Living eco-friendly in Raleigh, NC

Photo via City of Raleigh

Thurs., April 22 is Earth Day — a day to bring awareness to climate change + environmental issues while emphasizing the importance of living in an eco-friendly way. 

Lucky for us, Raleigh is leading the way in sustainability with its numerous green programs and organizations. Raleigh even ranked No. 10 in the nation for the 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development report.

From how to recycle to where to shop locally, we’ve created a list of how you can give back to the earth this month. Together, our collective efforts (both big and small) can help make our city happier + healthier. 

💪 Lifestyle + Health 

  • Eco Friendly Beauty Bar provides natural beauty-related products and services including facials and massages.
  • Check out Green4Life if you are in the market for fair-trade, artisan + zero-waste household goods. 
  • The Vine Natural Health Shoppe values education on personal well-being for customers and sells health-centric nutritional supplements, food, and drinks.
  • Current fashion trends are calling for vintage nostalgia and one-of-a-kind pieces that can be found at second-hand and consignment shops. 
  • Based out of Raleigh, Murphy’s Naturals produces natural bug repellents that can be found online or in select retail stores. 

🏡 Home + Services 

  • CaraGreen sells recycled + sustainable building materials perfect for your next big renovation. 
  • You can save money on your electricity bill and reduce fossil fuel emissions by conserving power. Try a home energy assessment through Duke Energy or follow the City of Raleigh’s guide.
  • Wake County has a Discounted Compost Bin Program. You can mix your own nutrient-rich garden soil while reducing food waste that ends up in landfills.  
  • If you are looking for a more hands-off composting solution, CompostNow will pick up your bins and distribute the fertilizer to local gardens + farms.
  • Be harsh on infestations, not the environment, with The Eco Man pest control.
  • Recycling can be deceptively difficult. If you find yourself wondering what you’re allowed to recycle, or where it goes, we explained how you can recycle in Raleigh. Have something the city can’t take? See if Anything With a Plug Recycling can. 

More eco-friendly businesses + services can be found on the NC Green Directory.

🍽️ Food

♻️ Councils + Organizations

You can stay informed about municipal or state decisions related to green energy, climate change, and land preservation by joining these advisory groups or attending their public meetings. 

Consider donating to environmental organizations that are dedicated to protecting the state’s natural surroundings.

🌎 Activities + Events 

Gardening + Produce
  • Composting with Black Soldier Grubs | Sat., Apr. 10 | 10–11:30 a.m. | Virtual | Free | Learn how to sustainably reduce your food waste using native grubs.
  • Oh, You Need to Talk To…Gardeners | Sun., Apr. 18 | 2–3 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Get some gardening tips from Orange County Extension Master Gardeners.
  • Annual Mordecai Plant Sale | Fri., Apr. 23 | 8 a.m.–4 p.m. | Mordecai Historic Park. 1 Mimosa St. | Free+ | Get your summer garden started with some seeds + plants from Mordecai’s yearly sale. 
  • A Guide to Growing Tomatoes in the Southeast | Sat., Apr. 24 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m. | Virtual | $20+ | A horticulturist at the JC Raulston Arboretum will teach attendees the best methods and techniques for growing tomatoes in this region. 
  • Raleigh City Farm Farmstand | Wed., Apr. 28 | 4–7 p.m. | Raleigh City Farm, 800 N. Blount St. | Free | Pick up some fresh produce grown locally.
Learning + Engagement Opportunities
Earth Day Events
  • 2021 Virtual Piedmont Earth Day Fair | Mon., Apr. 19–Fri., Apr. 23 | Various times | Virtual | Free | The Piedmont Environmental Alliance is holding multiple programs over the week on topics such as patio gardening, ecofeminism + green careers. 
  • Earth Day Outdoor Movie: Leaning into the Wind | Thurs., Apr. 22 | 8:30 p.m. | Museum Park Theater, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd. | Free | Celebrate Earth Day with a movie showing outside, under the stars. 
  • Eco-Avengers | Thurs., Apr. 22 | 10–11:30 a.m. | Greystone Recreation Center, 7713 55 Leadmine Rd. | $10 | Kids ages 3–7 will learn how to help the environment through crafts + activities in this program through Raleigh Parks. 
  • Earth Day Celebration | Sat., Apr. 24 | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. | Durham County Memorial Stadium Parking Lot, 750 Stadium Dr. | Free | A drive-in Earth Day event by the Durham Parks and Recreation with live performances + conservation talks.

Contributed by Xenna Smith