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After a lengthy series of starts and stops, islandwide recycling becomes a reality on April 1. Here’s how to get on board.

Rejoice! Recycle! Hilton Head's islandwide program launches in AprilWhen the garbage truck pulls up to your Hilton Head Island home to pick up your recyclable trash on April 1, it won’t be an April Fool’s prank: It’ll be Republic Services inaugurating its new franchise agreement on a timetable that coincides nicely with Earth month.

That day, Republic will begin its franchise with the Town of Hilton Head Island for garbage and recyclable trash pickup, a contract that will take its customer base from 4,000 to about 14,000, according to site manager Chris Frost.

For years, Hilton Head Island has lacked a bona fide outdoor farmers market. Rebecca Smith and Pamela Ovens have helped change all that.

Rebecca Smith, left, and Pamela OvensFor a place so reverent of natural beauty that even the stop signs used to blend in with the landscape, the absence of a bona fide outdoor farmers market on Hilton Head Island seemed downright ludicrous to islander Rebecca Smith.

“Everybody’s going green, and Hilton Head’s getting lost in the dust. We need to jazz it up,” says Smith, who is doing her part by spearheading the new Farmers Market Hilton Head Island at Honey Horn, set to open April 1.

Take a look behind the scenes of the construction of Tanger Outlet Center I, the first LEED-certified shopping center in Beaufort County

Tanger Outlet 1 in Bluffton: Recycled, and reopeningIf Tanger Outlet Center Hilton Head I looks brand new to you, it isn’t. Sure, you may have seen the mall completely leveled last winter. You may have noticed it being totally rebuilt, from the sewer ines to the buildings to the parking lots. But those involved with the $50 million transformation will tell you — quite proudly — that’s it’s far from new.

The 22-acre center, set to reopen March 31, is being called the first LEED-certified green shopping center in Beaufort County, which means, among other things, that quite a bit of the old center was recycled for the new one, including 100 percent of the old concrete, most of the steel and gravel and close to 100 tons of landscape material.

Make your own T-shirt bagThe preceding pages covered large-scale lifestyle changes, which, admittedly, can be hard to make. So here’s something easy instead: Repurpose an unwanted, underused old T-shirt by turning it into a reusable tote bag, with just one quick seam and some quick scissor work.

STEP ONE
Collect a heavy cotton T-shirt, pencil, dinner plate, scissors (you’ll be happier if you have a nice sharp pair) and sewing machine.

STEP TWO
Turn the T-shirt inside out. Make sure it’s flat, and that all your seams line up nicely.

Artist Pam Johnson Brickell teaches workshops in nature journaling as a means of remembering ‘time spent in places you love, soaking up the slower side of life.Artist Pam Johnson Brickell teaches workshops in nature journaling as a means of remembering ‘time spent in places you love, soaking up the slower side of life.

A group of budding artists sets up its chairs in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, paper and watercolor pencils in hand. But though the work they produce will be works of art, these aren’t experienced artists — just people drawing and creating nature journals for themselves, and the joy of it.

Artist Pam Johnson Brickell, a Clemson University-certified master naturalist, teaches a series of nature journal workshops at the Society of Bluffton Artists Gallery and at Coastal Art Supply in Beaufort. Creating a nature journal is a way to capture the bounty of the world, she says, a way to relax and take in the essence of the environment, a means by which you can record and hold onto images that inspire.

For six years, the Daufuskie Island Conservancy has been standing guard over the quiet, fragile paradise

It’s like taking a step back in time when you step off the ferry onto Daufuskie Island. There are no cars, no skyscrapers, no mad rushes to get to the next appointment. Most of the island’s roads are unpaved. There are only white beaches, a rich abundance of flora and fauna and a variety of animal species, including graceful snowy white egrets and soaring bald eagles. “The natural beauty here inspires the solitary artist, photographer or bird watcher. It can even inspire a gathering of friends just to watch the sunset,” says resident Karen Opderbeck.

But the environment, of course, can be easily disturbed. And for Daufuskie’s 400-plus full-time residents, the 8-milesquare island is a fragile treasure that needs to be protected.

John HutchesonEvery morning, John Hutcheson and his wife, Elma Rios, mount their recumbent bicycles — the lowto the ground, laid-back-seating kind —and begin their 45-minute commute to work at Sea Pines Montessori Academy. Their route goes from their rented home in Spanish Wells Plantation over the Cross Island Parkway, down Palmetto Bay and Cordillo roads and to the school at the back gate of Sea Pines. John, 60, and Elma, 51, have shared a classroom there since moving to the school from a similar gig in Seattle three years ago, teaching fourth-, fifth and sixth-graders.

Spending all that time teaching and biking together has taught them a lot about what’s important. And, as Hutcheson, told us, it made them wonder why, on an island with 12 miles of paved leisure paths, more people don’t bike to work.

Green spirits: How to drink appropriately this monthThis St. Patrick’s, pick up some good vibrations with these green libations.

In this green edition of Monthly, it’s important to note that there are shades of emerald that go beyond the environmentally friendly.

This being March, we must recognize a festival that elevates and exalts the color green like no other: St. Patrick’s Day. And while St. Patty’s ostensibly celebrates the life of a Christian martyr who drove snakes out of Ireland, it is also a celebration of Irish culture, or at least an extremely vague and extremely incorrect approximation thereof.

In that spirit, we’re popping the cork on a few green drink ideas to help you get into whichever form of “green spirit” you prefer.

Teresa WadeDo you buy local and organic? Turn the water off when brushing your teeth? Compost food and yard waste? How do you know when you’re living green?

What does it mean to be green? Sure, you might recycle, eat organic and use only reusable shopping bags, but does that mean you’re living a green lifestyle? With all the labels and messages floating around in the marketplace and media these days, it can be confusing to determine what “going green” really means — and when to know if you’re doing it.

As our world shifts to meet the reality of stressed resources, living green is becoming the new norm, but it can be challenging to balance living well with living green. The good news is that every green action, no matter how small, moves us forward on the journey to sustainability. There’s no one-practice solution or “easy button,” but each new commitment to integrate green products, services and technologies into our daily lives and businesses deepens our shade of green. Think of it in terms of Beaufort County: One action, multiplied by 150,000 (the rough number of residents in the county), adds up.