natural areas—in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange and Wake counties to help keep our region a healthy and vibrant place to live and work.


Carolina Recycling Association: Composed of corporations, small businesses, local government, state government agencies and individuals across the Carolinas who are committed to waste reduction and recycling efforts.


Chatham County:

Durham City-County:

Orange County (includes Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough):


Wake County:


Smart Growth Network: A joint venture of many nonprofit companies as well as government organizations and the EPA to help design and redesign new and existing communities so that they are environmentally and pedestrian and transit friendly, they incorporate a mix of retail, commercial and housing opportunities, and they help foster a sense of place in a community.

U.S. EPA Smart Growth: Provides background information about smart growth as well as links to other EPA resources.


Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization: Oversees many aspects of transit in Wake County, including bike and pedestrian issues.

Chapel Hill/ Carrboro Bike/ Ped Advisory Board: Advises the Council regarding the creation, development and revision of a phased Walks and Bikeways Master Plan. Sets priorities for new facilities or enhancement of existing routes in the Walks and Bikeways Master Plan. Identifies and prioritizes critical gaps in facilities; advises which critical gaps require Town action.

Chatham County Transportation Advisory Board: This new committee plans to identify and study issues and make recommendations to the county commissioners on transportation and related issues. The long-term goal is to have a sustainable transportation system that offers access to various modes of transportation.

Duke Bikes: Rentals for Duke students, staff and faculty.

Durham Bike/ Ped Advisory Commission: Advisory board provides news and reports and holds meetings about the city's bike and pedestrian accessibility.

Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization: Oversees many aspects of transit in Durham and Orange counties, including bike and pedestrian issues.

Mass Transit: Online magazine with industry news about rail, bus and legal issues, plus a job listing.

N.C. Active Transportation Alliance: Stateside advocacy organization promoting nonmotorized transportations for residents and visitors to NC.

N.C. Coalition for Bicycle Driving: Stresses education, access and safety.

Pedicabs: Raleigh Rickshaw has service downtown. Greenway Transit has service and rents pedicabs in Durham and Chapel Hill.

Public Transportation: Cary: C-Tran, Chapel Hill/ Carrboro: Chapel Hill Transit, Durham: DATA, Raleigh: CAT, Triangle Transit provides bus service throughout Durham, Wake and Orange counties:

Triangle Greenways Council: This volunteer organization promotes the expansion and use of greenway corridors throughout the Triangle.

Zipcars: Duke University is involved in the car-sharing program.


Harvested Rainwater: This site from offers information about ways to harvest rainwater, including rain barrels and large- and small-scale harvesting.

Water Conservation: The N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance provides tips to conserve water as well as links to the state drought monitoring page.


Carrboro: The Environmental Advisory Board communicates with the Board of Alderman on policies, ordinances and administrative procedures regarding environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources. The areas of review for the EAB include new development, solid waste, air quality, stormwater management, energy conservation, solar energy, groundwater, natural resources and others.

Cary: The Environmental Advisory Board provides feedback and advice to Town Council on policies, ordinances and administrative procedures regarding environmental protection and the conservation of energy and natural resources.

Chapel Hill: The Town's Sustainability Office is headquarters for the advisory group, the Sustainability Committee, which includes citizens and appointed and elected officials.

Durham: The City-County Environmental Affairs Board is composed of citizens advising elected officials on environmental

Durham Sustainability Office: This office is in charge of implementing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. Contact Tobin Freid, sustainability manager, at 560-7999.

N.C. Cooperative Extension: Based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities, the extension offers consumer assistance on farming, gardening, forestry and other environmental issues.

N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources: The vast state agency is in charge of enforcement, permitting and education, among other duties. It has divisions devoted to water, waste, hazardous materials, air, etc.

N.C. Department of Transportation, Bike/ Ped Division: Works on construction of off-road facilities and on-road highway improvements; safety and education programs; bicycle route designation and signing.

N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council: Issues drought advisories and offers technical and educational data.

Orange County: The Environment & Resource Conservation Department is involved in environmental protection and open space.

Raleigh: The Environmental Advisory Board advises City Council on matters related to environmental quality and promotes communication between governments and the public on environmental protection standards and policies.

State Energy Office: It is the lead agency for energy programs and serves as the official source of information and assistance for consumers, including businesses.

U.S. Department of Energy: The Department of Energy's Web site provides links and information pertaining to energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy.

Wake County: The Environmental Services Department tackles various issues, including air quality, solid waste and water quality.

Wake Forest: The town has a Greenways Advisory board and an Urban Forestry Advisory Board.


Duke University Center for Tropical Conservation: A nonprofit organization seeking to address the global environmental crisis, particularly as it affects the developing countries of the tropics, through research, training, and communication.

Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Services: Researches a variety of environmental issues.

Duke University Sustainability Office: Interacts with students for a greener campus.

East Carolina University Center for Sustainable Tourism: Promotes eco-friendly tourism in the state and region and offers green travel tips.

N.C. State University Office of Sustainability: Works to make N.C. State a more sustainable campus and also conducts environmental research.

N.C. Solar Center: Operated by the N.C. State college of engineering, the center provides information for homes and businesses to use solar power. They also have a display home that visitors can tour.

N.C. State Center for Transportation and the Environment: Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its state counterpart, the CTE looks into how to integrate transportation in sustainable way.

UNC Center for Sustainable Enterprise: Run out of the Kenan-Flagler business school, this center focuses on dovetailing business, financial profitability and green practices.

UNC Institute for the Environment: Researchers study global warming, pollution, carbon reduction and watershed management, among other areas.

UNC Sustainability Office: Develops and implements sustainable policies, practices and curricula for all members of the university community.


Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League: This regional nonprofit has offices throughout North Carolina, including Alamance County. The group works on a range of issues including water quality, sludge, landfills, energy and transportation.

Canary Coalition: The group is active in opposing new coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy.

Coal Free UNC: The student group has a goal of lobbying university leaders to convert from coal to 100 percent renewable energy.

Earth Share: This federation of nonprofits works on issues of water, forests, sprawl, energy conservation and pollution, among others. They also connect volunteers with environmental projects. It is located in Durham.

Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association: An urban nonprofit conservationorganization working in Durham County. The group owns and manages more than 150 acres and four public preserves.

Eno River Association: Dedicated to conserving and protecting the nature, culture and history of the Eno River basin.

Environmental Education Fund: The mission of the Environmental Education Fund is to facilitate productive partnerships, which raise public awareness of the environmental consequences of our actions.

Environment North Carolina: A statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that focuses on many issues, including clean energy, clean water and land preservation.

Haw River Assembly: Works to protect local waterways, including the 110-mile Haw River and Jordan Lake.

National Audubon Society of N.C.: Conserves and restores natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and North Carolina's biological diversity. The state office provides information on chapters, advocacy and administration contact.

Natural Resources Defense Council: Based in Washington, D.C., the group monitors policymaking while offering green living tips and other environmental news.

Neuse River Foundation: Protects, restores and preserves the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement, in order to provide clean water for drinking, recreation and enjoyment to the communities that it serves.

N.C. Conservation Network: The Raleigh-based group advocates on energy, coastal issues, air quality and environmental justice.

N.C. Powerdown: The Triangle meetup group hopes to raise awareness about the imminent peak in worldwide oil production, influence policy decisions that concern fossil energy use, and be a resource to members as they convert to lower-energy lifestyles.

N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network: The Durham-based group advocates for renewable energy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Sierra Club: The North Carolina Chapter of this national organization has 13,000 members. It lobbies on state environmental policy.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy: A coalition of citizen and environmental groups advocating for renewable energy in the South. They have offices throughout the region.

Southern Environmental Law Center: The nonprofit uses the law to advocate for the environment, while also lobbying for policy change. It covers six Southern states and has several offices in North Carolina, including Raleigh.

Sustainable North Carolina: Helps organizations become sustainable through networking, education, services and recognition.

Toxic Free N.C.: Raleigh-based group that raises awareness about the benefits of pesticide- and herbicide-free homes, schools and food.

Transition Carrboro-Chapel Hill: A group that strives to make communities sustainable as they're faced with the challenges of climate change and peak oil.

Triangle Environmental Network: An informal meetup group that discusses conserving local resources, alternative energy sources and solutions.

Umstead Coalition: Dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek natural area.

BLOGS Life without a car Fuel efficiency, organic food, green living Green gadgetry and more The latest in green gossip Green living for renters Green design Technologies, events and issues affecting people who live or work off-grid Local environmental blog by Sue Sturgis Green lifestyle blog Politics, business, community, design


Audubon: Offers views on environmental problems and proposes solutions regarding ecology, conservation, wildlife and more.

E: The Environmental Magazine: A bimonthly clearinghouse of environmental news.

Green Guide: National Geographic's green magazine features information about topics from cleaning your house without chemicals to t using fireplaces and many things in between.

Grist: Irreverent and serious at the same time, this online publication weighs in on important environmental issues with profiles, news, features and a blog (

Living Green Magazine: An online magazine that provides information about products, technology, green practices and sustainable solutions.

Mother Earth News: Magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living. Topics include building, gardening, homesteading, do-it-yourself, kitchen, energy and health.

One Earth: A publication of the National Resources Defense Council.

Orion Magazine: Forum for re-imagining humanity's relationship to nature, culture and place, featuring America's foremost writers and artists.

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