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GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 6, 2011

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What’s in this issue ...
ALSO INSIDE

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Who needs electricity to make a good meal when people have been cooking with dutch ovens for centuries What can you do with some lint, old candles and egg cartons? Make a fire, of course.

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Camping spots near and not so far
The cooler weather of fallis the perfect time to pitch that tent, stoke up a fire and enjoy the great outdoors.

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LOCAL

BUSINESS

FAITH

The University Place development a test in public ‘green’ housing. PAGE 19
On the cover: Photo by istockphoto.com

Clarion Security makes sustainable practices work for them. PAGE 21

One sermon inspires congregration to think about God’s creation. PAGE 26

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The Green Page...
Facebook 'Clean-up at McKellar Lake.'

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens will be recertified as an arboretum, a botanical garden devoted to trees.
The Commercial Appeal files

Events
Dixon Arboretum Celebration November 5 at at Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Dixon will be re-certified by the state of Tennessee as an arboretum, a botanical garden devoted to trees. To celebrate, guests are welcome to attend a 'Toast to the Dixon's trees' at 5 p.m. as well as tours, informative lectures and a tree climing demonstration. For more information, call the Dixon at (901) 761-5250 McKellar Lake Cllean Up
November 12 at President's Island on the corner of Jack Carley Causeway and West Trigg Avenue, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Phoebe Cook Lecture Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden in the Making by William Thomas November 17 at Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Phoebe Cook Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Memphis Garden Club, and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, will provide expert presentations and lectures from speakers in horticulture, conservation and floriculture to Memphis. For more detailed information on the lecture series, please contact the Dixon at (901) 761-5250. Indie Style Market Christmas Bazaar November 25 at Klein Fitness, 338 South Main, 6 to 9 p.m. Get your holiday shopping done early with the independent, handmade craft makers of the Memphis Melange Etsy Team, a group of over 100 Memphians who sell locally-created, homemade gifts. Admission is free and open to all ages. For more information, visit IndieStyleMarket.net. Going Green Memphis is now on Facebook. Simply “LIKE” the page to receive regular news briefs and updates about green events and programs taking place in and around the Greater Memphis area.

Volunteers are calling for more volunteers to help reclaim recyclables and pick up trash deposited from Memphis storm drains in and around McKellar Lake. Helpers are asked to bring gloves and older children that can assist in the clean up are welcome. For more information,

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GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Micro Greens...

Rehab for old bourbon barrels
At first glance large, wooden bourbon barrels welded with iron may seem un-recycable. To Jeff Irish and Liz Davis, the creators of the Kentuckybased Bourbon Barrel Rehab, there are many uses for the alcohol containers after their empty. Barrels that would have been thrown into a landfill, are skillfully adapted into functional works of art. Some are common to the South (planters and rain barrels for collecting rainwater from houses), while others are more innovative (wine racks and guitar stands). Each reimagined barrel is capable of being customized. For a full list of available bourbon barrel designs and prices, go to BourbonBarrelRehab.com.

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Green Snap...

Dave Darnell/ The Commercial Appeal

Tiger Blue and Green
University of Memphis senior Jordan Kinsley checks out the charging ports on a Nissan Leaf SL as the University of Memphis held its Tiger Blue Goes Green Day event. The Leaf was one of several hybrid and electric automobiles that were showcased. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell spoke at the event, which featured approximately 45 exhibitors of environmentally-friendly products and concepts.
Interested in sharing your green experiences: a bike ride on the Greenline, a successful recycling project or a neighborhood cleanup? Send your green snapshots to goinggreen@commercialappeal.com with "Green Snaps" in the subject line. E-mail photos as JPEGs that are 1-2 MB in size and include complete caption information, including the full names of everyone featured in the photo. Be sure to include a contact phone number in case we have questions.

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A guide to well-priced all-natural meat, dairy
ORGANIC MEATS are pricey. I can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money every day. Can you? But I have been persuaded recently that hormone-free, artificial-preservative-free animal products are important for my family’s health. So I’ve gone on a hunt looking for sources that fit in my budget. Milk: Aldi’s Friendly DEANNA Farms brand milk is CASWELL hormone-free and reasonably priced at Practically about $2.30 a gallon. I Green buy it. True organic milk also ensures no pesticide residue or antibiotics, but for our family, that doesn’ t justify the higher price. And when I treat us to some fancy-pants milk, I’d much rather get the straightfrom-the-farm milk available at farmers markets. Poultry and pork: According to Dr. Andrew Weil’s (author of “8 Weeks to Optimum Health“)

Karen Pulfer Focht/The Commercial Appeal files

Locally produced organic meats fill the freezer at the Midtown Farmers Market. website, drweil.com, only beef and lamb are treated with hormones in our country. Poultry and pork are not. That is why when you see the “hormone-free” label on your Perdue frozen chicken breasts at Costco, it’s immediately followed by some statement about no hormones being allowed on poultry anyway. So as long as I stick with un-processed forms of these meats, I should be in the clear on hormones. Hot dogs, bacon, sausage and lunch meat: To avoid hormones, I

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True organic milk mean no pesticide residue or antibiotics, but is it worth the high price. Aldi’s Friendly Farms is hormone-free and reasonably priced at about $2.30 a gallon. Farm in Middle Tennessee (topoftheworldfarm.com), which comes to my local farmers market. Beef: Unfortunately, finding hormonefree beef at reasonable prices is difficult. The most cost-effective solution I’ve found is buying a quarter-cow from a local farmer, M4D in Cordova (m4dranch.com). The bulk price and mix of meats really work out pretty reasonably. Additionally, the beef is grass-fed, which means better nutrient density and flavor. I recently put down my deposit at M4D . There are at least two other local farms that I know sell in bulk : West Wind Farms (grassorganic.com) and Top of the World Farm (topoftheworldfarm.com). I fully support buying local and organic, but for our family, we just can’t do that for everything. So until we win the lottery, we won’t be buying the “greenest” version, except when it comes to beef and sausage.
Deanna Caswell is a local writer who blogs at littlehouseinthesuburbs.com. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Collierville, practicing eco-friendly living while raising their four children, along with pygmy goats and chickens.

The most cost-effective option to hormone-free beef is buying in bulk from a local farmer, like M4D in Cordova. can stick to the poultry and pork versions; however, we want to avoid artificial nitrites. So we need to get uncured or naturally cured versions. Oscar Mayer has a line of hot dogs without artificial preservatives (Oscar Mayer Selects), so I don’t have to resort to pricey hot dogs. Hormel has a line of naturally cured lunch meats (Hormel 100 Percent Natural Deli Meats) that are good. But for bacon and sausage, we’re ordering pastured, uncured sausage, bacon and ham in bulk from Top of the World

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GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Beyond decoration
Pumpkin is versatile, flavorful food option

as Halloween decorations. I was the unlucky child who had to convey the left-too-long-onthe-porch jack-o’-lantern to the trash, only to have my hands sink right through the moldy orb. Decades later, I have to shake my October heebie- MELISSA jeebies before I PETERSEN remember that Eating Local, pumpkins are, Eating Green first and foremost, food. With Halloween just a few days away, it’s time to focus on the many culinary uses of pumpkin. Pumpkins are lumped together with winter squashes, having tough skins and hard seeds. Harvested in fall and able to be stored over the winter, the pumpkin’s uses run the gamut from animal fodder to pie and bread to state-fair behemoth. The pumpkin is native to North America , and while orange is the predominant skin color, even locally, we can find green, gray and white. The flesh color varies, too — from bright orange to pale yellow. The majority of the Tennessee pumpkin crop is grown to be ornamental (for looks, not taste) but some of our prettiest pumpkins are delicious, too.

I DON’T CARVE PUMPKINS

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Early American settlers cooked pumpkins whole, directly in the hot coals of a fire. The pumpkin pie has origins in this preparation — topped and scraped out, filled with fall fruits, sugar, milk and spices. Baked whole with the top back on, this certainly sounds more interesting than the canned purée and evaporated milk concoction we see today. I don’t mind pumpkin pie, but a simple roasted pumpkin, drizzled with a little honey and some fresh thyme, gives the large squash its due. Pumpkin tastes good. While sweet, the flavor is rather delicate and can easily be overpowered by heavy spices or too much sugar. But the sweet side prevails: Westside Cakes in West Memphis and Muddy’s Bakeshop in Memphis have pumpkin cupcakes. Pick up pumpkin ravioli at Valenza Pasta in Midtown. And I’m hoping the specialevent pumpkin bread pudding becomes a regular offering at Boscos. While you can steam it or boil it, roasting pumpkin in large chunks until fork-tender is the easiest way to cook it. The skin will simply pull off. Season with fall herbs like rosemary and thyme. Bake with apples or pears as a side dish. Or slice and simmer in a curry. Don’t forget the seeds. Roast and salt them for a snack or as a garnish on your pumpkin soup. As an edible, there is very little waste to a pumpkin.
Melissa Petersen is the editor of Edible Memphis, a magazine that celebrates the abundance of local food, season by season. It is available at various locations around town. Contact her at ediblememphis.com.

Pumpkin Creamy Polenta with Herbed Brown Butter
Polenta: 3 /4 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium) 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 11/2 cups cooked pumpkin purée* (or sweet potato puree, or cooked squash) 21/2 cups water 2 cups whole milk 11/4 tsp. salt 1 /4 tsp. black pepper 3 /4 cup polenta 1 /4 cup heavy cream 1 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ( 1/2 cup) Aalt and pepper, to taste For herbed brown butter: 1 stick of unsalted butter 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves or fresh sage, chopped

To make herbed brown butter: In a saute pan over high heat add 1 stick of soft butter. Cook until the butter begins to foam and turn brown. Add herbs. Cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. For polenta: In a 4-quart saucepan, cook onion in 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add water, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add polenta in a thin stream, whisking. Cook polenta at a bare simmer, stirring with a long-handled whisk. Turn down heat as needed to prevent spattering. Stir in pumpkin puree and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and heavy cream. Drizzle with herbed brown butter. Serve immediately. * To make pumpkin purée, drizzle large chunks of pumpkin (skin on) with a little olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 until very soft. Remove and discard skin. Mash pumpkin with a potato masher or puree in a food processor until smooth.
Recipe by Melissa Petersen

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Now that there is a pleasant crispness in the air, it’s the perfect time to pack up and hit the road for a camping trip. At this time of year, parks are teeming with campers ready to enjoy the cool fresh air and admire the red, yellow and gold kaleidoscope of changing leaves.

Story Suzanne Thompson, Special to Going Green

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Fall a big draw to great outdoors

“F

all and early winter are very busy times,” said Randy Smalley, West Tennessee regional manager for the Division of State Parks at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The biggest decision for Memphians may be where to pitch camp. A couple of Mississippi state parks are within an hour’s drive of Memphis and at least five Arkansas state parks are also an easy drive from the city. The state of Tennessee operates a dozen parks in West Tennessee, some of which are just minutes from Memphis. “There’s a state park pretty much in a hour’s driving time from anywhere in the state,” Smalley said. West Tennessee state parks offer campers many amenities, such as fishing, hiking and biking trails and other activities. Although the word “camping” may evoke images of pitching a tent and rolling out the sleeping bags, the truth is that most people prefer a few more creature comforts and opt for pop-up campers or recreational vehicles. “Over the years, tent camping has become less popular,” Smalley

said. In fact, Smalley estimated that only about 20 percent of campers in Tennessee state parks opt for ground camping. Whichever method of camping people choose, Smalley said, his department asks campers who buy wood to build campfires to purchase it locally. Local means wood purchased within a 50-mile radius of the campground. Buying wood is not necessarily the only way to get enough of it to start a fire, Smalley said. “Everything in the parks that is on the ground may be used,” he said. Smalley’s office also asks that campers burn all the wood they bring into the park, not just discard it. That’s because pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer can be carried into the park and if left there, could infect other trees. Andy King, 32, said he’s been camping all his life. As a child, he and his family often camped at Pickwick Landing on the Tennessee River. King, who always camps on the ground with a tent, said MeemanShelby Forest near Millington has camp sites near the lake and also

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Courtesy Tennessee State Parks

Activities at Meeman-Shelby Forest include traditional outdoors activities like camping, fishing and canoeing, but campers can also play a round at the Frisbee Disk Golf Course. has a Frisbee Disk Golf Course. Some of the places near Memphis where he likes to camp are in Arkansas. Blanchard Springs Recreational Area in Arkansas is King’s favorite nearby spot to pitch camp. It appeals to him because it offers a lot of activities, such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing. He also enjoys visiting Blanchard Springs Caverns. Operating hours for the caverns are from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Labor Day to Memorial Day. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from November through March. Whether you pick a campsite that is minutes or hours away, it will provide something difficult to find at a hotel or resort — a special way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and remember what’s really important. “It’s a lot happier to be looking at a campfire than watching TV,” Smalley said.

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Tennessee State Parks
Big Cypress Tree Greenfield, TN 731-235-2700 Big Hill Pond Pocahontas, TN 731-645-7967 Chickasaw Henderson, TN 731-989-5141 Fort Pillow Henning , TN 731-738-5581 Meeman-Shelby Millington, TN 901-876-5215 N. B. Forrest Eva, TN 731-584-6356 Natchez Trace Wildersville, TN 731-968-3742 Paris Landing Buchanan, TN 731-641-4465 Pickwick Landing Pickwick Dam, TN 731-689-3129 Pinson Mounds Pinson, TN 731-988-5614 Reelfoot Lake Tiptonville, TN 731-253-8003 T.O. Fuller Memphis, TN 901-543-7581

Arkansas State Parks
Lake Poinsett 5752 State Park Lane Harrisburg, AR 72432 Email: lakepoinsett@arkansas.com Mississippi River 2677 Ark. 44 Marianna, AR 72360 Email: mississippiriver@arkansas.com Village Creek 201 County Road 754 Wynne, AR 72396 Email: villagecreek@arkansas.com Lake 0uachita 5451 Mountain Pine Road Mountain Pine, AR 71956 Email: lakeouachita@arkansas.com Louisiana Purchase Ark. Hwy 362 Brinkley, AR 72049 Email: louisianapurchase@arkansas.com

Mississippi State Parks
Wall Doxey State Park 3946 Highway 7 South Holly Springs, MS 38635 662-252-4231 John W. Kyle State Park 4235 State Park Road Sardis, MS 38666 662-487-1345

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GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 6, 2011

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Harken back to days of old
Dutch oven cooking goes back hundreds of years
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Demarcus Bowser/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Walter Person removes the lid of the dutch oven to reveal steaming hot jalapeno cornbread which is just one of many recipes that can be made using this outdoor cooking method

If the power goes out, Doug Thornton and Walter Person know their families will still be enjoying hot meals. Thornton is president of the Arkansas Dutch Oven Society, a group of people who use rustic cooking methods to make mouthwatering meals. The group’s members use three-footed cast iron pots, with lids and handles, called Dutch ovens. After the vessels are filled with the necessary ingredients, they are placed in a fire pit, and hot coals are put on top of the lid. The key to cooking with a Dutch oven is using the right amount of coals to achieve the correct temperature. “It’s a matter of heat control,” Thornton said. Dutch oven cooking goes back at least 300 years, when people cooked over an open fire, hanging the Dutch oven on a hook.

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Some still use this method. Memphis resident Walter Person said he and his wife often enjoy meals cooked in a vessel hung over a fire in their back yard. Person agrees with Thornton about the importance of controlling the heat source. His method of assessing the cooking temperature involves holding his hand over the fire and counting the seconds until he has to remove it. “I tried the other (coal) method and I didn’t like it. It’s too mathematical,” he said with a chuckle. Historically, Dutch ovens were considered so essential that they have even been mentioned in wills, like that of George Washington’s mother Mary Bell Washington. She passed half of her iron cookware to her grandson and the other half to a granddaughter. Several Dutch ovens were among her collection. “It’s been around forever,” Thornton said of the cookware. Although Thornton has been cooking with Dutch ovens since he was a Boy Scout, during the last eight years he has taken his outdoor cooking to a new level. That’s when he began entering Dutch oven cooking competitions. Thornton has won or placed in every cooking contest he has entered, and his team is currently the two-time Arkansas state champions. Lately, he’s taken a liking to cooking cheesecakes. “Anything you can cook inside, you can cook in a Dutch oven — 350 degrees is 350 degrees whether it’s inside or outside,” Thornton said. He has made Turtle cheesecakes and Butterfinger cheesecakes, and said he enjoys experimenting with new recipes.

Southern Reuben
1 /2 pound thin sliced corned beef 1 can sauerkraut drained 1 cup swiss cheese shredded 1 /2 cup Thousand Island Dressing 2 cups cornmeal 1 egg 1 cup buttermilk 2 tbsp. vegetable oil Heat oil in dutch oven and add 2 tbsp. cornmeal and brown. Mix cornmeal, egg and buttermilk until well blended and consistency of pancake batter. Pour half the mixture into oven, layer slices of corned beef to 1/2 inch from edge, top with sauerkraut then thousand island dressing then cheese. Spoon remaining cornbread mixture over top sealing edge. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. You should check for side release of the pone of cornbread. If the top is not brown enough once it has released take the oven off of the fire and place it on the ground and cover it with alot of coals piled up and check it aft 5 min. if it is too brown on one side and not enough on the other rotate the cover abt 1/4th to 1/2 turn.

Courtesy Johnny Nix, yalleatyet.com/Southern_Reuben.html

Peach Cobbler
9 cups of fresh peaches, cut into wedges 1 /3 cup lemon juice 21/2 cups sugar Pre rolled pastry crust Vanilla ice cream

Take the fresh peaches and blend with lemon juice. Add sugar to taste. Bring to a boil. Preheat the dutch oven. Drape the rolled pastry into the dutch oven and fill with the fruit mixture. Fold the pastry over the top of the fruit and place small pats of butter on the top of the cobbler. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is brown. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.

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“It seems like cheesecake calls my name,” he said. Thornton has prepared savory food in competitions, too, and his team is known for its stuffed pork tenderloin. “Pork is so dang easy to cook in a Dutch oven,” he said. Thornton gets most of his recipes from Southern Living or another magazine, A Taste of Home. From brisket to biscuits, Thornton said, anything can be cooked to perfection outdoors with a Dutch oven. Using what he calls the three up, three down method, he determines just how many coals need to be placed on or under the vessels, to achieve the proper cooking temperature. The basic technique calls for the use of an equal number of coals on the top and bottom of the pot as its size. For example, a 12-inch Dutch oven would start with 12 coals on the top and bottom. To achieve a cooking temperature of 350 degrees, Thornton said he subtracts three coals from the top of the Dutch oven, and adds three to the bottom. After years of experience, though, he can judge the approximate temperature of the pot just by holding his hand over it. Thornton owns about 50 pieces of cast iron cookware and more than half of them are Dutch ovens. He’s bought Dutch ovens new at places like Lowe’s, but he said some of his best finds have been at flea markets or antique stores. Their prices vary. Thornton said he has picked up a Dutch oven from a flea market for $15, but has seen them listed on eBay for as much as $200. One of the Dutch ovens he purchased was found by a farmer who was plowing

Demarcus Bowser/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Walter Person enjoys dutch oven cooking in his backyard. Historically, Dutch ovens were considered so essential they were mentioned in wills. a field. That one dates back to before 1860, and is believed to have been used during the Civil War. “I call it my Confederate Dutch Oven,” he said. Seasoning the cast iron cookware is a way of curing the surface for cooking. After the inside of a pot or skillet is rubbed with a light coating of oil — Thornton uses Crisco — it is placed in a 500-degree oven for an hour. This process is repeated at least three times to form a protective coating which acts

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as a nonstick surface that Thornton said is as good as Teflon. Newer Dutch ovens are usually “pre-seasoned.” Thornton usually cleans his Dutch ovens by wiping them out with a paper towel. But if a pot happens to rust, that can easily be cleaned off with a vinegar and water solution. The Dutch ovens range in diameter from 5 inches to 20 inches, though the 12-inch size is most commonly used. That size is a little easier to handle, Thornton said. “It takes a little muscle to move those things around,” he said. An empty 12-inch Dutch oven weighs about 9 pounds. Members of the Dutch Oven Society form teams not only for competitions, but also for social gatherings. The team made up of Thornton and three of his friends is known as “The Redneck Gourmets.” Unlike many cooking competitions, however, there are no secrets at a Dutch Oven Society contest. Thornton keeps copies of the recipe for the dish he prepares at each competition handy, so he can give them away. And he never makes the same dish twice in cooking competitions. A big part of Dutch oven cooking is the socializing, Thornton said. The groups often get together for what they call DOGs, or Dutch Oven Gatherings. “It’s not so much a competition,” he said, as just a bunch of folks getting together to cook, enjoy each other’s company, and of course, eat.

DIY firestarters make use of ‘trash’; better for environment
While warming myself near a friends backyard fire pit on a recent cool evening, I’m afraid I ruined the peaceful mood by droning on and on about the evils of manufactured firelogs and the toxins that they release into the environment. Manufactured firelogs used to be made by mixing sawdust and paraffin (the sludge left over at the bottom of a petroleum oil barrel) and extruding them into a log shape. While it LISA does ignite and burn ENDERLE more efficiently than natural firewood, Green Stuff paraffin also releases I Love many toxins into the environment including benzene, naphthalene and methyl ethyl ketone. Many are known carcinogens. Even so, I needlessly spouted off in this case because today’s firelogs are much more eco-friendly. They are typically made from the waste and bi-products of manufacturing such as ground seeds and nutshells, waxed cardboard, agricultural biomass (organic material left over from farming) and oil from renewable sources such as soybean, palm and pine trees. Even coffee grounds, harvested from offices and manufacturing plants, can be used to fashion a “green” firelog. These materials, often still blended with sawdust or recycled wood fibers, burn very efficiently and are toxin-free. Not easily pleased, I still have a problem with firelogs despite their newfound econess. Even though they are made from recycled materials and burn completely clean, what about the non-renewable energy necessary to manufacture and transport this product? I don’t feel good

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about putting extruded logs on a semi and driving it cross-country to my neighborhood Kroger, belching diesel all the way. And doesn’t it feel a little like burning money? So what is a camper or backyard environmentalist to do when they want to roast weenies (100% natural nitrate and nitrite free, of course)? The solution that I offered at the time of my backyard debate was a homemade firestarter that I recalled crafting way back when I was a dedicated Girl Scout. For these DIY firestarters you will need an empty cardboard egg carton, lint collected from your dryer (you can also put lint out on your lawn and the birds will thank you for helping to build their nest), and leftover candle pieces that you have cut or shaved into small bits. Fill each cup of the egg carton 2/3 full of lint. Melt candle wax (yes, these are mostly made from paraffin) in a double boiler until it is a pourable liquid. Do not melt wax in the microwave or oven. Carefully pour a few tablespoons of wax into each egg cup and let it harden for a few hours or overnight. The cups can be cut into individual firestarters and stored in a cool, dry place until the next time you get a craving for s’mores! By building a fire which is only as big as you need, using homemade firestarters and the more efficient natural woods such as oak, beech, birch or hickory in the fire pit, one saves the energy and resources that are necessary to manufacture and transport the firelogs that might be purchased at the grocery or hardware store. Find a local source for untreated firewood, maybe in the paper or by word of mouth, and you get even greener. I feel warmer already.

For these homemade firestarters take an empty cardboard egg carton and fill with the lint collected from your dryer. Small leftover candle pieces are melted on the stovetop.

Once the candles have melted, add a small amount to each egg cup with the lint and let dry.

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LOCAL NEWS

A place for HOPE
Memphis project chosen for LEED neighborhood pilot program

Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

The lake that is at the front of The University Place is a large retention pond and maintains the rainwater runoff instead of increasing the load on the sewer system.
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Memphis is making progress toward becoming a greener city. Recycling projects are expanding, awareness is rising, and now we have our first green neighborhood. The University Place development in Memphis was

chosen as one of 238 Hope VI pilot projects to build publicly funded energy-efficient neighborhoods. The federal government’s Hope VI program was established in the mid-1990s to replace dilapidated public housing with mixed-income housing. Increasingly these new communities are being built with an eye toward sustainability.

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“There is probably more affordability housing that has been built according to good sustainability practices in the U.S. than market-rate housing,” said Bill Carson, director of sustainability for McCormack Baron Salazar, the St. Louis-based development company that landed the bid for University Place. University Place, a collaborative effort between the Memphis Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, replaced the Lamar Terrace public housing complex. McCormack Baron Salazar is known nationally for its development of sustainable communities. The Memphis project was one of three that the company entered in the LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program, Carson said. Construction of the 405-unit development was completed in 2009 and it is almost 100 percent occupied. “We are co-developers of the site and we continue to manage and operate the property,” Carson said. Retaining management of the property allows the company to ensure that sustainability is built into the dayto-day operations of University Place. University Place features energyefficient appliances, all buildings are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, and great care was taken with construction waste management, Carson said. Low-volatile organic compound paints were used for interiors and native vegetation was used in landscaping for the complex, which looks more like luxury apartments than mixed-income housing. “The majority of the townhouses and garden apartments individually have

Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

The new units at The University Place development are fitted with new energy-efficient appliances. been certified by the LEED for Homes program at either the certified or silver level, so the structures are exceptional in terms of their energy use, their water use and they all have very highly sustainable material and recycled construction materials,” Carson said. The lake that is at the front of the property is actually a large retention pond and maintains the rainwater runoff. “It eventually bubbles its way back down into the ground instead of increasing the load on the sewer system,” Carson said. Octavia Johnson-Norman, area manager for McCormack Baron Salazar, is in charge of operations at both University Place and Legends Park, which replaced the old Dixie Homes housing project. Johnson-Norman has been a property manager for 17 years and said these properties are very different from any others she has managed. “We’re so close to the Medical

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District, we have several residents who walk to work,” she said. Both University Place and Legends Park were designed to be walkable neighborhoods. Although they are built on city streets the communities are semi-gated. “Each section has its own entrance,” Johnson-Norman said. Security officers patrol the grounds so residents feel safe and happy in what was once a crime-riddled neighborhood. Another big difference JohnsonNorman has noticed at University Place and Legends Park is the lack of complaints about electric bills from residents. Generally the power bill on a onebedroom apartment is about $80, the energy bill for a two-bedroom garden apartment costs about $100, and for a two-bedroom townhouse, the bill runs about $120 a month. Johnson-Norman said there is less than a 5 percent turnover in residents because the management company is so focused on resident retention. The complex also has programs for residents, such as aerobics classes and a monthly “get to know your neighbor” gathering. This has promoted a sense of community that is present at both University Place and Legends Park. There is a long waiting list for the public housing units in both developments. The names of about 1,300 families are on the waiting list at University Place and 1,600 are on the waiting list for public housing at Legends. There are waiting lists for the marketvalue and tax-credit units as well, but they are much shorter.

Clarion Security ‘green’ model a win-win for all
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

At one of the city’s newest security companies, Clarion Security LLC, there are no guards with clipboards patrolling in pickup trucks. Clarion, founded in 2009 by Kim Heathcott and her husband Larry, began with an eco-friendly business model in mind. “We realized we had the opportunity to do things completely differently,” she said. “It all came together when we were putting together our business plan.” Clarion guards carry Droid phones and cruise their territories in hybrid vehicles. Guards stationed in guardshacks use iPads to document entrances and exits to the property and all patrol reports are done without the use of paper. When the company purchased its small fleet of vehicles, the Toyota Prius was the car of choice. “It just made a whole lot of sense to choose hybrid vehicles,” said Larry Heathcott, president of the company. Gas consumption is a big issue for security firms because one of the services they provide is patrolling. By purchasing the hybrid

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Mike Brown/The Commercial Appeal

Clarion Security CEO Kim Heathcott (left) and president Larry Heathcott stand alongside a fleet of hybrid patrol cars outside their East Memphis office. vehicles, which travel 48 to 52 miles per gallon, Clarion’s fuel costs are about 75 percent less than they would have been if the company had chosen the small trucks most of their competitors use. “On a typical eight-hour shift, they are in play the whole time regardless of whether it is someone patrolling or if it’s a supervisor, that car is constantly checking our sites, so that car is moving all night (or day) long,” said Kim Heathcott. Clarion customers do not receive a fuel surcharge on their bills, which is standard practice in the security industry. The company diverts the money it saves in fuel costs toward taking care of a more important asset — the workforce. Clarion has a policy of helping its employees out with transportation if there is some reason they can’t get to work. Recently, an employee was picked up at home in Walls, Miss., to come to work. “That’s when you really appreciate having the Prius,” Larry Heathcott said. While Clarion started off with a small fleet of the hybrid cars, the company is adding to its current fleet an even more energy efficient car, the

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Nissan Leaf. The company took delivery of the first one in September, and has three more on order. Using the Leaf has translated into mega-savings for Clarion. At a cost of 2.3 cents per mile, the electric car runs for 80 miles on an overnight charge. A company car travels about 60 miles a day between checking on the guards and delivering meals to them, which are provided during each shift, free of charge. Clarion’s attention to the safety and well-being of its guards is an aspect of its business model that clients appreciate. Rick Raffanti, real estate manager for CB Richard Ellis, said his company hired Clarion in January. The way the security company’s owners treat employees was one of the things that impressed him most. “They take care of their employees, so there’s not a lot of turnover,” he said. Being able to retain its guards translates to customer satisfaction for the 45 businesses that occupy Thousand Oaks Park, which is managed by CB Richard Ellis. “Clients feel better when they see the same face at the gate,” Raffanti said. With 54 full-time and 100 part-time employees, Clarion’s workforce is the core of the company. Because the jobs are low-paying, the owners feel they have a commitment to their employees. “We need them to be able to rely upon us to furnish them with a full shift and not dock their pay. It helps them keep their lives together,” said Larry Heathcott. Clarion’s efforts to do the right thing have saved countless reams of paper, and its clients reap the benefits by receiving a higher level of service at a lower cost. “The technology with reporting is

Mike Brown/The Commercial Appeal

Clarion Security uses paperless technologies for guards to document checkpoints and file reports. incredible and it’s not just the convenience thing for us,” Raffanti said. The reporting technology also saves his company time and money. With the previous company CB Richard Ellis used, if there was an incident, such as damage to a gate, it had to be documented on paper. Then the guard had to make a call to the oncall customer service representative. That person would in turn call Raffanti to report the incident, describe the damages and ask for payment authorization for the repairs. If a Clarion guard detects property damage, it can be photographed and sent directly to Raffanti. “Now, it’s instantaneous,” he said. “And, you always have that record online.” Use of the Droid phone is an incentive for the guards to perform at a higher level because everything is in real time. The phones are also used for them to clock in and out, by logging on and off. Guards record video notes of any irregularities and snap a photo on the phone of anything that seems unusual.

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GREEN MYTHS

BUSTED
THERE IS ALWAYS CHATTER about conserving energy and energy efficiency — what’s true and what’s not and where the information came from. We have put together a list of common myths with a green theme.

Myth: Appliances don’t use electricity when they are off
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, not only do appliances continue to draw electricity while the products are turned off, but in the average home nearly 75 percent of all electricity used to power electronics is consumed by products that are turned off. VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers and kitchen appliances all use energy while not in use. You may have noticed how a cellphone recharger can be warm even when not attached to a phone. The best way to prevent unnecessary energy expenditures is to do a clean sweep of your home and unplug everything not in use while you are gone or when you go to sleep. The process is a bit of a hassle at first, but many people find that the hassle quickly turns into a painless habit.

Myth: Bottled water is safer to drink than tap water
Tap water, particularly in the MidSouth, is safer to drink than bottled water, and doesn’t create the voluminous amount of trash water bottles do. Some bottled waters have even been found to contain chemicals, unlike the clean, great-tasting water here because Memphis rests on one of the largest aquifers in the country. Buy a reusable water bottle; the water is not only better for you, it’s better on your wallet, too.

Myth: Small changes don’t really matter
According to the EPA, small changes can really add up. Its site, epa.gov/climatechange/wydc.home, Lists several small changes people can

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make that will add up to savings in the environment and your budget. The suggested changes, like changing five light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones, does lower greenhouse gases.

not in use, etc. Energy efficiency requires technology, so devices that have built-in energy-saving features are energy efficient.

Myth: Computers don’t use energy in sleep mode
A computer does use energy while it’s not in use, but the power setting you choose makes a difference. Here’s a breakdown: “System standby” drops monitor and computer power use down to 1-3 watts each; wakes up in seconds; saves $25 to $75 per PC annually. “System hibernates” drops monitor and computer power use down to 1-3 watts each; wakes up in 20+ seconds; saves work in the event of power loss; saves $25 to $75 per PC annually. “Turn off monitor” drops monitor power use down to 1-3 watts each; wakes in seconds or less; saves half as much as system standby or hibernate: about $10 to $40. “Turn off hard disks” saves very little energy.

Myth: Organic food is always better
While there’s no definitive evidence that organic food provides more nutrition, it must be produced without antibiotics, growth hormones or synthetic pesticides. This does lower exposure to potentially hazardous toxic substances. One big consideration about organic produce and meat is how far it is shipped. That’s why it’s always better to eat local — organic or not — because the reduction in food miles, or distance it takes to transport it from farm to table, saves energy and helps the environment by cutting down on pollutants.

Myth: Hybrid vehicles are always better
It really depends on which vehicle you choose. Large SUV-type hybrids still use a lot of gas. Another consideration is the energy it takes to manufacture a new car, which may steer you toward a used car lot. To make a new Toyota Prius, about 113 million BTUs are expended, the equivalent of about 1,000 gallons of gas.

Myth: It will cost more to cool or heat my house if I turn it up or down when I’m not home
According to Jackie Reed, a representative of MLGW, if you are going to be away for more than four hours, it is beneficial to turn your HVAC system off or set the thermostat back. If the system is working properly, it will not work any harder recooling the home. We recommend 78 degrees in the summertime and 68 degrees in the wintertime when the home is occupied.

Myth: Planting trees will fix global warming
Believe it or not, the effect tree planting has on global warming is directly related to how close to the equator they are planted. Those trees absorb CO2, by a process called carbon sequestering, and that does help the earth. The farther away from the equator trees are planted, the greater the likelihood that heat will be trapped in dense canopies when large numbers of trees are planted. Tennessee is one of the most heavily forested states in the U.S.
Suzanne Thompson, Special to Going Green

Myth: Energy conservation and energy efficiency are the same
They are not the same. Conserving energy is something you can do by turning off lights

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Nikki Boertman / The Commercial Appeal

Germantown United Methodist Church's Rev. Rick Smith introduced a program called Creation Care to his congregation to share the importance of conservation.

Answering the call to conservation
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Germantown United Methodist Church has ramped up its efforts toward sustainability under the leadership of its new senior pastor, Rev. Rick Smith, who came to the church in late February. On May 22, Smith preached a sermon about the importance of conservation, and announced a new program called Creation Care.

It’s taken a while for everyone to get on board, and Smith said he believes in general the movement toward conservation has been thwarted by differing political agendas. “We have let the politics of the green movement affect us in such a way that far too many Christians were reticent to remember our call,” Smith said. Political disagreements have caused some to lose sight of the fact that conservationism is a calling from God, he said. “We may not agree on

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how to do it, and we may not agree on the particulars of the state of creation and of the environment, but we can agree that there’s a problem, and we can agree that it’s a spiritual mandate.” Anne Fritz, who heads the Creation Care committee at Germantown United Methodist Church, said she believes another stumbling block is the issue some people have with being told what to do. “There’s a natural reluctance,” she said. The Creation Care program is steeped in theology. “We believe this is what God calls his people of the church to do. It’s inherent in who we are in faithfulness to God’s call,” Smith said. “We want to be clear that our program has a spiritual and theological base.” The goal of the program is to educate, encourage and inspire the congregation about the spiritual nature to preserve the environment. “If we can educate enough, outside the political perspective, and we can encourage people about some steps they can take, then we may be planting the seeds to inspire them to a totally — as much as possible — environmentally friendly committed lifestyle,” Smith said. The Creation Care sermon outlined some of those small steps congregants could take in their daily lives. Starting off small helps people realize how easy it is to make slight modifications that make a difference. Everyone has different ideas the changes they can make on a personal level. “We’re certainly not going to say, ‘If you don’t achieve X level, or you don’t come to a particular height to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle you are somehow betraying the intent of

scripture or God’s call.’ But, at least begin to make progress,” Smith said. The church has already begun to implement several operational changes to conserve energy. A new waste management contract has been signed that provides recycling for all recyclables the church uses. The church has switched from Styrofoam to recyclable plastic cups, and many people have coffee mugs they use during Sunday school. Energy use in the eight buildings spread over the church’s 14-acre property is being examined. Eventually church administrators would like to install motion-sensitive lighting throughout the church. Motion-sensitive lights have already been installed in most of the restrooms and other hightraffic areas, according to chief administrator Don Rhoads. Rhoads said they are examining replacing the computer systems that govern the church’s scheduling and temperature control. “We don’t have the ability, right now, to drive temperature by our schedules, but we are going to be shooting in the future at being able to marry those two.” This will make a big change in the church’s energy usage, Rhoads said. The church is currently building an outdoor worship center, the Edwin Smith Worship Center. The semicircular design features simple tiered seating, Rhoads said, and “we are incorporating all of the trees possible.” Rhoads said that’s just one component of the effort to change not only the operation of the church but the mindset of its members.

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