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Local businesses are 'thinking green'
Earth Day 2009
making a differnece
Marrianne Rudy points to an environmental message on one of containers her businesses uses to dish up food. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones
About going green

• Visit the Georgia Pollution Prevention Assistance Web Site at or Earth 911 at
• The average American uses more than 100 gallons of water every day. Got a leak? One drop of water per second wastes more than 25 liters a day.
• Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for 3 hours.
Standing in a window of the newest hotdog stand in town, Chow Hound’s owner Marrianne Rudy asks a customer if he would like some homemade beans or slaw to go with his dog.
“These are absolutely delicious,” she said as she poured a helping of baked beans loaded with bacon into a cup. And you’ll have to try the strawberry or pineapple delight.”  
Corn also comes with every order at the hut, located on Highway 196, next to Gene’s Bait and Tackle Shop.
“This cup is made from 100 percent corn,” she said. “All the products we use to serve our food are made from compostable materials.”
They will, according to Dave Sapp, director of Liberty County Solid Waste Department, decompose in about six months, eight times faster than it would take if Rudy used plastic foam materials.
“It is great from a standpoint that she is using a corn starch that has basically been solidified into a cup or a plate and is not petroleum-based,” Sapp said. “And as soon as you add a little bit of moisture over a long period of time it breaks down. It does not take any time for those materials to decompose.”
Currently, the county produces an estimated 41,900 tons of co-mingled waste per year.
Sapp said that amount could be reduced by nearly 35 percent if everyone recycled or used compostable materials.
“Everything that ends up in landfills will eventually degrade over time, but it just takes a lot longer,” he said. “It takes plastics about 50 years to decompose and it takes 500 years for glass to decompose.”
“So what she is doing is great,” he said.
Rudy, a single mother of four, said she decided to “go green” the moment she started her business plan eight years ago.
She got online and visited, the Web site of a company called Eco Products, that specializes in sustainable alternatives to traditional food-service disposables.
“They offer to ship any order over $200 for free and the cost of the products are only a couple of cents more on the dollar than any normal product you would use,” she said.
To her it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
“A hundred years from now the Earth is not going to be anything like what it is now. What about our grandchildren?” she asked. “How bad is it going to get before we realize we can’t turn back the clock?
“It’s not that hard to change the way we do things. Turn off your lights, change your bulbs, use small, energy efficient appliances.”
Using Earth-friendly pro-ducts is a trend that has others in the city also thinking green.
Drew Cole, known as the “The Drew” to his customers at Uncommon Grounds, said by the summer he plans to have the coffee hangout converted to a green zone.
“We hope to cut down on about 25 percent of the Styrofoam that we’re currently using. In the future, we also plan to replace our air-conditioning unit with ceiling fans,” he said.
“We’ve always been interested in healthy alternatives and there is no point in us being healthy if the world around us is unhealthy,” he said.
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