Bicycles, Green Homes and a perfect spring day in Asheville!

I grew up with a love of bicycles. Now at 36 years of age I understand that they are an inseparable part of my life and lifestyle. When I was young it was more about the thrill of exploration and catching air on my backyard bmx track. While those two aspects are still a part of my love for bicycles my understanding of the power and possibility of the bicycle evolved while living without a car in my college days.

During my first years of college I relied on my bike to take me everywhere I needed to go while studying environmental science. Several of my classes closely examined the true cost to a society built around a dependence on the automobile and it was during this time that I strived to one day make a difference in some way. After graduation I learned that Real Estate is not the best career choice for someone who would prefer to be on two wheels however over the past 8 years of my 11 year real estate career I have begun to understand the effect my knowledge of and passion can have.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently said "Be the change you want to see in the world." This quote has always been a favorite of mine and one that I have tried to live by. Considering that our buildings and transportation consume the major percentage of our energy usage it only made sense to organize the 2nd Annual Green Building Bike Tour. It is with this perspective and my life experience that I am fortunate to apply my passion to my career choice and attempt to make a difference even if it is only a small one. And by organizing events such as the bike tour that I am able to meet so many great people who share my vision for what is possible.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the Strive Not to Drive Campaign last week in Asheville and certainly thank all those who participated in the Green Home Bike Tour. We can make a difference and I am very pleased to announce the bike tour alone raised $300 dollars for Asheville’s primary advocacy group for multimodal transportation, Asheville on Bikes. I also want to thank, Mosaic Realty and Mike Figura for all he has done to improve and address green building options for Ashevillians, Biowheels for their commitment to green building and alternative transportation, Green Builders Anthony Brenner with Push Design and JAG Construction owner Jody Guokas who not only built homes featured on the tour but participated in the entire bike ride as well.

It is with the help of these individuals, business owners, participants and organizers of Strive Not to Drive week and bike tour that change happens. Enjoy some photos of this year’s tour and thanks again to everyone who was involved! Justin

Healthy Built Homes and Healthy Transportation

James and Amanda Boren provided cyclist a great start to the tour at our first stop on Waynesville Road.

47 Waynesville Road makes a very small footprint on the Asheville area.

Bikes in yard. What a wonderful site.

Going green doesn't require a new home. Mike Figura covering an energy audit of an older home.

Push Designs latest project in West Asheville. First home built in Asheville using no toxic materials.

Push Design founder Anthony Brenner in front of the hemp wall and discussing the green aspects of the home.

Getting ready to roll.

Green Homes in Davenport Park in West Asheville.

JAG Construction owner and tour participant Jody Goukas talking about Davenport Park's Green features.

Participants gathering at the Gaia Development.

Mosaic Realty owner and Gaia founder Mike Figura talking about the conservation efforts implemented into the Gaia Development.

Community Garden in the works at Gaia.

Community garden and common area at the Hudson Street Cottages in West Asheville.

I look forward to the next Green Home Bike Tour and hope to meet more wonderful people who share my vision.

All the best,