Our View: Green looks good
That 9 percent is enough to place Watauga third out of 100 counties noted for "sustainable, travel-oriented business that make a sound investment in sustainability," trailing only the markedly larger counties of Buncombe, home to Asheville, and Onslow, on the coast.
Watauga's ranking by the N.C. Green Travel Initiative comes as little surprise to those of us who live here. A visit to one of several restaurants or Grandfather Mountain State Park reveals myriad ways our business and attraction owners give back to our environment -- from recycling and water conservation to replacing traditional fuel sources and providing charging stations for electric vehicles.
And now that the word is out, our efforts toward environmental sustainability will come as no surprise to the rest of the state and travelers from beyond our borders.
But at the end of the day, there is little surprise involved in earning such recognition. When we look at our home it is quickly apparent that we have more to protect than most, and it is our hope that when we view the certificates earned by our local community, each of us -- businessowner and resident alike -- will reflect on our own part in sustaining our future.