CommunEcos was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in North Carolina in May 2011. With its retail project the Recyclique Co-op Shop, Communecos opened to the public in June 2011. Our history though began and evolved from much earlier projects:
YIKES!– or Youth Involved in Keeping Earth Sustainable, is the organization that led to Recyclique and CommunEcos. YIKES! originated in Spring 2007 through a solar roof survey of the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood, a joint project of Clean Energy Durham (CED) and two classes at the NC School of Science and Math led by Dr. Sandy Smith-Nonini, in collaboration with NCSSM Profs. Marion Brisk and Carole Stern.
A prior project helped set the stage for the survey. In 2006, Sandy and Anthony Watts (both board members at CommunEcos) worked together on an affordable residential solar hot water project for central NC funded by a $5000 grant from the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Program at UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School [Physics Prof. Gerald Cecil was a co-PI with Sandy (who is in the UNC Anth Dept) on that grant, and the other participants were Scott Brennan and Rebekah Hren.]
From 2007 – 10, YIKES! participated in sustainability projects with its 2009 solar space heater project , its 2009-10 community garden project with Public Allies and Asbury Temple’s Feed My Sheep food ministry; it’s SUSTAIN workshop programming with Durham Parks and Recreation (2009-10) and its 2011-present green job training with the Forest Foundation and the Durham Economic Resource Center (funded by the Golden Leaf Foundation); and its student-led 2010 Rehashed Trash Bash at UNC.