Amid the continuing debate over school choice and whether North Carolina should even allow charter schools, people on both sides of the issue seem to agree that Buncombe County’s five charters stand apart from their counterparts across the state. Asheville has about as long a history with charter schools as any Tar Heel city. Francine […]
The unique combination of wildfires and high pollen counts in WNC this season may be contributing to the rise in allergies.
“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.”
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “sustainable living”? Sorting your recyclables? Maintaining a backyard compost pile? Taking steps to reduce pollution? Maybe the phrase elicits a more expansive image: a self-reliant community living off the grid, with solar panels glinting on residents’ roofs; and carrots, kale and arugula growing in neat rows […]
Everybody needs to be needed. We want to be of use to our friends, family, community and the world at large, to have a purpose and to know that we’re making a positive impact. What that impact should look like, however, can vary widely: For one person, it may be stuffing thank-you letters into envelopes; […]
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 […]
From the Get It! Guide: According to MANNA FoodBank’s 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, food insecurity affects 15.3 percent of Western North Carolina. But several local efforts are looking to stop hunger in WNC, bringing the battle to the fields, the pantries, the neighborhoods and even city hall.
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.
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?
From the Get It! Guide: Some parents and teachers are seeing our children’s education fall short. It’s time to consider “who” we are graduating into the world, they say — and shift the focus from memorization and abstract academia to purpose and values.
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?
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.
From the Get It! Guide: Alternative energy has long been considered a fringe service provider. But with efficient and affordable advances in technology, juicy state and federal tax incentives and the ability to keep both jobs and cash local, proponents say its time to consider alternative energy a serious plan for the future.
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.
Western North Carolina features the greatest variety of flora and fauna north of the tropics, which makes Asheville an ideal place for those who forage for food. In fact, foraging can begin as close as your own backyard.
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.
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?
From the Get It! Guide: Often when we talk about sustainability, we focus on clean energy, the local economy or conservation. These are clearly integral to a resilient future — but the cultural fabric and the qualitative aspects that comprise this future are just as vital for creating a foundation for a sustainable community.
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.
From the Get It! Guide: What are we talking about when we talk about sustainability in Asheville? Cleaner air environmental preservation, more city parks, better education, access to good food and quality housing? But what if all these things are not shared equally with all residents of the city?
Asheville is ahead of the game when it comes to looking at the future of transportation and sustainable fleets. With a real need for sustainable transportation solutions, there are many individuals and organizations working to increase access to those cleaner options in our metro area.