Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Building Green

What is the building green initiative?

  • Green building is an environmentally safe initiative that helps provide opportunity for people to use recycled, reclaimed, sustainable and natural materials to produce beautiful, lasting products and spaces in your home.

What is a green building?

  • Green buildings are designed and operated to enhance the well-being of their occupants and support a healthy natural environment. Natural building focuses mainly on the use of natural materials that are available locally.

What does LEED stand for, and what is it?

  • The United States Green Building Council created a rating system known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This rating system is a program that helps encourage the global adoption of green building and development practices. LEED is known as a third party certification program along with the nationally accepted benchmark for the design of high performance green buildings.

What is the reasoning behind green building?

  • Green building has a very positive influence on the environment; therefore, there are many different benefits that come out of green buildings, such as: economic, health, productivity, community, environmental, and social benefits!

Earth Day

What is land conservation?

  • Conservation, when applied to natural land, is to preserve the land the way it naturally occurs. Land conservation includes forests, streams, watersheds, wetlands and habitats. It also includes planting native trees, shrubs and plants.

What is a conservation easement?

  • A conservation easement is a conservation agreement for a particular area of land. The agreement limits certain uses on all or a portion of a property for conservation purposes while keeping the property in the landowner’s ownership and control.

What is a farming easement?

  • A farming easement is similar to a conservation easement. In a farming easement, the land can be preserved as farm land for years to come.

What is the Clean Air Act (CAA)?

  • The Clean Air Act (CAA) was passed in 1977 and has been updated over the years. The EPA sets limits on certain air pollutants, including setting limits on how much can be in the air anywhere in the United States. This helps to ensure basic health and environmental protection from air pollution for all Americans.

What is Earth Day about?

  • Earth Day Earth Day is a day created to bring united awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.

When is Earth Day?

  • Earth Day Earth Day is celebrated in many countries (including America) on April 22.

When was Earth Day established?

  • Earth Day Earth Day was established in September of 1969, by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson at a conference in Seattle Washington.

Is Earth Day only celebrated on April 22?

  • Earth Day April 22 is the actual date of Earth Day, but many cities and communities will extend the Earth Day celebration to an entire week, usually starting on April 16 and ending on Earth Day, April 22.

Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives

What is a farmers’ market?

  • Farmers’ market is market where farmers and other vendors sell their products directly to consumers eliminating the middleman. Farmers’ markets, though viewed as a new phenomenon, are an ancient method used by farmers worldwide to sell their produce.

What is sustainable agriculture?

  • Sustainable agriculture is one that seeks to promote maximal productivity and profitability of local farms by using alternative forms of energy to produce abundant food without depleting the environment. Sustainable agriculture intends to benefit local communities economically by keeping food produced by local food systems affordable. Sustainable agriculture also seeks to keep local farms from folding under and maintain a long lasting status within their communities.

What is Buy Fresh Buy Local?

  • Buy Fresh Buy Local is the national marketing campaign of the Food Routes Network. The campaign was founded to promote local farmers. That means that it helps regional farmers within PA to connect with consumers. Food Routes Network has partnered with 19 community-based organizations across the U.S. including the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA).

How can I have my business or farm join the Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative?

  • To become have your business featured in the Buy Fresh Buy Local Food Guide, you can join PASA by logging on to their website at

Efficient Energy

What is Energy Efficiency?

  • Energy Efficiency Refers to programs that are aimed at reducing the energy used by specific end-use devices and systems, typically without affecting the services provided.

Where can I buy these products?

  • Energy Efficiency Local Hardware stores, department stores, and home improvement stores.

How can I save money by using these products?

  • These products use less water and less electricity eventually saving you money on your monthly bill.

Who can use these products?

  • Everyone can use these products even homeowners.

Fair Trade: Making sustainable global choices locally

What is Fair Trade?

  • Way to support farmers and making sure they are getting paid fair wages in fair working conditions.

How can I help?

  • Purchase fair trade products.

How does my money support farmers?

  • About 50% of your purchase goes to those farmers directly.

Where can I find fair trade products?

  • Local supermarkets, coffee houses, cafes, Wal*Mart, Starbucks are just a few. Keep an eye out for new locations; believe it or not, they are out there.  All products are hand crafted by farmers in different countries.  2. 50% of your purchase goes to those villages that sell these products. Fair trade is becoming more and more known worldwide. Fair Trade supports fair working conditions and fair wages to support farmers and to enhance their lives.

Green Pages

What organization is responsible for The Green Pages?

  • The Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network publishes The Green Pages for Lancaster County.

Where can I get a copy of The Green Pages?

  • The Green Pages are readily available from Lancaster Central Market in Lancaster and Central Market House in York. Copies of The Green Pages can also be obtained by contacting Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network.

What is the purpose of The Green Pages?

  • The Green Pages were created to educate consumers and business owners in Lancaster County the importance of local buying and buying from green businesses.

When did The Green Pages start in Lancaster County?

  • The first edition of The Green Pages for Lancaster County was published in 2006.

Green Roofs

What is the difference between an intensive green roof and a roof garden?

  • A roof garden usually made up of plants that are kept in pots or containers. An intensive green roof is built so that the plants can be planted directly into the soil.

Is there really no maintenance required on extensive green roofs?

  • No green roof is exactly maintenance free. Extensive roofs do need a lot less interaction than an intensive green roof, but you should always periodically check for diseased plants and that the draining is working properly.

Do I ever have to water my green roof?

  • Yes, whether it is an extensive or intensive green roof, you will need to water it every once and a while during the first year. Like any other garden certain plants need more water than others, and you will need to provide them with the right amount of water.

Are green roofs expensive?

  • Although it depends on the type of green roof you have, yes they are more expensive than a regular roof. The counter argument that could be made is that, green roofs last a lot longer than a regular roof and will help cut back on repair and energy cost. In the long run a green roof might be just as expensive as any other roof.

Living the Green Life

Where can I find eco-friendly products?

  • There are plenty of websites that sell eco-friendly products. Check out the Top Five Green Product Website Shopping Guide.

Can I take educational classes about living green?

  • Yes! There are classes in Italy, and some in NYC that are starting to focus on different aspects of culture and living green.

Is Clorox Green Works really eco-friendly?

  • Yes, it is, although there are other cleaners out there that have been doing the same thing. Check out the Eco-Friendly Living section.

Are there home remedies that I could make myself?

  • Yes there are. Check out the Home Cleaning Remedies section.


What are the benefits of organic products?

  • They are healthy for you as a consumer, farm workers, and the environment. Less chemicals enter your body when you use organic products and less chemicals also enter the local environment.

Where can I buy organic products?

  • Almost anywhere! From Farmer’s markets to grocery stores to drug stores. Almost everyone is carrying organic products these days.

How do I know it’s organic food?

  • Look for the USDA symbol (insert graphic here). The product will also say “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.” Your best bet is to try to buy the “100% organic” products.

Are organic products expensive?

  • Sometimes. The yields of organic farms are less than a commercial farm, and therefore require more labor. However, as the demand for organic products goes up, the price goes down. And to increase awareness of organic products, these items are often on sale at grocery stores and drug stores.

Sustainable Gardening

When is the best time to start my garden?

  • The best time to start your garden is after the average frost date, when the soil is warm and dry. See “How to Grow a Pesticide Free Garden” section for more information.

What household item can I use to control garden pests?

  • Mixing a batch of very diluted bio-degradable soapy water can be used to remove critters such as aphids. You can spray on the soapy mixture or you can wash the plants by hand with it. See “Pest Control” section for more information.

Where can I purchase organic produce?

  • (Offer link to Lauren’ page)

What are the benefits of pesticide free gardening?

  • Pesticide free gardening is better for the environment; it’s good for our health, offers a great form of exercise and is rather inexpensive. See “Introduction” and “More Advantages of Pesticide Free Gardening” sections for more information.

Where can I purchase organic pesticides and other organic products?

  • (Offer link to Lauren or Jason’s page) See “Organic Markets in Lancaster County” section for more information.

What gardening tools do I need?

  • See “Essential Gardening Tools” section for a complete list.

Pollution Prevention

What is P2?

  • P2 is an acronym for “pollution prevention.” The term P2 describes efforts to beat pollution before it starts, by getting to the source.

What is Lancaster County doing to participate in P2?

  • Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority is one of the leaders in the area in terms of pollution prevention. LCSWMA is constantly doing events in the community to promote green living.

What is one thing I can do to help make a difference?

  • There are many simple things you can do to live a green lifestyle. Walking or riding bike helps by eliminating unnecessary vehicle emissions. Additionally, having your car properly services helps to cut down on the amount of pollutants it creates.

How can P2 ultimately be achieved?

  • By modifying your lifestyle, consumption habits, and making improvements to products, and industrial processes.

Run Off

What is Run-off?

  • Run-off, Manure & You – Run-off is water that does not soak into the ground. It flows over top of grass, roads, etc. until it reaches rivers or other bodies of water.

What is Manure used for?

  • Run-off, Manure & You – Manure is farm animal feces that farmers use as fertilizer to spread on their fields. Manure can also be used as compost materials.

Why should Lancaster County go green?

  • Run-off, Manure & You – Along the 64,000 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay , the Susquehanna River deposits the most fresh water into the bay which comes from streams and rivers in Lancaster County. The run-off that comes from Lancaster County is so polluted from dirty urban, suburban and farm lands.

Why should I care about run-off?

  • Run-off, Manure & You – Run-off does not just affect the Chesapeake Bay. It also affects the water supply here in Lancaster County. We are drinking the same water that gets dumped into the bay by the Susquehanna.


Is Solar Power expensive to install?

  • Yes. But, it has been proven to save a lot of money in the long run.

Are there local contractors that can install Solar Power in my home?

  • Yes. Blue Moon Enterprises of Lancaster Pennsylvania, ask for Steve Millenger.

Are there more ways that I can use Solar Power?

  • Yes! Solar power has made effective in almost every human application!

What if the sun is not shining? Will I still have power?

  • Yes! The Solar Panels retain energy for a significant amount of time.

This site was developed by Dr. Stacey Irwin, PhD ( who is employed by Millersville University of Pennsylvania

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