Profile: School of Integrated Living

School of Integrated Living’s (SOIL) mission is to inspire and empower people to live responsible and creative lives by providing experiential education in integrated living and regenerative systems. We are based out of Western North Carolina at Earthaven Ecovillage, a 20-year-old intentional community devoted to sustainable education. This village and farming community has the unique […]

Echoview Fibermill in Weaverville, which makes threads for textile goods, is one example of a local manufacturer. Photo courtesy of Echoview Fibermill.

Local production: The other side of the coin

The idea of local economy has become a growing global movement to build a saner and more sustainable world. Increasingly, people are waking up to the simple truth that “local” matters — the best way to help out their economy is by keeping it as local as possible. This is not merely wishful thinking: For decades, local economic development specialists have been practicing this core concept — the more money circulates, the better it is for the economy, and when it circulates locally, then the benefits are multiplied.

Cyclical Systems: "Permaculture ecological design system for the creation of regenerative human habitats," says Chuck Marsh, co-founder of Earthaven.

A solution-oriented practice: Permaculture takes root in WNC

Learning to respect the land — from observing and interacting with nature or valuing renewable resources and producing no waste — is the foundation of permaculture, which is gaining attention throughout the country and in Western North Carolina. And local advocates say that Asheville and WNC are at the heart of cutting-edge, sustainable land use, which can be used in backyards, at schools, in businesses.