September 2 Weekly Brief!


Attention people who can and do count! On Thursday, September 10th and Saturday, September 12th we are leading Charlotte's first manual bike and pedestrian count, and we need your help. This time tested method of gathering baseline data is a crucial step in our city becoming safer and easier for getting around by bike. Be the change, pick up the butterfly net of democracy, and join us in this important field work! All volunteers will receive a 50% discount to Biketoberfest on October 17th! Click here to RSVP today.

Great news! We are the beneficiary for Creative Loafing's Best of Charlotte Party this year! Don't miss out on this chance to celebrate with the best of Charlotte and show your support for Sustain Charlotte at the same time! Click here to register and learn more. 


Race To The Beach announces grand prize winner! After six weeks, 781 commuters logged more than 6,700 clean commutes and avoided driving alone 211,405 miles! Thank you to everyone who participated in the Race and by doing so, helped make the Charlotte area a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live and work. The Grand Prize Winner of a getaway to Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach, NC is Dennis from Duke Energy who was randomly selected from all of the eligible Racers who logged at least six clean commutes between July 13 and August 23, 2015. Click here to read the full blog post. Sustain Charlotte was a proud partner of this initiative!

We are currently seeking sponsors and raffle prize donations for our 1st Annual Biketoberfest on October 17! Many thanks to our Presenting Sponsors Triple C Brewing and Crescent Communities, Platinum Sponsor Giordana Cycling, and Gold Sponsors UNC Charlotte Center City and Sycamore BrewingIf you are interested in sponsoring or donating a raffle prize, click here for more information and contact Jordan Moore at We hope you will take advantage of these great opportunities to gain visibility for your small business, company or non-profit organization!

We are happy to give a warm welcome to our newest members: Tina Galloway, Danielle Turek, and Josh Banning! We sincerely appreciate their support of our mission and your community through their membership! 

Local residents like you play a critical role in ensuring we have the resources to carry out our work in the community to inspire choices that lead to a to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come! Help us do more by becoming a Sustain Charlotte member today for as little as $3/month -- that's one cup of coffee! Click to learn how easily you can support our mission and your community via membership:


Critical Zoning Changes Ahead

According this Charlotte Observer Editorial, "back in 2013, city-hired consultants delivered a pair of reports suggesting ways the city could better tailor its zoning ordinance to its land-use goals...Will Charlotte stick to a conventional zoning model, which emphasizes how buildings are used, or will it transition to a more form-based approach that emphasizes the relationship of the structure to the physical environment around it? Portillo reports that the new code will likely be a “hybrid” of approaches that can better accommodate where the rezonings occur. Conventional zoning, for example, works well in stable residential neighborhoods like those in Charlotte’s southern wedge. Form-based zoning, which emphasizes walkability and high-quality design, is the hot thing in many urban areas. Hundreds of cities, including Raleigh, are opting for some form of hybrid approach. Charlotte should, too, but a hybrid code should be clear about which approach governs decisions in different communities." Click here to read more. Updating our zoning ordinance is going to be critical to ensuring smart growth in our city. We will continue to monitor this process and be sure to inform you of opportunities to have your voice heard.

Evidence Shows Clean Air Helps Economy

In this Charlotte Observer article, June Blotnick, executive director of Clean Air Carolina, responds to the recent article “EPA rule is bad news for North Carolina", saying: "Every time the federal government proposes new clean air standards, we hear the same cry from a segment of the business community that jobs will be lost and our state’s economy will suffer. Fortunately, history has proved those arguments wrong. We have over 40 years of evidence that shows clean air standards don’t cripple our economy but, in fact, create jobs through innovations in technology and in other sectors. Charlotte, Raleigh, and other regions have benefited greatly from these requirements by increasing transportation choices, creating land use plans to reduce vehicle miles traveled, and taking steps to increase energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. The expansive economic growth of these major urban areas shows that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are possible." Click here to read more. We agree with June that the new EPA rule related to ozone is good for our economy and an opportunity to bring more transportation choices to Charlotte area residents. 

Report: Charlotte Drivers Waste 43 Hours a Year Sitting in Traffic

According to WSOCTV, a "study from Texas A&M University shows last year the average Charlotte driver spent about 43 hours sitting in traffic and wasted about 17 gallons of fuel. All that cost drivers about $963 last year during morning and evening rush hour." Read more hereThis is a perfect example of how our automobile dependence has consequences for the triple bottom line of sustainability: social sustainability (43 hours sitting in your car instead of spending time with others), environmental sustainability (17 gallons of fuel - think about all those emissions!), and economic sustainability ($963 a year spent on fuel!). Think about how else you could be spending your time, money, and of course, improving air quality by not driving!

I Was Recycling WRONG and I Bet You Are as Well

Do you think you are doing a great job recycling? This article in Charlotte Agenda highlights common mistakes that many Charlotteans are making that, if corrected, could make a huge difference! Read this article to learn the important "do's" and "don'ts" for recycling in Charlotte. 

Nominate a business for the 2015 Wipe Out Waste Ambassador Business Recognition Awards!

Mecklenburg County is seeking nominations for the October 22nd Awards Banquet, which seeks to recognize Mecklenburg County businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to building a stronger community through waste reduction and recycling measures. To learn more and to nominate a business, click here (Applications are due by 6pm September 11, 2015.)

Sign NC Conservation Network's Petition to Stop Off-Shore Drilling in NC!

Governor McCrory has been relentless in his push to bring offshore drilling to North Carolina -- it’s even gotten so bad that his environmental agency is lobbying for drilling along our coast! Click here to sign the petition and help NC Conservation Network tell him to start protecting North Carolina’s communities and not big polluters.


September 8: Civic By Design Forum 

5:30pm - 6:30pm @ Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202. Find out what Mini-Cities are and why are they are appealing. Mini-Cities include vibrant village plazas with both shopping and housing, concentrations of high-rise apartment buildings, offices, and clusters of residences that allowed more green space for recreation. As the march of the Mini-Cities advances, not all of the grandiose visions are likely to succeed. There is considerable risk, time and cost associated with demolishing existing buildings and re-working them as something completely different. Please attend this event to learn about Mini-Cities with nationally-recognized, mixed-use developer Brian Leary.

September 17: CROWN's New Season Kick Off Meeting

7:00pm - 8:00pm @ McClintock Middle School, 1925 Rama Road, Charlotte, NC 28212. This is a very special evening that will showcase the Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. The program will feature just a few of CROWN's key regional partners who, along with CROWN, are dedicated to making the greater Charlotte/Mecklenburg region a healthy, sustainable, and wildlife friendly place to live, work and play. Join us for this great opportunity to learn more about how Sustain Charlotte and other local organizations are working to protect the natural environment! Click here to read more. 

September 18-20: ThinkPlenty Unconference

@ UNC Charlotte PORTAL Building, 9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223. ThinkPlenty is a three-day conference that brings together thinkers and doers, friends and neighbors, entrepreneurs and innovators who will rapidly build and prototype solutions to alleviate hunger and increase food access in Charlotte. Click here to read more and to RSVP.

September 30: The Planning for Healthy Communities Conference 

9:00am - 4:00pm @ Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115. The 2015 Planning for Healthy Communities conference will focus on how the built environment and local government policies impact community health, and will offer practical strategies for making your community a healthier place. Click here to register. 

* October 2: Creative Loafing's 28th Best of Charlotte Party *

6:00pm - 10:00pm @ Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC. This event benefits Sustain Charlotte! Click here to read more and to purchase tickets today!

October 6-7: Making Energy Work Conference

@ Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601. NCSEA's Making Energy Work Conference is the setting for collaboration to move our clean energy economy forward. It is an opportunity to learn about the next in clean energy, network with clean energy leaders, and identify solutions that advance our clean energy economy. Click here for more information and to register.

October 15-17: The 2015 NC Bike Summit to be Held in Charlotte *

@ UNC Charlotte - Center City Building, 320 E 9th St. Charlotte. Registration is Now Open! The 2015 NC Bike Summit promises to be packed full of information useful to  bicycle advocates, transportation planners, business owners, elected officials, tactical urbanists, public health practitioners, and livability and sustainability professionals. Sustain Charlotte is proud to be the local host for this event. 

* October 17:  Sustain Charlotte's Biketoberfest *

Following the 2015 NC Bike Summit, Sustain Charlotte will be holding our very first Biketoberfest -- an event that will bring together biking enthusiasts and 'newbies' alike in a city-wide celebration! Interested in aligning your organization with this event? Click here for sponsorship information and to learn more. Get your tickets here!


Is your company interested in becoming a Sustain Charlotte partner? Our generous partners play a critical role in supporting our work. Through our corporate membership program, we provide year-round brand exposure, positive publicity, and business development opportunities to those businesses and nonprofits that are helping make our community more sustainable through their products, services, or commitment to move their organization towards greater sustainability. Become a partner today!




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