It’s an indisputable fact: Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains are among the most enchanting places on Earth. From the mountains majestic peaks to our thriving greenways and rivers, the landscape here offers unmatched beauty and breathtaking scenery.
One reason behind our region’s blossoming beauty is the local commitment to recycling, litter prevention and innovative waste management. It might sound boring, but it has a HUGE impact on the local environment: Local statistics from non-profit group Keep Sevier County Beautiful show that Sevier County (which includes Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge) has the highest recycling rate in all of Tennessee. That means our county’s 92,000 residents and the 13 million visitors who pass through each year honor our commitment to going green and respecting Mother Earth by recycling up to 70 percent of the waste produced here, which is a pretty impressive feat if you as us!
There are simple things YOU can do to help keep Sevier County and the Smoky Mountains green and beautiful. Here are 10 ways you can help out.
10 Things You Can to Keep the Smoky Mountains Beautiful
1. Don’t litter. It sounds simple, but litter prevention is the easiest way to keep our mountains and communities healthy and green.
2. Prevent littering by keeping a litter bag in your car. Also be sure to keep a litter bag with you when you’re picnicking and hiking in the Smokies. This way, you’ll leave nothing but footprints in the mountains!
3. Volunteer your time! Make giving back a part of your time in the Great Smoky Mountains! Consider volunteering for an afternoon with the National Parks Service or committing a few hours for a cleanup mission with Keep Sevier County Beautiful.
4. Turn off lights when you’re not using them. You might be more apt to leave a light on in your hotel room or condo when you’re on vacation because you’re not the one footing the utility bill. Being conscious of the utilities you’re using even away from home can conserve energy and help local efforts.
5. Rethink bottled water. Tap water in Pigeon Forge is purified and tastes fresh. Consider drinking straight from the faucet when you’re traveling here instead of relying on costly (and wasteful) water bottles!
6. Ride your bike down the Parkway instead of driving. Car emissions create pollution. Go green by pedaling your way around the local attractions! Didn’t being your bike? Rent one for the day or for a week from our friends at Knucklebusters (3676 Parkway in Pigeon Forge).
7. Use rechargeable batteries. If you’re traveling in the Smoky Mountains, you’re going to want to take photos! Make sure your camera bag is stocked with rechargeable batteries and a charger to reduce the amount of waste produced and save money in the long run.
8. Take advantage of local recycling opportunities. Instead of tossing your soda bottle or newspaper in the trash, look for recycling bins. Chances are you’ll find one convenient to your hotel, condo or cabin. See a list of recycling locations around Sevier County at www.keepsevierbeautiful.org/recycling/find-a-location.
9. Light your fireplace or campfire with a matches instead of a lighter. Most lighters are made out of plastic and filled with butane fuel, both petroleum products. Since most lighters are considered “disposable,” more than 1.5 billion end up in landfills each year. Matches are biodegradable!
10. Let your fingers to the walking – online! Use online travel resources like PigeonForge.com to help plan your Smoky Mountain vacation instead of printed brochures and magazines that could ultimately end up in landfills!
What have you done to keep the Smoky Mountains beautiful? Share your conservation strategy at the PigeonForge.com Facebook page! While you’re at it, learn more by browsing the link below: