One of the biggest concerns in our society today is how to maintain an eco-friendly environment while still making the most of our world. Gatlinburg is an area that is especially affected by these issues, considering the amount of greenery and pristine waters in the region coupled with the large number of visitors and businesses. This issue is made even more significant when considering that the Great Smoky Mountain National State Park is sitting in Gatlinburg’s backyard.
Businesses who have joined up with the Program are able to analyze their own individual impact on the environment, and then set goals to make sure that they are doing all they can to preserve their environmental, economic, and social endurance. Cabins For You took the pledge to start going green, and we are currently at a Bronze level.
Many steps have been taken in the last couple years to ensure that Gatlinburg is as environmentally stable as can be. In June of 2008 a “Do Your Part” initiative was launched by the State Park to inform visitors of what could be done to reduce the carbon footprint left by the Park. In this same vein, the trolleys of Gatlinburg are now powered with B20 biodiesel, a 20-percent vegetable oil based fuel. As a visitor to Gatlinburg, you may be curious as to how you can maintain efforts while you’re visiting. We found some ideas that you and your fellow travels can consider.
Save Energy: Turn off lights when they’re no longer needed. Unplug any device you’re not currently using, such as a cell phone charger, a DVD player or a laptop computer. Just because an appliance is turned off doesn’t mean it’s not pulling energy (commonly referred to as “Phantom” energy). Another option is plugging your devices into a surge protector that has an on/off switch. Finally when you leave your rental, turn off the heat and air. You won’t need them if you’re not there anyway!
Preserve Water: The average water faucet uses about 2 gallons of water per minute, so turning off the water when you brush your teeth can save about 8 gallons of water a day. Taking a short shower will save 15 gallons of water easily. Instead of getting new ones every day, reuse your towels and sheets. If you plan on doing laundry during your stay, you can save water and energy by doing full loads and using cold water.
Transportation: Travel in small, economy or hybrid vehicles if you’re driving yourself. Traffic can get pretty crowded in Gatlinburg so if you want to avoid driver’s frustration, you could ride the trolley. For a zero carbon footprint, you can also walk to your destination! This is even easier to do if you rent a cabin within walking distance of downtown.
Green Entertainment: Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium and Fort Fun took the green pledge. Bennett’s BBQ, The Peddler, and Park Grill are just a few restaurants that are taking steps to becoming green facilities. Take in all the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer to remind yourself why you made a conscious decision to be greener. There are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails to take in scenery on.
With all these steps and more being employed to lessen Gatlinburg’s impact on our environment, visitors and residents alike can be proud to be a part of this ecological revolution. For more information on green attractions, shops, dining in Gatlinburg visit Gatlinburg Goes Green’s travel planning site.