Going Green
volume 8, issue 1


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that a small
group of thoughtful, committed
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the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

— Margaret Mead



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YWCA Cape Fear:  26th Annual Women of Achievement Awards

Thank you,
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On The Road | News & Events| In The Media


Community Supports Going Green Through Tidal Creek Program

Thank you, Tidal Creek Cooperative and all the members of the community who “Rounded Up at the Register” in support of Cape Fear’s Going Green through the first quarter of 2016. Shoppers at Tidal Creek can round up their payment to the next dollar if they want to support the community organization featured at the time of their purchase. We were delighted to exceed our quarterly goal of $1,000, receiving a total of $1,069.32!

As part of our magazine’s community education and outreach, Going Green participates in several community events each year, providing information on topics designed to help you make choices that save you money, contribute to healthier living, and assist you in being kind to our planet.

We plan to use fundraiser monies to create two new interactive displays. One display will teach children (and their parents!) how native plants benefit pollinators, whose health is critical to our food supply; the other will illustrate benefits of a plant-based diet.

Learn more about Tidal Creek’s Giving initiatives at http://www.tidalcreek.coop/giving-initiatives/.


Going Green in Wilmington’s encore magazine!

Going Green is once again featured in encore magazine! Their December 16, 2014 edition highlights Going Green’s Environmental Book Club. You can read it online here. Our debut with encore magazine! was July 26, 2012 and were so pleased with their continued coverage! Visit the site www.encorepub.com


Wilmington StarNews Features Valerie L. Robertson

Ben Steelman of the Wilmington StarNews started our new year out right: he featured our publisher in a Port City Profile on January 1, 2012.


Going Green Publications in WILMA! Valerie Robertson and Going Green Publications in WILMA - 2011 Going Green in Wilmington’s Own Wilma! Magazine

Read about us in the February 2011 issue of Wilma! —Wilmington's magazine for women.


YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

The YWCA Cape Fear held its 26th Annual Women of Achievement Awards ceremony on May 20, 2010 celebrating a select group of women and young leaders nominated by their peers. Each award recipient is selected through a formal nomination and blind selection process. Each nomination is scored by two panelists, who do not know the identity of the nominees. The nominee with the highest score is declared the recipient in her category.

YWCA Cape Fear: 26th Annual Women of Achievement AwardsThe publisher of Cape Fear's Going Green was a 2010 recipient in the Environmental category. Her mother was a recipient in the Business category (see story below). A new award category was added this year in honor of community leader Rachel Freeman.

And the winners are:

Dixon Stetler - Arts; Adeline Robertson - Business; Valita Quattlebaum - Communications; Emma Jackson - Education; Valerie Robertson - Environmental; Kelly Laham - Health & Wellness; Kay Zwan - Public Service; Annie Anthony - Volunteer; Margaret Rogers - Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero Award; Lauren Hamilton - Brunswick Young Leader; Lindsay Wright - New Hanover Young Leader; Stephanie Carlton - Pender Young Leader


Cape Fear’s Going Green Publisher in the running for YWCA Award

Adeline and Valerie RobertsonWilmington mother and daughter don’t let rivalry over May 20 “Women of Achievement” award get in the way of helping each other succeed in business.

Becoming a “Woman of Achievement” doesn’t happen overnight. Valerie Robertson knows this. She watched her mother, Adeline Robertson, Ph.D., move to Wilmington knowing just one person—her daughter—but with a load of experience and the desire to fill a need. The company the former hospital administrator founded in 1999, Choice Caregivers, Inc., matches skilled caregivers with patients. “When she arrived, there were services that provided companions but none that offered long-term skilled in-home medical care,” says Valerie. “It has made a huge difference.”

In addition to helping patients remain at home while recovering from illness or accident, Adeline offers her caregivers—many of them single parents—flexible schedules that allow them to care for their own families or pursue coursework. And she knows each family, each caregiver’s needs by heart. “She knows which caregivers have to be off work by 2 p.m. to meet their child’s school bus, and which need extra hours to pay off auto repair or a spouse’s medical bills,” says Valerie.

So when the YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s 26th annual “Women of Achievement” awards came around, Valerie decided to nominate her mother. The awards recognize women who make positive strides in their communities by advancing the YWCA’s stated goals of empowering women and eliminating racism. “Mom does more than anyone I know to help break down barriers, and get people thinking about each other as simply people,” says Valerie. By sending “just the right person for the job,” she says Adeline has created lasting relationships between folks who might never have crossed paths otherwise.

The twist? Valerie has been nominated for a “Woman of Achievement” award this year herself. She parlayed her forty years of environmental love into Cape Fear’s Going Green—a quarterly magazine which, along with its companion website, has become the “go-to” resource for all things green in the area. The magazine is a hot commodity—each issue covers a variety of topics and is snapped up by everyone from marine biologists to birdwatchers to architects to organic gardeners. By making green information accessible to everyone, Valerie hopes to make sustainability a household word. And by “nurturing local businesses and non-profits groups, she’s creating community where none existed,” says Christine Moughamian, a 2009 award winner.

Has a mother-daughter duo ever been nominated in one year? Organizers say no—especially not ones who have both started their own businesses, and in different fields. Awards are given in several categories, so the Robertsons probably aren’t competing against each other. But no one knows until May 20 who has won and in what category: winners remain a closely-guarded secret until the awards banquet, held at the Coastline Convention Center in downtown Wilmington.

It’s unlikely to cause family strife: the two have worked together from the start. Valerie does the billing for Adeline’s business; Adeline makes time to brainstorm about magazine content. Living just four miles apart allows other benefits: Valerie can drop her dog off for the day while she travels between meetings. Adeline fields scheduling phone calls while both dogs sleep under the desk. They cover for each other while on vacation. “The only problem is we can’t leave town at the same time,” laughs Valerie.

But mother and daughter agree it’s a small price to pay. “It’s to both our advantages to share expertise and work together,” says Adeline, “it makes for a symbiotic relationship that is also a lot of fun.” The two attended the pre-banquet photo shoot together, then went home “to get some work done.”

One thing is certain: no matter who takes home the awards May 20, the Robertsons are already winning.

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On The Road

Going Green Publisher Valerie L. Robertson travels the country to bring back ideas of interest to our readers. Read her first-hand accounts in the “On the Road” section.

Guest Lecturer

Valerie RobertsonPublisher Valerie Robertson traveled to St. Louis in October, where she spoke to two environmental classes at John Burroughs High School.


Sustainability Conferences

April has been a whirlwind of events for us at Cape Fear’s Going Green, and as soon as the dust settles we look forward to reporting on two events:

I drove to Raleigh for the second day of the Annual Sustainable Energy Conference, sponsored by the North Carolina Energy Office. The energy forum was called, “Sustainability: Moving Beyond the Federal Stimulus,” and I attended the second day specifically to learn more about the Smart Grid and the role North Carolinians are playing in its development. The federal Recovery Act is pumping an additional $247 million into energy-related spending in North Carolina, and I wanted to learn more.

Also in April, Wilson Community College sponsored a Regional Entrepreneurship Showcase, focusing on Green Enterprise: “Going Green is Everybody’s Business.” Three North Carolina businesses shared their experiences in the green economy, and the featured speaker was Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association. The event is the first in a series of similar regional entrepreneurship showcases around the state, leading up to the 2010 North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit in Wilmington on September 19 and 20, 2010.

Check back here next week for my report on these two events.

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Swarthmore, PA

Lax Entrepreneurship Conference: Sustainability
I traveled to my alma mater in March for the annual Jonathan R. Lax ’71 LEED-certified science buildingConference on Entrepreneurship. I often consider going, but because the topic this year was “The Business of Sustainability,” I finally took the time to make the trip back to Pennsylvania.

The Conference was held in the new Science Center at Swarthmore College, a LEED certified building I’d visited previously. This event was a chance to spend time in the building and enjoy the way the light travels through the space. All presenters were alumni.

Keynote speaker Chris Laszlo, co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners, gave a presentation based on his new book, Sustainable Value. “Sustainability for Competitive Advantage” discussed sustainability-driven business leadership and emerging roundtable sessionsustainability practices used by DuPont, Wal-Mart, and other global industry leaders.

Mid-afternoon roundtable sessions offered the chance to share ideas with attendees and with experts in diverse fields. I chose to attend David Hochschild’s session on “Getting Clean Energy Passed.”

The final session was a case study of an emerging company, Carbon Trap Technologies, working on development and marketing of a technology to chemically remove carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion; the byproducts of their process can produce useful products with significant market value.

It was energizing to spend time with these various experts. However, one benefit Robert McKinstry, Valerie L. Robertson & Chris Plumof the conference for me personally was that I started thinking about the effect we can all have by checking to see what schools we’ve attended are currently doing to promote sustainable ideas and teach those to the student population. Some of us are active in what our children’s schools are doing, to recycle, or to teach eco-friendly concepts. But we have another opportunity – colleges and schools of all levels do care about what alumni think. You don’t have to wait for them to solicit your input: you can check any school you’ve attended and express an interest in their incorporating green ideas into the everyday experiences of our young people.

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Eugene, OR

Good Earth Show
January 2008 Going Green traveled toSkip Wenz and Valerie L. Robertson Eugene for the third annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show in January. Eugene embraced sustainability so early that a green living show attracts a wider variety of exhibitors than seen in some cities. Building codes allow straw-bale homes; companies sell electric cars for street use; and there are 40 CSAs, which allow people to buy a subscription for weekly boxes of fresh local food to be delivered to them seasonally.

The show brought more than 250 exhibitors and 40 free seminars emphasizing health, sustainable and locally produced choices for home, garden, and more.

We heard speaker Eric Corey Freed, principal at organicARCHITECT, a green design and research firm in San Francisco. Freed is the author of the newly-released Green Building for Dummies book, and says that he was the first author for the Dummies series to insist that his book be printed on recycled paper.Good Earth Show, Eugene, Oregon We also met Skip Wenz, who in the early 1990s founded, and for ten years directed, the Ecological Design Program at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture.  Skip will contribute regular columns to future issues of Cape Fear’s Going Green.

We’ll give future reports on what we found at the fair, but in the meantime, here are some of the images we brought home. And, to learn more about the show, visit eugenehomeshow.com.

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Washington, DC

Field Trip to the Solar Decathlon—2007
click here for a complete photo gallery
Twenty teams of architectural students descended on the nation’s capitol last October, and they brought their houses with them.  They came to compete in the third Solar Decathlon, a competition in which student teams showcase their ideas for better living with solar and demonstrate how well they can make those ideas really work. Solar DecathlonThe house they bring to Washington must be a fully-functional, energy-efficient, completely solar-powered home. 

Students devote up to two years designing and building the competition home, which they then must disassemble, transport and reconstruct on the grassy Mall running between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument.

During the nine-day Decathlon, the homes are open to the public, and students are judged in part on how well their signage and student-led tours convey information about the workings of their design. Homes compete in ten different contests, and receive scores for each. The home with the highest score is winner of the overall Solar Decathlon. The competition is designed to make sure the entire two-year process is a valuable training ground for learning to use solar technology, while mindful of the comfort, appeal, and livability factors that are necessary components of any home-building enterprise. >>read more
(Click to download the complete article in .pdf format).

Learn much more about these projects – design philosophy, illustrations, mechanical specs, photographs, materials used, and information on how the house will be used - by visiting the teams’ individual Web sites. Visit Go to www.solardecathlon.gov/teams.cfm to learn more about the houses, or to track the progress of the teams that will complete in the fall of 2011.

In our spring 2008 issue there was only room to share a few photos from the Solar Decathlon; click here to view more photos, to show you the variety of creative offerings brought to the Mall.


News & Events

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Ongoing Research: Steve Ross Explores Coral Reefs

Scientists are delving into the mysteries of deep sea coral reefs in a race against time to protect these magnificent ecosystems and to better understand their benefits to the environment. 

Steve Ross, research associate professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science, will serve as chief scientist for four major cruises beginning in August ranging from North Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico. He will be joined by an international and multiagency team of scientists. “This year we are mounting an unprecedented effort to gain valuable data about one of the most amazing marine habitats in United States waters, a habitat that contains rich rewards for these efforts. All of these agencies and talented people involved will make this a model for future expeditions,” said Ross.

The first cruise will take place August 6 through August 17, 2009 and will travel to the Lophelia coral reefs located off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla. Joining Ross on this cruise will be co-investigator John Reed, senior research scientist with Florida Atlantic University. The team will study and collect samples from deep sea coral reefs.

Follow Dr. Steve Ross and his team as they explore deep ocean habitats: http://www.uncw.edu/nurc/

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Ongoing Research: Trawling for Trash off Bermuda

How far would you go to pick up plastic debris? In July UNCW’s Bonnie Monteleone and Jennifer O’Keefe from Keep America Beautiful of New Hanover County took a week to trawl for trash off Bermuda. Bonnie updated her blog from sea, and sent video clips during the expedition as well. The goal: Check out the nature of the plastic accumulating in the gyre in the Atlantic Ocean, to see how it compares to that in the Pacific. At the end of August Bonnie flew out again, this time to join the Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s 2009 Pacific Gyre Expedition, already in progress. Follow along at Bonnie's blog: http://www.theplasticocean.blogspot.com

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Developing Project: Green Renovation Milestone with Jay DeChesere

Until now, most green building credentialing has focused on new construction. Local architect Jay DeChesere has undertaken a project that will be the first US Green Building Council “gut-rehab” LEED for Homes project in the Southeast (there has been one in Florida, and only 33 in the entire U.S.). This will also be the first time LEED for Homes and North Carolina’s HealthyBuilt Homes are combined and run in parallel on one project. These are the two major programs available for new and existing homes.

Jay renovated the Wilmington home he bought from his parents, using as many “green” products and techniques as possible, using a team of experts from the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance, a grass roots organization whose members are as a group affecting the sustainable movement in the Cape Fear Region. All members of the design team are members - Jay DeChesere, Architect; Lara Berkley, LS Architect; Jennifer France, Interiors; Skye Dunning, Energy Rater; ILM Design/Build, Contractor - as are the vendors, subcontractors, and material suppliers. North Carolina University’s Solar Center will be the “green rater” on this project.

On-Location Production Services is filming this project, in conjunction with Past, Present and Future Digital, Inc. They envision a local film documentary with the possibility of creating a national TV series.

Visit the project’s web site to learn how the LEED for Homes and HealthyBuilt Homes process works, and how the design team makes decisions: http://web.me.com/jdc001/TalonCourt

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Wilmington Celebrates Earth Day!

Cape Fear's Going Green was one of many area green businesses and organizations on hand at the April 17 celebration of Earth Day in Wilmington's Earth Day Celebration, April 18, 2009 Hugh MacRae Park. Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself to us. We hope you picked up your copy of our special Earth Day 2010 edition. Print copies are also available at more than 140 area eco-friendly locations (click here). Cape Fear’s Going Green was on hand at numerous Earth Day activities, including Pender County’s first Earth Day Festival and the new Creation Celebration in Brunswick County. National Earth Day was celebrated on April 22.

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In The Media

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

Mother and Daughter Both Honored at YWCA Banquet
July, 2010—YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear’s annual signature fundraising event, the Women of Achievement Awards recognize women active in Pender, New Hanover, Brunswick and Columbus counties who, through their outstanding achievements, have helped advance the organization’s stated mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. This year’s banquet on May 20 marked a first in the award’s 26-year history. Among the nine Women of Achievement winners and three Young Leader winners were a mother and daughter.

Little did Cape Fear’s Going Green publisher Valerie Robertson know when she as nominating her mother, Adeline Robertson, for award consideration that she was herself being nominated. Read the full article on page 10 of the July issue of Natural Awakenings, in print or on their website. 

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“Going Green” publisher honored by YWCA

By Stacie Greene Hidek
May 28, 2010—“Cape Fear’s Going Green” publisher Valerie Robertson received a YWCA Cape Fear “Woman of Achievement” award last week for her work on environmental issues. The awards honor women and teens making a difference in their communities. Valerie’s nomination mentioned her vision and her extraordinary networking ability. “Because of her efforts, community connections are being made that strengthen our community financially, socially, and environmentally,” wrote local businesswoman Christine Moughamian. Read the full story on Stacie’s Ever Green blog.

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Two Generations Vie for YWCA Award

By Alison Lee Satake
May 17, 2010—A Wilmington mother and daughter have both been nominated for YWCA “Woman of Achievement” awards, which will be presented on Thursday, May 20. Valerie Robertson, founder, editor and publisher of environmental quarterly magazine Cape Fear’s Going Green, has been nominated for the 26th annual award, as has her mother, Dr. Adeline Robertson. Read the full story in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

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Macy Unleashed

By Suzanne Jalot
Everyone gets to get into the act! Our resident canine editor, Macy, was recently interviewed by the publisher of Dog Living magazine. Her article appears in the May/June 2010 issue. Pick up a free print copy around town! The issue containing her article will be posted online, at www.doglivingmagazine.com, sometime early in June.

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WHQR Interview

Solar Decathlon - 2009Going Green Magazine was invited to speak on WHQR on October 7, 2009. Valerie Robertson, Publisher, along with Todd King of the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (CBGBA),was interviewed about the then-coming Cape Fear Green Building Alliance Solar + Green Building Tour. You can listen to the interview by visiting the WHQR website by clicking here, or you can listen directly to the Windows Media file by clicking here (this is a very large file, please be patient).

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Wilmington Webbie Runners-Up:

by Emily Rea
Other Web sites we found most useful and/or entertaining to our locale
Trends come and go, but true transformation comes as a result of dedication, determination and vision—all aspects upheld by local Web site goinggreenpublications.com. It’s the official dot-com for Cape Fear’s Going Green magazine, a relatively new publication centered on offering timely information on environmentally minded events, encouraging conversation among friends and neighbors, and providing resources the community about all-things green. The site was launched in February 2008, a few weeks after the first volume of its print counterpart was published.

“People are eager to read about what their friends and neighbors are doing on the green front,” Editor Valerie Robertson asserts. “Going Green’s Web site was designed to complement the magazine. [It] offers a comprehensive calendar of green events, a list of resources, a glossary of eco-friendly terms, and a forum for the public to contribute green thoughts. It also allows people to read current and back issues [of the magazine].”

First and foremost this site is a practical and valuable source of information in a clean, easy-to-navigate format. It offers unique local information, including and a directory of local environmental organizations. In fact, viewers find it so useful that 60-70 percent of first-time visitors bookmark the site for future reference. From green tips, to local and national green-resources links, it always helps readers stay in the green loop.

Vol. 25, Pub 6   August 12-18, 2009

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Recently Launched Sites

by Andrew Gray
Going Green Publications recently launched its new Web site, goinggreenpublications.com, to Going Green Publicationscomplement Cape Fear’s Going Green magazine, which premiered this winter. The site offers a calendar of green events, a list of resources, a glossary of eco-friendly terms and a forum for users to discuss green topics. The site also allows access to current and back issues of Cape Fear’s Going Green.

The hope is that the Web site will bridge the gap with the print version and allow people to learn about green projects and services available in their own community.

“The site will expand the reach of the printed paper and places no limits on the amount of information we can provide for green and eco-friendly events in the area,” said Valerie Robertson, publisher and editor. “As people learn more about events, organizations and activities, they will form their own networks of like-minded people.”

Greater Wilmington Business Journal
Vol. 9, No. 6   April 4-17, 2008

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“Going Green”

by Ben Steelman
A new local magazine is showing up on the shelves at eco-friendly businesses around Wilmington: Cape Fear's Going Green, a guide to eco-friendly activities, products and services along the Lower Cape Fear.

The editor-publisher is Valerie L. Robertson, a local quilter, techie and former employee of the Star-News, and the list of advisers/contributors includes local naturalist Andy Wood (Backyard Carolina), Gwenyfar of Daughtry's Used Books and Kathleen Jewell of Pomegranate Books. Features in the premiere issue include highlights of this year's Wilmington-area solar and green building tour, a look at Topsail High School's electric-vehicle class and a photo of an orb spider as “centerfold.”

The monthly is free at its local outlets. (You can get it by mail for $24 per year.) To further reduce the magazine's carbon signature, an online edition should be available later this month at www.GoingGreenPublications.com.

Wilmington Star News
Posted December 12, 2007 1:33:12 PM



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volume 8, issue 1
Cape Fear's Going Green