January Green Story

6 Resolutions for a Greener 2016

If you’ve made and broken New Year’s resolutions before you know that keeping a resolution is really all about making a new habit. Some habits have benefits for our health or wallet, but many of them also help the environment. Here are several green habits you can adopt this year. Add just one a month and before you know it you’ll find that making beneficial choices is easy.reusablebag_grocery

  1. Brew Coffee in a French Press: Reduce waste from single use coffee pods and save electricity when you prepare your coffee in a French Press instead of an electric coffee maker. To reduce even more waste use reusable coffee mugs and insulated travel mugs instead of disposable, single use cups
  2. Eliminate Phantom Power: Electricity is used by gadgets and appliances even while you sleep. Unplug chargers for cell phones, tablets, and small devices when not in use. For television sets and game systems use a power strip to shut off everything at once. You could cut your energy bill by as much as ten percent by the end of the year.
  3. Use Reusable Bags: Instead of plastic  bags use reusable ones made of cotton or recycled materials. Reusable bags are more sturdy, durable, and colorful than their thin plastic counterparts. Keep them in your car or by the front door so you won’t forget to take them to the store.
  4. Limit Use of Bottled Water: Plastic water bottles are very convenient, especially in emergency situations where water is not safe to drink. But, for daily use it’s better to use a reusable water bottle or tumbler to hold water from the tap or a pitcher with a water filter. If you can’t avoid bottled water take the time to recycle the container.
  5. Use Less Paper Towels: Cleaning up spills and wiping down counters with paper towels is wasteful, especially when you consider the high cost of some paper towel brands. Purchase cotton cloths and napkins that can be used and washed with the next load of laundry. Buy the reusable cloths once to replace the tons of paper towels that end up in landfills daily.
  6. Bike or Walk More: Depending on where you live, you may be able to walk or ride a bicycle to the park, to a store, or to work. Using your bicycle instead of the car for trips that are two miles or less away from your home will save money on gas, vehicle maintenance, and even help you stay fit.

Liz Swafford is the Recycling and Education Program Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.  Contact her at 706-278-5001, or e-mail lswafford@dwswa.org.



January Diplomat of the Month

We are very excited about the opportunities we have experienced at Dalton Funeral Home with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.  Joining the Chamber was one of the best decisions we made as a new business opening in Dalton during 2011.  My name is Tim Rowe.  I am the owner for the Dalton Funeral Home, and I am an active member of our Chamber.  I’m also honored to be named Diplomat of the month again.IMG_2414

I would like to encourage all of our local businesses (new and old) to consider becoming involved with the Chamber.  Experiences with the Chamber can open many doors of possibilities for your operation, while promoting Dalton as the place for our citizens to conduct their business.  We also like to promote the attractiveness of Dalton as the place where you might want to locate a new business.  By becoming a Chamber member, we have access to develop a relationship with other business owners during the various Chamber events held throughout the year.  By developing these relationships, we are able to learn more about the different opportunities and services that are provided within our local community.  Knowledge is powerful, and this knowledge will help you service your clients and customers and help keep their business local.

The Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce is here for you.  We want to help enhance your business, add to the services that the Dalton area offers to their citizens, and help provide for future leaders of our communities.  The opportunities can be endless as a member.  2015 has been a GREAT year to be a Chamber member, but I know that 2016 will be even better!  I want to encourage everyone to support the Chamber by becoming an active member.  You will not regret it, but you might wonder why you didn’t join earlier!

2016 looks to be a promising year for the members of the Chamber…I hope will you enjoy the future with us.

December Green Story

Which Christmas Tree is Greener?

Decorating a Christmas tree is a must do activity for the holiday season. But, which tree is greener? The artificial tree or the live tree? Here are some factors to consider as you choose the perfect tree this year.

Decorated Christmas Tree

Decorated Christmas Tree

Probably the biggest advantage of artificial Christmas trees is their longevity. You purchase a tree just once and it can be reused for years. Contrast that to a real tree that you have to purchase and replace year after year and that can add up to hundreds of dollars saved over the life an artificial tree. The key is to reuse the artificial tree as much as possible.

In 2009 the environmental firm Ellipsos of Montreal found that “an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually.” If you already have or plan to purchase an artificial tree maintain it in good condition by cleaning it and storing it in its original box during the off-season.

Artificial Christmas trees, however are made from petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastics like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other metals and glues making them un-recyclable. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 85% of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in China, which means they have to travel a very long way, increasing our carbon emissions.

Live natural Christmas trees however are harvested from tree farms that tend to be within a few hours from the retailer which greatly reduces carbon emissions from transportation. Tree farms are able to produce a sustainable product since one to three seedlings are planted to replace the tree that was harvested. These trees also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere replacing it with oxygen. One acre of Christmas trees is estimated to produce enough oxygen for the daily needs of eighteen people.Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 1.06.43 PM

Unlike artificial trees, live trees can be recycled when they’re chipped and made into mulch that can be used in landscaping and gardening. You can recycle your live, natural, undecorated tree by attending Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful’s annual Christmas Tree Recycling event at The Home Depot in Dalton on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 8 am to 1 pm. Participants will receive a seedling or a packet of seeds to plant at home. Visit http://www.keepdaltonwhitfieldbeautiful.org to learn more.

My personal favorite however is the real, live, natural Christmas tree with the unmistakable pine scent that reminds me of previous holiday festivities. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that choosing a tree is very personal. At the end of the day you need to choose the tree that will work best for you.

Liz Swafford is the Recycling and Education Program Coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.  Contact her at 706-278-5001, or e-mail lswafford@dwswa.org.


December Feature Story

On Thursday, June 25th I went to what would be my final OB/GYN visit. I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. That evening we put our 2 year old son to bed around 8pm and at 1:00 am I had my first real labor contraction. At 1:45 am I woke my husband to let him know I was in labor and at 2:15 am my husband, Justin, called our babysitter.  Then we made phone calls to family and a final phone call to my best friend around 2:23 am. Then I had a sudden urge. I yelled for my husband but he was right next to me. My water broke. My husband tried to get me in the car immediately, but I insisted we couldn’t go anywhere because we didn’t have a sitter for our 2 year old yet.

Then I reached down to find the baby crowning. My calm husband called 911 and explained that I was in labor and we would not make it to the hospital. This is where the story gets really ODD.  Kelly Azbil, our dispatcher, was comforting, confident, strong, and encouraging. The strength in her voice was never wavering as she walked Justin through, step by step, how to deliver our child safely while she simultaneously dispatched help. Friday, June 26, 2015 2:27am our baby is born. It’s a girl! Megan RewisKelly stayed on the line with us until help arrived, singing our praises and ensuring us everything was going to be okay.

Samantha Spawn and David Freiberg were the first two emergency responders to arrive and examine us both. Then came a firefight
er, Kent Cochran, whose smile I will always remember. The paramedics, Adam Freeman and Aaron Gaddis, arrived and loaded the baby and I into the ambulance and gave us both thorough checks. Miraculously, we were perfectly fine.

This crew… Our crew…. Our angels… They were incredible! I am so glad that God put them in our path and that they chose Dalton to pursue their careers. They chose this to be their home and to give of their time, talents, and treasures. They are the epitome of ONE DEGREE DALTON and I am honored to share THEIR story. They are a huge part of the happy ending, or should I say beginning, to our story! Kelly, Samantha, Adam, Kent, David, and Aaron, you’re all incredible people. Thank you for your service to this wonderful community!

November Green Story: Ecocountertops

84x84 Logo with leaves at rightThe earth is beautiful and EcocountertopsUSA™ is helping to keep it that way.  How, you say?  By reducing landfill waste and saving customers hundreds of dollars in the process!  EcocountertopsUSA™ is a resurfacing company that specializes in countertops, tubs, showers, and surrounds.  We offer an affordable alternative to countertop replacement and deliver results our customers love and that are safe for the environment. IMG_0809

The final resting place for deconstructed countertops is landfills.  This is not good for the environment, because manufactured countertops deteriorate in landfills and as they do, they release harmful toxins.  EcocountertopsUSA™’s resurfacing process repurposes your current countertops saving our environment from these toxins. IMG_0878

In addition to countertops we resurface tubs and showers turning unwanted colors or mismatched tile into the color of your choice.  We can also give tile, and tubs a stone appearance using similar techniques as countertops.    The difference is dramatic.

We at EcocountertopsUSA™ are happy to extend our eco-friendly services in Dalton and surrounding areas.  Call us at 1-800-WOW-TOPS for a free estimate and choose from over 70 colors for your countertop, tub or shower just in time for the holidays!


Jason McDade, Dealership Owner


facebook.com/ecocountertopsUSA / McDade