Ian Snider skidding with a team of Suffolk Punch Draft Horses, Rudy and Wedge.
The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round
Chris King brings green living to the courier transportation market in Knoxville, Tenn., with a fleet of 100 percent hybrid or bio-fueled vehicles. King’s Green Car and Courier company offers a variety of services including shuttle, charter bus, Town Car, delivery, or courier pickups.
Whether it’s a wedding, field trip, church outing, private party, or any other event that requires transportation, Green Car and Courier has a way to get you there.
“One of the main reasons that I was led to this was my concern for Knoxville,” King said. “We have some air quality issues because of geographically how we sit in this mountainous reason. Going into a transportation company I didn’t want to contribute to that.”
Green Car’s signature bus, which is painted a bright green and bears the company’s leaf on wheels logo, is fueled by an 80/20 blend of fryer grease and petroleum diesel. The fuel reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 40 percent. From this 14-seat bus to 58-seat buses that can accommodate a full-scale tour to anywhere in the country, Green Car’s fleet matches that of any transportation company’s.
For more information about Green Car and Courier’s services, visit www.knoxvillegreencar.com or call 865.329.7616.
Get Behind the Horse in the Morning and Plow
Mountain Works is a small, sustainable development company based in Boone, N.C., working around the world in mountain communities.
The company specializes in sustainably harvested wood products known as draftwood that can be used in green building and organically grown low-fossil food from their horse-powered farm. Mountain Works operates in the North Carolina and Virginia High Country and in developing mountain countries helping people find solutions to living in connection with their local ecosystem.
“We got our start when I did my Appalachian State University masters work in the Himalayas on the struggle of the original ‘tree-huggers,’” said Ian Snider. “Returning home excited to live a land based life brought me to the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation. There I was trained as a biological woodsmen and now operate Mountain Works with my wife Kelly in the spirit of Chipko and our Appalachian forefathers.”
By cutting the worst trees first and extracting those subsequently harvested logs with modern animal powered mechanisms, Mountain Works Woods promotes long term ecological and economic gain in forest ecosystems, while providing a viable livelihood activity for its Mountain Works Woodsmen. The raw material is sold to various buyers including but not limited to sawmills, specialized carpenters, or retained and stored for further processing and sale.
Horse-drawn mowing, plowing, and harrowing are available for landowners seeking an alternative to highly mechanized, petro-fuel dependent forms of farming. Human powered farm labor is also available from Mountain Works Farms at a reasonable rate. The company runs a network of mini farms giving them the increasing ability to produce value-added farm goods such as draft horses, mixed produce, cider, jam, canned goods, meat, and hay.
For more information, visit www.mtnworks.org or call 828.266.3379.
The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce’s voluntary Gatlinburg Goes Green program recognizes member businesses that have made a commitment to continuously improve their operations in order to reduce their environmental impact.
The program allows member businesses to evaluate their operations, set goals, and take specific actions towards environmental, social, and economic sustainability. It is the product of a group of concerned business owners and citizens of the City of Gatlinburg, Tenn. Chamber member businesses may participate in the program by signing a pledge and then completing a comprehensive evaluation that brings one of four levels of green recognition: entry level, bronze, silver or gold. In 2009, 75 percent of chamber members were enrolled in the program. The goal for 2010 is to have at least 10 percent of members operating at the bronze level or higher.
The chamber’s gold level member is Smartbank. Silver level members are Citizens National Bank, Sevier County Bank and the mixed-use development Covered Bridge in the Glades. At the bronze level are the accommodations Cabins for You, Clarion Inn and Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites North, Four Seasons Motor Lodge and Convention Center, Foxtrot Bed and Breakfast, Gatlinburg Falls Resort, Highlands Condominiums, and Laurel Springs Lodge B&B. Restaurants and attractions earning bronze level labels are: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Cliff Dwellers Gallery, Foxhill Gallery, Gabriel’s Horn, Hard Rock Café, Jim Gray Gallery, Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Resort, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
For a complete list of participating businesses and more information, visit www.gatlinburggoesgreen.com or call 800.588.1817.
Not the Only Ones Staring at the Sun
The region’s largest solar photovoltaic array can be found in Canton, N.C., where Progress Energy has repurposed an old landfill to generate electricity. The 555-kilowatt Evergreen Solar Farm is owned and operated by FLS Energy and built on Evergreen Packaging’s now-closed landfill.
This solar farm is expected to generate approximately 730,000 kilowatt-hours every year. Progress Energy Carolinas is purchasing the array’s entire output for distribution to the company’s customers. The output is roughly equivalent to the annual electricity demand from 51 average North Carolina homes. This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 525 tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing 100 vehicles from the roads in western North Carolina.
The Evergreen Solar Farm has a unique design that makes it one of the first solar arrays in the country to be installed on a landfill. FLS Energy constructed concrete pads on top of the landfill to provide a base for the 2,340 Sunniva solar panels because the installation could not penetrate the two-foot soil cap.
“This is yet one more way our company can show our commitment to the environment,” said Derric Brown, Evergreen’s director of sustainability. “This is a great use of our closed landfill and we are happy to participate. Combined with our support of sustainable forests in the region for wood chips and our participation in expanding recycling for our products like milk cartons, we hope to be a leader in smart environmental practices.”