Contact ECO

Phone (828) 692-0385 . 611 N. Church Street, Suite 101 . Hendersonville, NC 28792

Volunteer with ECO!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Join us to help protect water quality, promote better environmental public policies, educate on green energy and sustainability and advocate recycling. Read about ALL volunteer opportunities here. Contact ECO NOW to volunteer! LEARN MORE ABOUT our four mission-area committees: Energy, Green Infrastructure, Recycling, Water Quality.

ECO Voice

Read the Winter issue of ECO's quarterly newsletter

Membership & Supporting ECO

Join now or renew your membership to help protect WNC’s natural heritage

Become a Sustainer!.

ECO Calendar

Regulate Logging in Flat Rock – Petition Drive

Making An Environmental Difference!

Click here to watch the ECO Orientation video!

ECO’s Water Quality Programs in the News!

In a recent edition of Mountain Xpress, an article by Jacob Flannik discusses various groups in WNC working to protect and monitor streams. He refers to ECO's long-standing programs in "Safeguarding water quality: Amid drastic state budget cuts, volunteers pick up slack." Click Here for more!

ECO Energy & Sustainability Committee

Who we are:

This committee promotes energy conservation and renewable energy through public policy, planned events and organized actions.

What we do:

  • Education – The need for renewables and conservation promoted through publications in local media, forums, alerts on local policy issues, and ECO’s web site and blog.
  • Earth Day Energy Expo – On a Saturday, near the traditional Earth Day (April 22), ECO coordinates an Energy Expo at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock.  The event is intended to educate the public on current energy issues, both globally and locally.  The event includes commercial and organization exhibits, student projects and informative workshops related to energy and sustainability. 
  • Green Home Tour – The Green Home Tour is a self-guided tour of the finest green homes in the region, held annually in August.  The tour features homes in Henderson and Buncombe counties that showcase the highest level of green technology working in concert with nature. Many of the homes feature solar installations, radiant heating, water conservation measures and native gardens.
  • Project Green Light - ECO’s outreach to help homeowners achieve conservation.  Project Green Light works with local churches so their members can become better stewards of creation.  By participating in workshops and home energy inspections, congregations of faith can take substantial steps towards lowering their carbon footprint and demonstrating to other residents how to become better stewards of our natural heritage.
  • Downtown Hendersonville Going Green – ECO’s in coordination with Downtown Hendersonville Inc. and Waste Reduction Partners (WRP) is working with downtown Hendersonville businesses to improve conservation and best environmental practices. Additionally, ECO’s Green Shopping program identifies these businesses and encourages residents to shop at stores displaying our Green Business sign.

You can make a difference!

The Energy & Sustainability Committee meets the second Thursday of every month at 4:00 pm at the ECO office.

Greening of Downtown


1) What does being Green really mean?

  • the focus of this discussion will be how a business community turns from brown to green
  • being green includes both how the business is run, how it sources its products and services, the building envelope and what it does with its waste
  • want to dispel the notion that being green means higher overhead, greater expense with little in return
  • being green will not only have a dramatic effect on costs of operations, make an impact being a better steward of this precious place (which is presumably why the customer/tourist is here), but will also help market the business or downtown community

2)    Taking Some Big Green Steps

I – Making the business more energy efficient

  • energy audit (George on WRP and possible savings)
  • typical steps businesses can take (owner or lessee) and anticipated savings (windows, insulation, doorways, lighting, HVAC systems)
  • larger Green possibilities using renewal energy

II – Sourcing products from local/regional community

  • Buying local from local artisans, vendors

III – Minimizing packaging- talking with distributors about how packaging could be eliminated or reduced

IV – Limiting bags- Create Downtown shopping bag, ask everyone if they need a bag before offering one

V – Recycling: Establishing a Pooled arrangement on Mixed Paper and Cardboard

  •  Audit paper/cardboard use and create a cooperative agreement to share the costs

VI – Encourage walking rather than driving

3) Resources To Take Action

  • ECO is happy to be a resource to help the downtown community take steps in any of these areas
  • Contact WRP to schedule energy audits
  • Contact the Green Building Council on steps that can be taken and resource available toward greater energy efficiency
  • Participate in the Green Workshops at BRCC

3) Certification and Awards for Excellence

ECO is launching a GREEN BUSINESS RECOGNITION program to highlight local businesses that have taken meaningful steps towards lowering their energy footprints and, so, contributing to a safe anad clean environment in Henderson County.

A point system will be established to help provide guidance on steps businesses can take towards making progress and Green Business decal will be posted at local businesses that are “going green.”

These firms need our encouragement and patronage for their efforts. Sign up at ECO or online to show your commitment to support local green businesses.  The more people who commit to shop green, the more businesses will go green!

Mintel has forecasted that green products will experience 19% growth through 2012. (Ask retailers to name other product categories they carry that are poised to experience 20% growth over the next few years.)

According to a recent poll conducted by the Global Strategy Group, 87 percent of consumers are more likely to buy products from a retailer that is committed to environmentally sound practices. (This is an old report, I think, and I can’t track it down from the source, Global Strategy Group. Just a bunch of sites that cite it. Use at your discretion.)

Roughly 34 percent of American consumers indicate they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products today, and another 44 percent indicate their environmental shopping habits have not changed as a result of the economy.  Eight percent say they are less likely to buy.  This is according to the results of the 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey. (you have to sign up online to see the study — I did and am attaching the .pdf here. Good stats about “green attitudes” of shoppers despite economy.)

And 4 out of 5 people say they are still buying green products and services today – which sometimes cost more – even in the midst of a U.S. recession, according to a study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing.



ENERGY CONSERVATION HELP FOR BUSINESS Prepared by ECO for Downtown Hendersonville, Inc.



Identify Major Energy Users – typical percentages

 Retail                Restaurant          Office

Focus on the three largest

HVAC               51%                  23%                  40%

Lighting             31%                  15%                  29%

Hot Water          7%                    11%                  9%

Food Pep           3%                    45%                  5%

Other                 8%                    6%                    15%



Benchmark Energy Usetypical energy per square foot

Retail                Restaurant          Office

Electricity and fuel           78,000               248,000             95,000     BTUs per Sq. ft.


No Cost

1.         Turn it off if it not being used

$1 reduction in utility cost is $1 increase in profit

Reducing 100 watts for 4 hours/day saves about $1 per month

2.         Only heat and cool enough for comfort and turn back during closed hours

(Do women bring a sweater to your business in the summer?)

 Typical  % savings for winter nighttime settings

60 F                  55 F                  50 F

10%                  20%                  30%

3.         Use a fan instead of AC when outside air is cool (but not too humid).


Low Cost

  • Seal air leaks around windows and doors
  • If heating ducts are in unheated attic or crawl space, then old duct tape or gaps can waste as much as 20% of heat. (Seal with metal tape or mastic – not duct tape.)
  • Change lighting fixtures to more efficient or add light/motion sensors.


Use Local Resources

Environmental and Conservation Organization, ECO

121 Third Avenue West, Hendersonville NC 28791

Phone 828-692-0385  Web:

Promotes and recognizes conservation efforts, network of conservation experts

Waste Reduction Partners, Land-of-Sky Regional Council
339 New Leicester Hwy, Suite 140, Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: (828) 251-6622    Fax: (828) 251-6353

Email: Web:

  • Self assessment energy audit checklist can be downloaded at :

  • For a no cost energy reduction assessments contact Russ Jordan, Energy Program Manager
    828-251-7477 Asheville (Monday, Wednesday), 828-863-2917 Tryon

Western North Carolina Green Building Council

PO Box 17026, Asheville, NC 28816

Phone 828-254-1995        E mail: Web:

Business directory and short courses.

Blue Ridge Community College

Small Business Center, Gary Heisey, Director (828) 694-1779


Duke Energy

Smart $aver™ Incentive program rewards businesses for installing energy efficient equipment. Web site has application forms with rebate incentives for:

  • Lighting
  • Heating & Cooling Equipment
  • Chillers & Thermal Storage
  • Process Equipment
  • Foodservice Equipment
  • Motor/Pump/Variable Frequency Drives

Tax Credits

DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.


How to calculate

1.  Determine total energy use for each utility

JANUARY 2008 144,000 4314
FEBRUARY 2008 140,000 5409
MARCH 2008 124,000 3770
APRIL 2008 132,000 1481
MAY 2007 113,000 731
JUNE 2007 136,500 103
JULY 2007 167,500 82
AUGUST 2007 141,500 82
SEPTEMBER 2007 162,500 79
OCTOBER 2007 162,500 78
NOVEMBER 2007 76,000 631
DECEMBER 2007 128,500 2749
TOTAL 1,628,000 19,509

2.  Determine total energy use for each utility

ELECTRICITY 1,628,000 X 3413 BTU/KWH         = 5,556,000,000 BTU’S
NATURAL GAS 19,509 X 100,000 BTU/THERM= 1,951,000,000 BTU’S
# 2 FUEL OIL   x 140,000 BTU/GALLON=   BTU’S
      TOTAL ENERGY USE  = 7,507,000,000 BTU’S

3. Divide energy by total building floor area in square feet (98,000 sq. ft. for this example)


7,507,000,000  BTU / 98,000 SQ. FT.                              =

76,600 BTU/SQ.FT.

Project Green Light

ECO’s outreach to help homeowners achieve conservation. Project Green Light works with local churches so their members can become better stewards of creation. By participating in workshops and home energy inspections, congregations of faith can take substantial steps towards lowering their carbon footprint and demonstrating to other residents how to become better stewards of our natural heritage.

Project Green Light – The Importance of a Home Energy Inspection

Welcome Letter
Do It Now
Enrollment Form
Unitarian Universalist
New Creation Church

First Congregational Church
Immaculate Conception
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Record Your Utility Bills
House Energy Inspections
Enrollment Information
Wasting Energy
Project Green Light Trinity PowerPoint
Project Green Light UUGathering PowerPoint

Earth Stewardship Day


ECO hosts Earth Stewardship Day on Saturday, April 28, in honor of Earth Day. This year’s event includes a day of ecological projects across Henderson County. The projects focus on engaging community members— families, church and school groups, civic organizations, businesses, and local government departments— in meaningful stewardship projects that positively impact the environment while helping unite our community.
Projects include stream bank restoration at Sullivan Park; trail maintenance in Holmes Education Forest; building community gardens at the Girl Scout Hut, the 7th Avenue Community Organic Garden, and Jackson Park; removing a beaver dam on Lewis Creek in Edneyville; and planting pollinator patches and native grasses to enhance the stream riparian buffer on Boylston Creek.
Making these projects come to life are ECO’s local and regional partners, including Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Transition Hendersonville, The Mud Creek Restoration Project with NC Cooperative Extension, Girl and Boy Scouts of Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville Engineering Department and Public Works, as well as Hi-Lo Mountain Nursery, Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville and Upward School.
The projects will take place from 9 am until 2 pm, when all participants can reconvene at Blue Ridge Community College until 4 pm for music and a community picnic. Come join ECO and all its partners for a promising day of hands-on, environmental activities with results that will be enjoyed throughout the county for years to come.
Rain date is Saturday, May 5th. For more information about the planned events, contact ECO at (828) 692-0385.


Earth Day Festival 2010 was a great success!

Over 600 attendees, more than a dozen community partners, 60 plus volunteers and 150 enjoyed a day of hands-on educational opportunitites and the incredible concert music of Shannon Whitworth and Balsam Range!

Sustainability Workshops

Aiming to explore possible options for residents who want to learn more about environmentally-sound practices, ECO offers workshops led by area experts, each month throughout this year, on a wide range of sustainable living topics.

There is a $15 registration fee per attendee for each workshop. Additional material fees MAY apply. For more information call 828-692-0385


2014 Workshops!

ECO’s Sustainable Living Workshops Will Focus on Edible Gardens for 2014

ECO’s Sustainable Living Workshops and the Home Tour are taking on a new, exciting focus in 2014 by highlighting edible gardens as well as green home features.  Coordinating the workshops and tour will provide more opportunities for the community to learn and see sustainable practices in their source of food. The workshops will be sequenced to follow the gardening cycle from winter through spring, summer and fall.  The Tour will be held August 9, 2014 to showcase what homeowners have done with their gardens. Workshops require advanced registration and cost $15 per person. Grab your seat online at or by phone at 828-692-0385.

ECO Sustainable Living Workshops for July 2014

JULY – Canning, Preserving, and Putting Up Food!

  • Soft Spreads, Pickling, Freezing and Drying.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 : 6:30-8:30pm, taught by Renay Knapp, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences at Henderson County Cooperative Extension Center.  Class taught at the Henderson County Cooperative Extension Center, 100 Jackson Park Road, downtown Hendersonville.  Pre-registration is required.

Watch for announcements of workshops for the rest of 2014!


Previous Sustainability Workshop Materials

For presentation on Backyard Orchards, click here.
For Water Rams Manual, click here.


What does it mean to be Carrot Mobbed?


CarrotMobbing is a win-win-win model for the business, consumers, and the environment.

ECO will be the “organizers” in this case, coming to YOUR business to engage you in a carrot mob.

An agreement will then be made of what kind of change your business will make in exchange for a “mob.”

Then… we’ll bring the mob to you!

Is there something you’ve wanted to change but haven’t been able to yet?

The types of changes we’re looking for are

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Waste Reduction
  • Local/Sustainable Product Sourcing

Anything good for the environment- we’re open to ideas!

ECO’s First Carrotmob

Here are a few links to help you brainstorm:

Examples of Different Types of Mobs

Browse more campaigns at:

A Fantastic Video to Give You a Visual

Charleston’s Carrot Mob

If you’re interested in being mobbed,

please contact Kelly with the Green Energy and Sustainability Committee at ECO

(828) 692-0385

Carrotmobs are cooler than boycotts.”


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Website design by Allison Evans. Photography by Rob Travis.