When it comes to nature, those who live in Western North Carolina are fortunate. We have a special connection with our environment — the Blue Ridge Mountains and the pristine rivers and streams that wind their way around our pretty villages, towns, and cities. For us, a love of the earth is profound. This planet’s unique resources, beauty, and splendor prompt us to be good patrons for all it provides. Here, at French Broad Crossing, we know that land preservation and conservation are priceless luxuries essential to our health and well-being. So on this Earth Day, we’re sharing meaningful ways you can celebrate a conscious lifestyle, not only today but every day.
Enjoy an Earth Day event
With Asheville so close to our community, there are several local events that celebrate Earth Day. The City of Asheville offers a great list of ideas to celebrate Earth Day. Another option is to play WNC for the Planet’s Earth Month Bingo. Or you could attend the Terra-Cycle Recycling Event at West Village Market & Deli on Earth Day (April 22.) There, you can recycle more challenging items like old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, floss containers, snack bags, bar wrappers, and more. If you have kids and want to get out of the house, check out the Earth Day Weekend Outdoor Music & Puppet Show at the Montford Players Amphitheater. Or celebrate Earth Day virtually with EarthX from April 16-25. They’re opening their Earth Day events, including the EarthxFilm Festival 2021, for all to enjoy. You’ll have free access to compelling films, shows, and conversations from environmental and conservation leaders from around the globe.
Transition your trash
Take just one day to be mindful of everything you throw away. Think before you toss anything in the trash. Can the item be recycled? Composted? (More on these two subjects coming up.) You’ll be amazed at how much less garbage you accumulate by conscious awareness. A few simple ideas for reducing your refuse include:
- Storing leftovers in reusable containers (preferable glass)
- Drinking from a reusable water bottle instead of disposable
- Using reusable shopping bags
- Drinking loose-leaf tea with an infuser instead of using tea bags
- Donating clothes and other gently used items to charities
- Avoiding plastic cutlery, straws, plates, and cups
Minimize water waste
It’s no surprise — we love water at French Broad Crossing. In fact, ours is the only master-planned Western North Carolina mountain community located directly along the magnificent French Broad River (the third oldest river on earth!). Conserving freshwater is something we care deeply about, especially since we love rafting, paddling, swimming, fishing, and playing in it so much. A few easy ways to minimize water use include:
- Shortening shower time by five minutes
- Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth
- Running the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded
- Washing full loads of laundry
- Using a car wash to wash your vehicle
- Investing in a rain barrel to water your landscape plants
Reduce by recycling
National Geographic reports that a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t being recycled. That’s a frightening stat, considering how easy it is to recycle plastics today. If you aren’t recycling already, give it a try — not only plastics, but paper, glass, and aluminum cans too. Recycling is a significant initiative throughout the City of Asheville and the surrounding communities. In our hometown, the Marshall Creek Collection facility is happy to accept and recycle items like glass, corrugated cardboard, paper, plastics, aluminum cans, and more.
How often do you throw away fruit and vegetable scraps? How about coffee grounds and paper coffee filters? Spent tea leaves? You can easily combine these items with your recyclable paper, yard clippings, and leaf debris to create a healthy compost for your garden and landscape. To learn about composting, attend a virtual composting workshop being held by our friends at Asheville Greenworks. The “Lazy Composter” is hosting two sessions — one on April 20 at 12 PM and the other on April 23 at 6 PM. At either, you’ll learn why composting is important, the science behind it, and how to start your own successful composting project.
Participate in plant-based
The best thing you can do to reduce your impact on the environment is to nourish yourself with a more plant-based diet. A vegan’s carbon footprint is much lower compared to that of a meat-eater. Animal agriculture is the most significant single contributor of methane and requires massive amounts of water, land, energy, and food. Even if you ‘go vegan’ for one day a week, you’ll make a positive impact on the environment (and your health) just by crowding your plate with delicious vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts. Take it a step further by purchasing local, organic produce. Doing so minimizes the negative environmental impacts from shipping, pesticides, and preservatives. What’s more, you’ll support local businesses. Check out the impressive, 36-acre Western North Carolina Farmers Market. It’s open every day, all year long, and offers a wide variety of local, farm-fresh produce and other delectable delights.
Did you know? The paper industry is the fourth largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions among U.S. manufacturing industries. What’s worse, almost one billion trees-worth of paper is discarded in the U.S. annually. Help put a stop to it by reducing paper use. Try:
- Signing up for paperless billing
- Unsubscribe from catalogs and junk mail via CatalogChoice or PaperKarma
- Opting out of pre-screened insurance and credit card mailers through optoutprescreen.com
- Switching to digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions
- Using a tablet or cell phone for taking notes
- Read books with a Kindle or e-reader
- Utilize our local library for obtaining books, magazines, and other materials on loan
- Saving and storing documents as PDFs rather than printing them
- Using cloth kitchen towels and napkins instead of paper
Bask in forest bathing
Derived from the Japanese “shinrin-yoku,” forest bathing doesn’t require any rigorous exercise. All you have to do is immerse yourself in nature and connect to it via your senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Go for a stroll in the woods, and you discover unique scents, sounds, sunlight patterns, and invigorating fresh air. Being attuned to it all creates an ultra-satisfying sense of comfort and relaxation. What’s more, forest bathing has been proven to optimize your health. Studies show that it enhances your immune system, cardiovascular strength, cognitive function, and reduces stress — all while deepening your relationship with nature. It’s the perfect activity for celebrating Earth Day.
Nurture in nature
At French Broad Crossing, forest bathing, hiking, and other pleasurable outdoor activities are just steps away from your home’s front door. Here, you have access to multiple nature-based amenities, including a breathtaking riverfront park, a secluded outpost known as the Tree House, and several hiking trails with stunning views of the French Broad River and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ready to do good by living the good life? We invite you to experience what it’s like. Contact us now to schedule an exclusive tour of our award-winning, conservation-minded community. You’ll soon discover that here, you can blissfully celebrate Earth Day every day of the year.