George Masa and the birth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“These efforts really are about protecting places for all Americans and for future generations,” notes Brent Martin of The Wilderness Society. The leaders of the national parks movement, he maintains, “all saw a much bigger picture, not only for all human beings, but for all living things.”

Beyond belief: Faith communitie­s embrace environmen­tal stewardshi­p

Churches are a special type of building — funded, operated and occupied by a community of users who must balance such priorities as care for the community, evangelism, education and worship. Even as these considerations remain crucial, many faith communities are also increasingly aware of ethical and faith-based imperatives to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. As Asheville’s […]

The modern elder: Reclaiming what’s sacred in life’s later stages

From the Get It! Guide: As the boomer generation moves into elderhood, many are realizing what’s at stake when elders are lost from the social fabric. They’re aghast at the realities of our current model of care and are sparking a movement that seeks to redefine the later stages of life — not just for the benefit of elders but for the enrichment of all generations.

Conservati­on in WNC — where we’re going, where we’ve been

From the Get It! Guide: Long before the age of Internet lists and online travel magazines, people came to Asheville and Western North Carolina for the intrinsic natural beauty. In fact, the beauty of our environment is what many say makes this place so special. But are we protecting what we have? What initiatives are underway to help ensure that the region remains a respite and a haven for generations to come?

The consequenc­e of waste: Buncombe’s discarded problem is piling up

From the Get It! Guide: A close look at the trash collected in Asheville was shocking — 26 percent of our waste is compostable matter, 18 percent is recyclable and 56 percent is true waste, fit only for the landfill. With the city alone producing over 22,000 tons of trash a year, what is the cost of all that waste. And what is it going to take for us to reduce it?

Asheville tries to keep pace with rising demands for sidewalks, bike lanes

From the Get It! Guide: Asheville is faced with a rising interest in transportation alternatives, but the path to greater advances seems to be lined with historic neglect and budgetary hurdles. The city still has a long walk ahead to fulfill its 2004 goal of building 108 miles of sidewalks. In the last decade, Asheville has constructed only about 18 miles worth.

Green developmen­ts: How Asheville’s public housing communitie­s are leading the eco-scene

From the Get It! Guide: Green jobs, lush community gardens, community cookouts and water quality testing — these might not be things many in Asheville picture when they think of public housing. But residents says Asheville’s public housing neighborhoods are investing in their communities’ welfare and leading a growing interest in “greening” up the neighborhoods.

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.

So you want to be an activist? Tips from the front lines for fostering an engaged citizenry

From the Get It! Guide: Lifestyle activism — everyday actions such as personal conservation efforts or conscientious purchasing choices — may be meaningful ways to shape our world, but in addition to making those day-to- day choices, many still yearn to find their voice and place in a world that feels increasingly loud and anonymous. So what can you do?

Redefining success: B-corps explore an alternativ­e business model

From the Get It! Guide: If a big company comes along and wants to steamroll a smaller corporation with a buy- out, what options are there when corporations must maximize profits for shareholders? Does the smaller company have to sell, even if it means the death of its eco-friendly, socially conscious practices? Maybe not, if the smaller company is a B-corp.

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