Asheville Workplace Challenge Newsletter                                                            Volume 6 - Date 1/31/17

Simple Ways to Increase Sustainability at Work

This month's tip is: Do not idle your car.

Did you know that idling can release just as much pollution as a moving car?

By not idling your car you could be saving money and the environment.

For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. The types of pollutants associated with idling are linked to serious human illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer.

Idling for even just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine. Due to changes in technology, frequent restarts are no longer hard on a car’s engine and battery. The added wear from restarts amounts to much less than the cost of wasted fuel from idling. And the best way to warm your engine is driving your car…not idling.

By not idling your car you can help to make the air and environment healthier while keeping more money in your wallet and saving fuel.

Thank you for not idling!
Want an easy way to encourage employees to lessen their idling time?

Well, look no further...

The AWC has a simple solution for you!

Earn Green Scorecard points for your workplace and encourage sustainable behavior through signage!
The Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition has provided the City with "no-idling" signs (see image to the right) for AWC participants. If your workplace hangs one or more of these signs in their parking lot or out front of their building, then you can earn 4 points for your Green Scorecard.
Have you ever had trouble getting to work, or have you ever wondered if there was a way you could share your work commute with other individuals? Well, look no further, because ShareTheRideNC is here to help. Carpooling is not just a way to reduce carbon emissions; it can also save you money, reduce the stress of being the driver every day, provide an opportunity to get to know people better, and/or give you a way to help others or to be helped when there are personal transportation issues.

ShareTheRideNC is a FREE website tool created to quickly and securely find carpool partners anywhere in North Carolina. Using your home and work addresses, people are matched to nearby commuters with similar schedules. Your home address will never appear on match lists. When you get your list of matches, you choose who to contact. This program has no obligations or requirements.

Sign up today at Help people. Help the environment. Carpool!
  Featured Participant:

Ramada at River Ridge
We are happy to announce that the Asheville Workplace Challenge (AWC) had its first hotel sign up as a participant. Join us in welcoming the Ramada at River Ridge to the Challenge. As our first hotel in the Challenge, we wanted to learn about their perspective on sustainability and give them recognition for their efforts as February’s Featured Participant. We interviewed the Ramada at River Ridge, and here is what we learned…

The Ramada at River Ridge is excited to be involved with the AWC, and hope to use the Challenge as a way to learn more about how they can contribute to the well-being of Asheville and its residents as well as our tourists. It can be challenging for hotels to increase certain aspects of their sustainability, as they get a lot of tourists from all walks of life, with different awareness levels. For example, many hotels could better implement recycling programs. However, the Ramada at River Ridge feels sustainability upgrades are possible as long as they can get everyone involved (e.g. employees and patrons), but this can be a further challenge within itself. In order to get everyone involved in sustainability efforts, it is important for hotels to work as a team and to stay up-to-date on information. Working as a team means that employees need to be doing the same thing each shift. This will help them to overcome some of the sustainability obstacles they face.

As long as the Ramada at River Ridge continues to strive to do better, and as long as they keep moving forward towards a common goal, then they have already succeeded in beginning their sustainability journey. While they do not have any specific sustainability projects planned at this time, the Ramada at River Ridge is moving in this direction. Their ultimate hope is to make things a little better for generations to come, and that is a notion that the AWC greatly supports!

Thank you, Ramada at River Ridge for joining the Challenge. We look forward to moving in a more sustainable direction, together!

Upcoming Events
There are some great events coming up that will not only provide your workplace with sustainability related education, but attending some of these events can even earn your organization AWC points for your Green Scorecard.

Haywood Waterways Association Inc's Fundraiser: 5th Annual Polar Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek & Environmental Education

Raise money; have fun. Everyone's a winner!

Date: Saturday, February 4th 
Time: 10am
Location: Lake Junaluska Assembly Beach (11 Memory Lane, Lake Junaluska, by the pool)
The polar plunge is seeking valiant souls to brave the frigid waters of Lake Junaluska and help raise money for Haywood Waterway Association's premiere education event, Kids in the Creek. Dip as deep as you are comfortable with. The cost to plunge is $25 or FREE by raising sponsorship donations. If you do not feel the need to take the Plunge, then you can also help raise money for this event by sponsoring other plungers. All Plungers will receive a FREE t-shirt to commemorate their courage, and all Plungers and spectators get a FREE lunch. There will also be chances to win door prizes.  

To register for, or to donate to, this event, click here. For more information on this event, contact Haywood Waterways Association at: (828) 476-4667.
Energy Innovation Task Force

Come out and accompany us to discuss the future of energy in Asheville.

Date: Thursday, February 9th
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: City of Asheville Public Works Conference Room (161 S. Charlotte Street)

Buncombe County, the City of Asheville and Duke Energy Progress have established this joint task force to research, recommend and implement energy efficiency and demand-side management programs and projects and distributed energy technology in Buncombe County. These are free meetings, open to the public, and they seek input and engagement with the public as an integral part of their work. 

For more information visit the Energy Innovation Task Force website or contact Melissa VanSickle at or call: (828) 232-4555.
Home, Garden & Green Living Show

The 42nd Annual WNC Home & Garden & Green Living Show is back and the show is BIGGER and BETTER than ever!

Date: March 17th-19th
Time: 17th (3pm-8pm), 18th (10am-7pm), 19th (11am-5pm)
Location: U.S Cellular Center (Downtown Asheville, 87 Haywood St.)

This is Asheville's premier green living event. Come out and be a part of the longest running and most attended WNC Home Show. There will be a range of featured products and services, along with seminars and workshops on a variety of topics such as electric vehicles, solar energy, sustainable gardening, and much more! To buy tickets, just click here

For more information visit the Event's website or call: (828) 255-2526.

Show Asheville your workplace is a proud participant!

Here is an example of the window cling signage the AWC can provide your workplace with to highlight participation.

Contact to get participant window clings for your workplace.

Asheville Workplace Challenge Progress: We're up to 50!

The Asheville Workplace Challenge (AWC) is picking up speed! We really appreciate your workplace being part of this sustainability adventure. Our goal is to reach at least 100 participating businesses and organizations by the end of the Challenge's first year. We are now over halfway to this goal. As of this January, the AWC has more than 50 participating workplaces with over half having competed a Green Scorecard. 

Don't forget, we update the Green Scorecard from time-to-time, to give workplaces more opportunities to receive points. If you have not updated your Scorecards recently, you may want to check in to answer new questions. 

Update Your Scorecard

Please Spread the Word

In order to make the AWC as successful as possible it is important that we have as many participants as possible. Did you know you get points on your Green Scorecard for referring other businesses to join?

The AWC would greatly appreciate your workplace's help spreading the AWC word and getting other organizations to join. Whether it's by word of mouth, hanging a sign, including us in a newsletter, or some other way of sharing the Challenge, every little bit of promotion helps. If you would like some signage for your workplace to show off their AWC efforts, please contact us at Also, do not forget to earn points by updating your Scorecard if you get another workplace to join.

On another note, if your workplace has any feedback on how we can improve and/promote the AWC, we want to hear it! Even if you do not have specific suggestions, please feel free to contact us and share your Challenge thoughts. 

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City of Asheville - Office of Sustainability · 70 Court Plaza · Asheville, NC 28801 · USA

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