On September 30, 2015, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park unveiled 10 new pieces of alternative fuel equipment, according to an article by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. This new equipment will help the park join the “going green” initiative and ultimately improve air quality in the Smokies.
This change in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of many taking place in and around Gatlinburg, in accordance with the “Gatlinburg Goes Green” program begun in 1979.
What Is “Gatlinburg Goes Green”?
“Gatlinburg Goes Green” is a voluntary educational program that unites the residents and business community of Gatlinburg with the common goal of improving environmental standards and conditions. This effort began after a group of concerned citizens decided to take action so Gatlinburg would always be a great place to live, work, and visit. The goal is to keep the environmental impact of millions of visitors each year to a minimum and preserve the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains for generations to come.
Already “Gatlinburg Goes Green” has achieved a number of environmentally friendly acts in the community of Gatlinburg, including the following:
- Establishing a trout-rearing facility and stocking program
- Launching a flower and tree beautification program in Gatlinburg
- Passing an ordinance that requires animal-resistant trash containers throughout town
- Converting the millions of Gatlinburg Winter Magic lights to LED bulbs
- Implementing improvements at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Placing containers for recyclables in employee lunchrooms
Earth Day Festival in Gatlinburg
“Gatlinburg Goes Green” has several ways to involve the community and visitors alike in the campaign to clean up Gatlinburg. They maintain a “Swap Shop” website, for instance, where members of the program can post unused or unwanted items. These items range from electronics and craft materials to glass bottles that are sold, exchanged, or given away rather than dumped in the trash.
They also host an Earth Day Festival each year during the week of Earth Day. This year, the festival is scheduled to take place at Mynatt Park on April 21 through April 23, 2016, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be a great opportunity for families to learn about green practices, listen to live music, check out craft stations and hands-on activities, play games, and sample yummy food. Be sure to bring your family for a “going green” event that has something for everyone to enjoy!
Tips for “Going Green” at Home
“Going green” isn’t just a good idea for Gatlinburg. It’s also a good idea for you! Try these simple tips with your family so you can help to preserve the natural beauty of our world and keep your home environmentally friendly for years to come!
- Recycle. This is the simplest tip for going green. Sort your trash and recycle what you can. To get started, contact your local waste company and ask about their recycling options. They will usually have separate bins for your recyclable waste, and all you have to do is sort. (A great task for kids by the way!)
- Donate instead of dump. If you have clothes or towels or collectibles you no longer want, give them to a local charity instead of your dumpster. You can save the environment and help someone else in the process!
- Use reusable water bottles. Stop buying dozens of disposable water bottles every week. Instead, buy each person in your home a BPA free, reusable water bottle that can be refilled using your refrigerator’s filtered water system or a filtered pitcher.
- • Switch to green cleaners. If you will switch your household cleaners to plant-based products, you can eliminate air pollution both inside and outside your home. This will help to reduce exposure to asthma and allergy triggers as well.
- Open windows when you can. If it’s a nice day outside, turn the A/C or heater off and open your windows instead. You’ll save money and get to enjoy the smell of fresh air throughout your home. It’s a win-win!