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Appalachian Offsets: A Local Solution to Global Pollution

Tree in Light Bulb

A Program of Western North Carolina Green Building Council

Appalachian OffsetsWestern North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC) is bringing back it’s locally focused carbon-offsetting program due to community demand!  This innovative local program allows area residents to calculate their carbon footprint and then offset it by paying into a community fund.  The community fund then supports energy-efficient upgrades at local nonprofits, low-income housing and schools.

Executive director of the WNCGBC, Sam Ruark Eastes, states, “the scientific consensus is in.  Climate change is happening and is greatly influenced by the burning of fossil fuels.” The average United States resident was responsible for 18 tons of carbon dioxide in one year.  This number is almost 4 times greater than the global average of 4.6 tons, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report in 2011 (the last year of the data).

Two grants have helped to bring the Appalachian Offsets program back into action.  It encourages individuals to first offset their own carbon footprint.  Then, they can pay into a fund that helps the community as a whole.  

Making a Difference in Asheville

UNCA AHAAn example of a project that is funded would be upgrading inefficient lighting and supporting clean energy within area organizations.  In 2007, UNCA students volunteered with the Asheville Housing Authority to replace 13,000 inefficient incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.  This initiative helped reduce carbon emissions by 3, 790 tons annually and saved the Housing Authority and its residents about $250,000 annually!

“Appalachian Offsets is the bridge that matches companies and individuals looking to offset their emissions with organizations who need support cutting energy costs and upgrading their facilities,” Ruark Eastes said.

You can get involved by going to the program’s website: www.cutmycarbon.org!  Here, you can use the carbon calculator to see your own or your business’ carbon footprint.  Additionally,you can also learn more about the projects that will be supported by offsets you may choose to purchase.

Mosaic Realty is proud to be a supporter of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council.  For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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