Highlights from the new Get It! Guide

4.3.14 MX get it guide 01

The mission of Xpress’ first annual Get It! Guide is to provide locals and visitors with an introduction to the many ways we can engage and have a stake in creating a vibrant, sustainable community. The guide contains a directory of businesses and organizations as well as profiles of local groups and initiatives that are fostering socially or environmentally responsible practices.

The guide also contains additional feature articles exploring the many ways community members, leaders and activists define sustainability in WNC, including:

Encouraging community activism

“It is actually disempowering to think that you can make change by yourself, because you can’t. People are starting to realize again that the secret to change is to organize with your community.” — Emma Hutchins, activist and organizer from the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council

Redefining the business model 

“Our goal is to redefine success in business, so that all businesses compete to be not just the best in the world, but the best for the world…. We’re trying to reshape the way businesses and society look at what a company is and what they can do.” — Katie Keer of B Lab

Incorporating permaculture

“It’s actually a really exciting time to be in Asheville and this area. This is one of the leading places in the whole country for cutting-edge sustainable land use.” — Permaculture designer Zev Friedman 

Having fun with foraging 

“One kid picked up an apple from the ground and [said], ‘Are you sure we can eat this?’ I asked him what he meant, and he said, ‘Well, this was on the ground.’ It was so empowering that he could get his own food and that it wasn’t poison or dirty because it touched the ground.” — Local forager Alan Muskat 

Supporting cleaner transportation

“We’ve got some work to do on demonstrating that a robust greenway system is healthy for the community. I think we’ve made that case in Asheville, but the next place to really make that case is countywide.” — Mike Sule, founder of Asheville on Bikes

Strengthening local economy 

“The idea of local economy has become a growing global movement to build a saner and sustainable world. Increasingly, people are waking up to the simple truth that “local” matters.” — Howard Nemon, director of the Center for Local Economies

Considering the aesthetics of sustainability 

“Making a place beautiful can definitely aid in building community relationships, but only if it’s the community itself that’s making the decisions and changes. Many communities have been inadvertently displaced by well-intentioned policy-makers and city planners who equate aesthetic ‘placemaking’ with community improvement.” — Mural artist Molly Must 

Creating an inclusive city 

“We, as a culture, had this sense that we could be ‘separate but equal. Well, that won’t work. The resources need to be shared by all of us, in order for all of us to participate.” — Stephanie Swepson-Twitty, president Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation

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