Connect ... Linking Asheville, North Carolina, USA and Dunkeld & Birnam

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Climate change is a pressing issue that affects everyone and everything on the planet. It can feel overwhelming, but it also presents an opportunity for creativity, innovation, and collaboration. The Climate Cafe is a space where individuals can come together to learn and share ideas about how to address the challenge of climate change. The Climate Café is an excellent example of how Sister Cities can collaborate and work together to address global challenges. Asheville and Dunkeld and Birnam are both committed to sustainability, and this partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration and sharing resources. Jess Pepper, a resident of Dunkeld and Birnam and the founding member of the Scottish Climate Cafe, has been instrumental in helping the Asheville community get started. Her experience in organizing and growing Climate Cafes has provided valuable insights and guidance on how to start a successful initiative.

The Climate Cafe at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is centered around Lin Orndorf's Issues in Sustainability class and has already covered important topics such as oceans, weather changes, and the impact of climate change on the state of North Carolina. The next Cafe on 4/28 will feature mycelium and soil as topics. These monthly gatherings are an important step in understanding the local impacts of climate change and how to address them. Inspiration for the Climate Cafe came from Dunkeld and Birnam, Scotland, which is Asheville's Sister City. In Asheville, we know our Scottish Sister City has been actively working on sustainability initiatives for years, including hosting its own Climate Cafe. The two cities have connected to share resources and about starting a Climate Cafe on the Asheville campus. The Climate Cafe at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is an important step in addressing the climate crisis and getting students and community members involved in a shared and safe space. By providing a space for learning and collaboration, individuals can come together to share ideas and work towards a sustainable future. Participants comment on how much they enjoy gathering with students, staff, and faculty from across campus. The partnership with Dunkeld and Birnam is an excellent example of how cities can work together to create positive change, beyond governments and a gridlocked American political system. With the continued efforts of the Climate Cafe and other sustainability initiatives, we can work towards a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.

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