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Asheville Seeks Gold in Green Living

If you were to give a city a persona, you’d probably match Asheville with “Eclectic”. Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, Asheville has a lot to be proud of. Not only was Asheville voted by Forbes as one of the top cities for growing businesses, but its inhabitants are also caring for their mountainside home in a way that would make Mother Earth proud - from green housing to green eating, to embracing the outdoors. The motivation? Attribute it to gratitude for a rich heritage and an awareness of the city’s alluring place on earth.

Today, as a society, we are more aware than ever of our impact on our environment. It's good to know that even when we seek to expand our horizons through travel, we can make eco-friendly choices. From dining and lodging, to our mode of transportation, our choices can result in less stress on our planet. By going green you are also creating a cleaner and brighter future for your children and future generations. Asheville is going for gold in green living. From eating to housing to playing, the city is forging its way to become healthier and happier. 

GREEN EATING

Eating green means choosing local, organic, and seasonal products. Organic farming involves growing and nurturing crops without the use of synthetic-based fertilizers and pesticides. Consuming organic food without harmful chemicals and added hormones can also make you a healthier person. When you buy and eat local and organic food, and dairy products, you also boost the local economy. Eating green also has global consequences that stretch beyond local communities by minimizing waste and the pollution of transportation. 

Asheville was named the first official “Greenest Dining Destination” with 18 restaurants becoming Certified Green by the Green Restaurant Association. This “foodie” town boasts a plethora of dining establishments that pride themselves on supporting local farmers and producers.

Posana Cafe, specializing in American cuisine, was recognized as Asheville’s “first certified green restaurant.” It sources unprocessed, premium ingredients from nearly 65 different local farms and gardens in the area. From fruits and vegetables to livestock and nuts, the seasonal menus reflect the local community’s pride and efforts. Martha and Peter Pollay, Posana’s proud owners, renovated the building with sustainable and green materials, from the solar panels on the roof to the LED lights in its dining areas. The restaurant is also heavily involved in recycling and composting. 

Beyond the town dining scene, you may engage in foraging, which in simple terms is the exploring and harvesting of real foods found in nature. Guides take visitors and residents alike to explore, discover and gather greens, flowers, mushrooms, roots and nuts, savor them with all senses, and even take them to selected restaurants to transform into dishes.  

As you make your way around Asheville you’ll spot food trucks at local breweries, businesses and farmer’s markets. This is another way Asheville is supporting its local farmers in addition to offering an affordable dining option. Food truck chefs make dishes from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients at a much lower cost. 

GREEN HOUSING 

This special North Carolina city is well known for its green or sustainable homes where beautiful architecture is balanced with eco-friendly materials. The Green Built Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sustainability in the built environment through community education, measurable standards and regional action. With smart construction techniques, the use of water and energy operating costs of such homes are reduced. Solar heating and environmentally-friendly lighting are just a few ways to save costs.

In addition, green homes are durable. This reduces maintenance costs over time, due to the use of recycled materials and smart design in the home construction. Another green housing option is a Net Zero home, which runs on solar energy or other eco-friendly systems. Green Built Homes certified its 1000th home in 2014. 

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

With breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains, fresh air, and moderate temperatures throughout the year, Asheville’s residents and visitors naturally seek outdoor pastimes. Take your pick, be it walking man’s best friend in the French Broad River Park, enjoying a meditative stroll in the Pisgah National Forest, exploring the plants in the Asheville Botanical Garden, hiking the Hickory Nut Falls Trail or driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Your outdoor choices are wide and varied, no matter your interests. 

With seemingly endless opportunities for eco-friendly housing, healthy eating, and outdoor adventure, Asheville certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to live, work, and visit as it continues to lead the way toward healthier and happier living.  

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