Staying Safe with ‘Green’ Herbicide at Oconaluftee Job Corps CCC
Tags: Oconaluftee | Oconlauftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center | USDA-Forest Service

Staying Safe with ‘Green’ Herbicide at Oconaluftee Job Corps CCC

Instructor Aleta Haynes shows student M. Bryant how to apply the herbicide.

We all have a role to play in the environment- after all it is where we eat, sleep, educate, and work. But putting ‘green’ ideas, products, and techniques to work often requires unique problem solving and new ways of thinking. Facility Maintenance Instructor through Home Builders Institute, Aleta Haynes, knows first hand how destructive non-green products can be. “Years ago my neighbor used a widely known chemical herbicide to kill poison ivy in his yard. He chose not to use any personal protection such as gloves, goggles, or respirator.  In about a week, the poison ivy was dead. In about a year, he died of cancer. That’s when I decided to find a different way to deal with weeds”.

 Many personal impact stories such as this may have ended differently if different human actions were taken including preventing problems at the source. Many of the fundamental principles of green training include understanding waste sinks, preservation, ecosystems, storm water runoff, and more. “Oconaluftee JCCCC is always looking for creative ways to find better solutions to reoccurring problems using ‘green’ technology” says M. E. Smith, Center Director.

 Ms. Haynes is excited “I have the opportunity to apply my experiences to the issue at hand- weeds and invasives. Knowing how non-green conventional herbicides can be, I searched for a formula that would not harm our environment or its other inhabitants”. And she is more than happy to share an effective and environmentally sustainable technique. “I have found this formula to be equally effective as conventional chemicals, faster working, and about a 1/3rd of the cost per unit” says Ms. Haynes.

Oconaluftee JCCCC ‘Green’ Herbicide
1 gallon of white vinegar + 1cup of salt+ 1 tablespoon liquid soap  For best results, spray when temperature is 65 degrees or above.


The Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center is associated with the National Forests of North Carolina. It is accredited by the Council On Occupational Education and currently serves 68 students.  The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.  The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For more information about the Oconaluftee JCCCC, visit

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