April is our month to commit to bold and comprehensive action to protect the natural beauty of our beloved mountains and our treasured New River. We must place the Environment above Profits! 

We can do this through support of the Governor’s statewide efforts to transition to a Clean Energy Economy, and by electing leaders who will

champion renewable energy, conservation, sustainable agriculture, resilient infrastructure, and environmental justice. 

But we must also commit to our own individual and cumulative efforts at a personal level to honor our Mother Earth.  Small steps can collectively have a huge impact!

In the face of environmental challenges, each of us has the power to make a positive difference.

This list offers simple yet impactful actions we can take collectively to create a greener, more sustainable future. Let’s dive in and take meaningful steps towards a healthier planet TOGETHER!

Solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are large infrastructure options, but they are also individual options on scale accessible to many local residents. Seek information from local clean energy vendors and consider electric company solar programs. Adopt the motto “Repair, Reuse, Recycle”.

Our forests are vital carbon sinks that help mitigate climate change. We can protect and expand forested areas and safeguard biodiversity on our local farms and communities. If you cut a tree, plant a tree! Your local extension agents and the New River Conservancy and Blue Ridge Conservancy groups and the Alleghany Sparta Trail Association are here to help! 

Think fuel efficiency, reduce mileage, ride sharing, and reduced emissions. Support businesses who offer electric charging stations and use clean energy options.

We can support small local farmers, and especially organic farm practices that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. Support your local Farmers Markets and eat more fruits and vegetables!

Expect more extreme weather, flooding, wind, mud and rock slides, and extended days of hot weather. We can each develop disaster preparedness plans, individual sustainable land use policies, and climate resistant home modifications. 

Check on your neighbors and have a plan to support those with fewer resources to prepare for and respond to the effects of climate. Remind our elected officials that environmental justice is a shared concern. 

As in all things, we are better, stronger, and more successful when working together!

It’s vital that we unite and take action to combat climate change, especially in rural North Carolina communities where the impacts can be felt deeply. By working together, we can implement sustainable solutions and create a brighter, more resilient future for all

– Ben