Thinking green: Ways to promote sustainability in WNC

McKee Thorsen

McKee Thorsen is a senior prefect at Asheville School. He serves as the co-leader of Students for Environmental Action and is a competitive swimmer. He hopes to study environmental law in college.

What sustainability initiatives at your school are you most proud of? 

While reviving our composting program and helping save endangered species of orchids come to mind, I’m probably most proud of our solar initiative — not because it took the most work, but rather because of what the project represents. We overcame numerous setbacks along the way, but our resolve to get solar power on campus held firm. Now, solar panels are a prominent feature of our campus.

How is your generation’s approach to sustainability different from that of other generations?

We’ve refused to shirk our obligation to act. We lead by example, change our own habits and, in doing so, influence others to do the same. As a former member of Georgia 4 the Planet and the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, I’ve experienced firsthand the power and potential of our generation. We disturb, we disrupt, we, as John Lewis said, “Make good trouble.”

What are steps people in WNC can take to promote sustainability?

  1. Use your voice. Whether it be with your vote, through volunteering, phone-banking or simply talking about sustainability — speak up!
  2. Reduce, reuse, then recycle. While more sustainable, the first two actions are frequently passed over in favor of recycling.
  3. Be efficient. Some struggle to limit their water or electrical use without realizing that installing more efficient dishwashers, light bulbs or showerheads are options easier to adapt to with oftentimes a bigger effect.

Is the educational system doing enough to inform people about long-term environmental concerns like climate change?

No, the educational system is not doing enough. Some may blame teachers. However, I think the bigger issue stems from our policymakers, who’ve somehow managed to twist the undeniable reality of climate change into a partisan issue.


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2 thoughts on “Thinking green: Ways to promote sustainability in WNC

  1. WNC

    Some nice ideas , some not so much. Using solar panels in a market driven by the Chinese Communist party not so sustainable.

    The parts of many products are essentially produced by slave labor,

    The Chinese Communist part controls rare earth minerals needed for solar panels and more particularly batteries. The first newest push for solar panels ended up with a 10 year life span on products needing 30 Years of life to justify their use.. All things consider the 10 year throw away panels was worse for the enviromental than the status/quo .
    Yes technology is improving but reliant on the Chinese Communist part.

    The CCP and friends mine these minerals in the most unfriendly way, unlike American guidelines.

    Do gooders in the US don’t want to mine minerals in the US. They want us to be prisoners to the communist who have a much greater negative impact on the environment.

    We’re talking about a country who turned out Covid 19 then sold American mask and medicine at greatly inflated prices as we begged for them.

    The substantial reduction in air pollution in the US has been driven by natural gas.

    Pushing products dependent on enemy countries that don’t have sustainable or complete delivery systems hurts the “Green Push”. We could talk about calculable problems with electric vehicles for hours.

    The Green Push reminds me of the time I went to a new restaurant and starting ordering. After my 4th attempt to order a selection from the menu and being told each time we don’t have that yet. I said maybe I’ll come back when your open.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    Writer has been totally brainwashed by ‘teachers’ and the whole progressive government screwls now for decades…this is what you people have bred.

    Writer will learn that the climate always changes and ‘climate change’ is the biggest hoax on the planet, besides joe bideng.

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