As the holiday season winds down and decorations are packed away, disposing of Christmas trees sits at the top of the to-do list for many households. Even our region’s most famous residence, the Biltmore Estate, can’t escape the task of tree removal. In fact, with more than 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees in and around the estate, Biltmore has had to develop more than one approach to recycling and reusing its trees.
Western North Carolina’s wild places and creatures lie at the heart of the region’s appeal, inspiring local artists and attracting visitors from across the globe. Events in 2018 promised to shape the future of those natural resources for years to come.
Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.
From reusing glass jars, to bulk shopping to bringing your own container for restaurant takeout and leftovers, locals are finding strategies for cutting down on food packaging.
As demand for solar energy increases, members of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association worry that negative word-of-mouth about experiences with renewables could undermine trust in established installers. In August, the trade group developed a “Solar Business Code” establishing fundamental professional standards.
The new facility’s planned retirement is in 2059 — 17 years after Buncombe County government’s 2042 goal of transitioning all homes and businesses to completely renewable energy. Jason Walls, Duke Energy district manager, said his company is committed to helping local governments achieve their goals but that the new plant’s construction is based on forecasts of growing energy needs.
“It’s like the playing field that everyone’s playing on — that the economy’s playing on, that companies are playing on, that the government’s playing on — that playing field is starting to erode,” says Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider in downtown Asheville. “I think there’s more on the line than many people understand.”
Whether cultivated or wild, American persimmons are plentiful this time of year in WNC.
Cultivating low-maintenance perennial food producers like asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes has benefits for both the soil and the gardener.
Local city governments offer leaf collection and processing services, but residents can also put their own fallen leaves to good use.
The ninth annual Rooted in the Mountains Symposium will integrate many different disciplines as well as native and Western approaches in its exploration of women’s health and heart health Thursday, Sept. 27, and Friday, Sept. 28, at Western Carolina University.
As its name implies, dent corn has a small dent in each kernel and is mostly used in its dried form as a grain.
On Aug. 3, Jordan Gillis, acting assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment presented N.C. National Guard Field Management Station No. 1 with the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award, given annually to just nine individuals, teams or installations from Army operations across the country.
The prolific, native berries, can easily be found along the edges of forests or in grassy or disturbed areas in Western North Carolina August through December.
Seven regional storytellers and Papadosio side project EarthCry perform at the Dogwood Alliance event, Sept. 8 at The Grey Eagle.
Some commonly used gardening and landscaping plants cause big problems for WNC’s ecosystem.
The plurality of Asheville city government’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2017 — roughly 9,100 tons — came from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to create electricity. That number could drop to zero by the end of the next decade, however, should Asheville adopt a resolution currently under development by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment.
Through a partnership with Patchwork Urban Farms, chef Gene Ettison is leveraging a new entrepreneurial venture to bring healthy meals and grocery options to Asheville’s food deserts.
Sylvan Sport founder Tom Dempsey says the inspiration for his company’s adventure camping trailers comes from spending time outdoors — and there’s no better place to find inspiration than this area. “We couldn’t do what we do anywhere else,” he says.
Specific plant species can turn a garden into a living indicator of pollution levels.
As shifting weather patterns begin to affect WNC, new gardening strategies and hardier plant varieties may be needed.