The energy at Earthfest 2009!
Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 15:08
Saturday was the first annual Earthfest celebration in Boulder, Colorado. Spring is often a fickle season here, and after many days of sunshine, of course Saturday was covered in slushy snow. The venue was therefore changed from CU Research Park to inside the Boulder Theater. Obviously, not all events could be accommodated here, but most Expo vendors were present, as was an enthusiastic crowd of locals. The Earth Day 5k was rescheduled for the following day, as the forecast was expecting plenty of sunshine. Maybe next year will bring us a sunny day on which to celebrate the planet...
The Bobcat Walk
Upon entering the door, we (my boyfriend and I) were offered Clif bar samples and a free reusable tote. There were dozens of tables manned by environmental services and organizations. Some were entrepreneurs displaying eco-wares, such as the dog collar made from old climbing ropes by Green Guru. Rock climbers from Access Fund were recruiting members to keep climbing areas open to the public. Eco-cycle was informing locals on which materials can be recycled at their facility out East. Grant Family Farms, an organic CSA farm near the Wyoming border, was handing out applications for the upcoming growing season. Memberships range from a $72 egg share to a full family share at $754; a remarkable price for fresh, organic produce all summer long! A local flower shop was even handing out free seedlings to take home. Such events like Earthfest provide a gathering of locals wishing to advertise products and programs. I feel that simply by showing up, I was supporting local green businesses, and even more so after a couple of thoughtful splurges on organically grown cotton shirts!
I'm working on a short video about our experience traveling to and enjoying Earthfest 2009. Come back soon and check it out.
Not only was the public energetic and excited about the live music and displays galore, but several businesses and nonprofits were touting green energy in numerous forms. ClimateSmart gave out a list of ways renters can improve their efficiency without investing money into a property they do not own. Some of my favorites:
using fans instead of AC uses less electricity,
switching to CFL's (which you can take with you when you move!)
setting the fridge temperature to 36 degrees to save energy.
Xcel Energy, the utility company providing most of Colorado's electricity needs, was showcasing some ways residents can increase efficiency in their homes. For example, the Xcel representative was explaining to bewildered homeowners how they could program their thermostat via the internet, using their pilot SMARTgrid in Boulder. The gist of SMARTgrid is that a home can feed into the electricity grid more actively by monitoring home energy usage and matching their needs to Xcel's demand. For example, the resident might do their laundry at night when demand is low and energy is cheaper to use.
I will have a follow-up article next week with more details about the history and future of the SMARTgrid pilot program in Boulder.
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