Grandfather Goes Green
Because it is covered in 3,000 acres of trees and shrubs, Grandfather Mountain could probably offset the carbon footprint of a couple of thousand people per year. But because of the company's desire to lead the way in all things ecological, we are working to make this nature park even greener.
The Earth-friendly Fudge Shop
SOLAR THERMAL PANELS on the roof of the shop are filled with an organic coolant that absorbs the heat of the sun. The super-heated coolant flows to the basement where a heat exchanger transfers that heat to the building’s water heater. The super-heated coolant is also pumped through flexible tubing attached to the bottom of the floor to supply radiant heat for the building.
BAMBOO FLOORS were used in the Fudge Shop because bamboo is a sustainable product. It is comparable to hardwood in look, long-term maintenance and installation. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that renews itself every three years and cultivating bamboo does not rely on the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
SKYLIGHTS fill the Fudge Shop with natural light. Because the building is used mostly during the day, the staff rarely needs to turn on the electric lights. When needed, COMPACT FLUORECENT light bulbs consume 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than old fashioned incandescent bulbs.
RAIN BARRELS collect runoff from the roof. Reclaimed water can be used to irrigate the lawn & garden and saves the well water for human use.
The Nature Museum & Restaurant
Food prepared and sold at Mildred's Grill in the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum is served using 100 percent compostable and BIODEGRADABLE plates, cups, forks, spoons, knives and take out containers.
The products come from the “Harvest Collection” line come from Genpak, a food service packaging industry located in Glens Falls, N.Y. All Harvest Collection products are 100 percent compostable when properly disposed of into a commercially run composting facility, leaving absolutely no chemical residue. They are also 100 percent biodegradable when discarded in landfills, but this process takes a little bit longer since most modern landfills are designed to be moisture free.
Guests will also find RECYCLING bins for aluminum and plastic in different locations around the park. In addition, the gift shops and restaurant are set up to recycle the cardboard boxes that come through their doors.
Two DESTRATIFICATION FANS were installed high up in the Museum’s cathedral ceilings to reduce the layering of air that occurs when heat rises in a building. The fans move the warm air down for a more even floor to ceiling temperature. This reduces energy use and cost, eliminates hot and cold spots, and increases visitors’ personal comfort while in the building.
Grandfather Serves Bird-Friendly Coffee
Grandfather Mountain also serves its own house blend of organic, shade-grown coffee. Grandfather Mountain Blend is roasted locally from beans certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
We've all known since kindergarten that birds fly south for the winter, but most of us never realized that migratory birds flock to the coffee plantations of Central and South America. Coffee is a mid-story shrub that grows in the shade of the high tree canopy. Those trees offer birds food, shelter, clean water and a balanced ecosystem in which to thrive.
Growers of higher-yield, sun coffee varieties started clear-cutting the forest, destroying the habitat for migratory birds and creating ýmonoculturesţ that require more pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The result has been a 20 percent decline in migratory bird populations over the last 10 years.
By serving only bird-friendly coffee, Grandfather Mountain is helping to provide an economic incentive to preserve habitat for migratory bird populations.
Solar "Garden" Generates Electricity For The Grid
Another step in the greening process was for Grandfather to start generating power of its own. An array of PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS was installed to produce seven kilowatts of electricity per month which is sold directly into the power grid. The company hopes over time to expand the number of photovoltaic cells to produce 50 kilowatts of electricity a month.
Other Actions Taken To Support The Planet
Other steps toward making Grandfather greener involved replacing incandescent light bulbs with COMPACT FLUORECENT bulbs, enrolling Grandfather in the High Country BIOFUEL Cooperative, and converting to an energy efficient LED lighting plan in the Nature Museum bathrooms.
A different kind of contribution to the health of the environment came when the green team set up the mountain's own BEE HIVES, noting that the presence of bees is necessary for a well-balanced ecosystem.
P.O. Box 129 - US 221 & Blue Ridge Parkway - Linville, NC - 28646
Phone 800-468-7325 Fax: 828-733-2608 Email: email@example.com
Copyright 2006 Grandfather Mountain. All Rights Reserved.