Charlotte’s Eco-Allies

CLT recently purchased two thirty-five-passenger hybrid buses, which get double the miles per gallon than the old ones.

CLT recently purchased two thirty-five-passenger hybrid buses, which get double the miles per gallon than the old ones.



It's no news that Charlotte's not the greenest place to live—after all, when Popular Science ranked the fifty greenest cities last year, the only city in N.C. to make the list—at number fifty, mind you—was Greensboro. Ouch. To prove that Charlotte is doing its mighty best to go green, here's a look at three groups that are trying really, really hard to make the QC more eco-friendly.

What: Horack Talley
Eco Factors: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? In the case of Horack Talley, it took an entire firm. The Charlotte-based law firm is participating in a nationwide American Bar Association and Environmental Protection Agency joint effort called the Law Office Climate Challenge (read: the Survivor of the legal profession). It's switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, has a strict baseline for energy and paper usage, and recycles obsessively, with receptacles for paper, plastic, cans, and batteries. The firm also has a green law department to help clients with environmental issues. By purchasing low-carbon renewable-energy credits from Renewable Choice Energy, it offsets 101 percent of its energy usage—the equivalent of planting 2,229 trees. Plus the firm has cut down on air-conditioning costs by raising the temperature in its computer server rooms during the warm months.
Green Score:  4 stars
Snippy lawyer jokes aside, the firm isn't just eco-friendly, it's eco-loverly.

What: Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Eco Factors: If you want to be carbon neutral but can't seem to avoid occasional plane travel, take comfort knowing that at least Charlotte Douglas Airport has (sort of) gone green. CLT recently purchased two thirty-five-passenger hybrid buses, which get double the miles per gallon than the old ones. CLT has also remodeled its bathrooms to be more energy efficient, and most of the used coffee grounds from the ubiquitous various Starbucks in the terminals are composted. So until NASA invents teleportation, rest assured that our local airport is finding ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
Green Score:  1 star
We know it's difficult to work within the transportation industry and be eco friendly, but there are still a number of things Charlotte Douglas can do to offset its huge carbon emissions.

What: Bank of America
Eco Factors: Not only did BofA receive the 2008 Natural Resources Defense Council Award for its attention to the issue of climate change, it's also committed $20 billion over the next ten years to promote sustainability in its corporation. Roughly $1.4 billion of that will be aimed at upgrading offices and branches to environmentally friendly standards. Complex green technology will be implemented for water conservation in bathrooms and break rooms, while recycled materials are to be used for remodeling (it'll be sturdy, promise). The only downside to new paper-saving practices is that they might chain bankers even more securely to their PCs and BlackBerrys.
Green Score:  2 star
As far as money spent, this bank is leading the pack. With the woes that our local financial institutions have been experiencing, however, we're going to keep an eye on BofA to make sure it honors its $20 billion commitment.
Categories: Buzz > QC Culture, Feature, The Buzz