Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cool Davis Festival celebrates healthy paths to a low-carbon life

Deborah Woodbury explains how to convert a front lawn into a vegetable garden to interested visitors at one of many exhibits at the 2010 Cool Davis Green Living Festival. Courtesy photo

August 5, 2011 |

Did you know transportation-related carbon emissions compose more than 50 percent of the average Davis household’s carbon footprint? Just getting out of your car and onto your bike can make both you and the planet healthier.

Did you know the average family emits 2.25 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year just by consuming processed and packaged snack foods? By choosing fresh, local fruit and vegetable snacks, your carbon footprint shrinks while the nutritious value of your snacks increases.

Simple solutions to a complex problem are at the heart of the next Cool Davis Festival, celebrating healthy pathways to a low-carbon life.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, the community is invited to the free festival from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. The second annual festival will connect low-carbon lifestyle choices with a healthy environment, personal well-being and a thriving community.

Last year, some 1,700 visitors enjoyed the vitality and variety of the festival.

“I loved the upbeat energy and the abundance of information,” says Kathy Robinson, who plans to return to this year’s event. “I didn’t even have time to see all the exhibits and performances, and this year there will be even more exhibits and demonstrations.”

Explains Lynne Nittler, one of the festival coordinators, “Our theme is a celebration of healthy pathways to a low-carbon life, so every exhibit relates reducing our carbon footprint to enhancing our health. This year we’re planning an even more in-depth and active celebration that will interest people of all ages.”

The festival will be a gathering place of information, useful ideas and inspiration. More than 50 local exhibitors will offer practical solutions that lead to a lower carbon footprint as we examine our personal health, our transportation, the food we choose, the gardens we grow, the homes we make ever more energy-efficient, and the resilient community we wish to create for ourselves and our families.

Last year, the festival was designed to introduce the community to the Cool Davis Initiative, with its mission to inspire the Davis community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate while improving the quality of life for all.

The Cool Davis network of residents, businesses, the city of Davis and local organizations formed more than a year ago to help implement the Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Since then, the increasingly extreme weather conditions across the United States and elsewhere in the world have emphasized the urgency for action.

“If you’re not convinced, visit the climate impacts update displays including some of the latest research from UC Davis and information from the California Energy Commission website, www.,” Nittler says.

This year’s festival is a place to learn how to make critical lifestyle changes to reduce our carbon impact with the added benefits of enhancing our health, improving our diet and maintaining our quality of life while we adapt to changing climate conditions, she adds.

As an added opportunity, beginning at 12:30 a.m. a panel of speakers from different perspectives — nutrition, farming and food access — will present “Healthy Eating: Healthy Planet.”

“The panel will be exciting and provocative,” says Judy Moores, another festival coordinator. “Plus, we’ll be announcing the eco-hero awards to recognize the impressive contributions of local citizens and hearing several original earth songs by local musicians.”

Exhibits are designed to provoke thought and direct visitors to resources and solutions. They include information, demonstrations and activities in the areas of alternative transportation solutions, home retrofit and alternative energy approaches, water and energy conservation, efficient household systems, healthy and local food choices, preventative health care practices, gardening practices, green living demonstrations and earth-friendly children’s activities.

“Visitors need to arrive at the beginning of the festival if they hope to experience everything.” says festival coordinator Chris Granger. “The exhibits are comprehensive and absorbing, and visitors won’t want to miss out on the bike rodeo, the Carbon Cafeteria or the new interactive children’s play by Nature’s Theater.”

Community volunteers are welcome to join in the planning or to take a shift at the festival. To help with the planning, contact Nittler at To volunteer before or during the festival, contact Mary Parton at

Sponsorships for individuals or businesses are still available. Contact Granger at

To preregister to attend the “Healthy Eating: Healthy Planet” panel, contact Moores at She will alert you when Eventbrite is ready to take your registration.



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