Agriculture + Environment

Festival helps tackle environmental challenges in a fun way

By From page A1 | October 16, 2011

Check it out

What: Cool Davis Festival, “Celebrating Healthy Pathways to a Low-Carbon Life”

When: 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St.

Admission: Free

Info: www.cooldavis.org

There are lots of reasons people will come to the Cool Davis Festival, which celebrates “healthy pathways to a low-carbon life,” on Sunday. But festival organizers hope people come just to have fun.

At its heart, the Cool Davis Initiative has a philosophy of fun. According to Judy Moores, one of Cool Davis’ founding members and festival co-director, “The information about climate change and the coming impacts can be daunting and sobering. So we try to break it down into the little pieces of our daily habits and our daily lives.

“By tackling these smaller pieces, we can help each other and encourage each other to move forward to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. A lot of little actions, on a daily basis, from many people, can add up quickly. We can have fun while we try these things out.

“We can celebrate our successes, and laugh at our mistakes,” she continues. “And if we can make room for everyone’s effort, no matter how small, we will start to make progress toward the goal of carbon neutral by 2050.”

The festival runs from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St. Admission is free.

The children will lead the way. Peregrine School will host hands-on activities for kids in the Vets’ Center courtyard. Other activities there include face painting, recycled paper folding, games led by Davis High School students and an outside stage with music, storytelling and samples from Dos Coyotes.

Nature’s Theater will present an original play geared for children, “Junky’s Last Stand,” at 2:30 p.m. in the Vets’ Theater.

Festivalgoers may calculate their carbon footprint at the Cool California booth. Count up the energy conservation steps you’re already taking and get credit for them with tickets to enter a free drawing. Ask for the Cool Davis Festival checklist to get started.

Foodies and fitness lovers will want to check out the Carbon Cafeteria in CO2 Central (the multipurpose room). In addition, experts on water systems; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; solar; and transportation will all be featured. Representatives from Blue Thumb Water will answer questions about rain barrels and other water-saving solutions.

Visitors also may go outside to sample local food, sit in on a food demonstration and collect take-home information like recipe books, carbon reduction trade-offs in diet choices and information on the health benefits of transportation alternatives.

A free panel presentation, “What’s On Your Plate?,” will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the theater. Lunch may be purchased starting at 11:30 a.m.

If cool technology is your thing, then you have a lot of choices, from whole house fans to recirculation valves, rain barrels to electric bikes. Visitors will be able to talk to owners of electric vehicles at the National Plug-in Day Show & Tell in the parking lot, or see demonstrations of solar cookers and solar power. The Mitsubushi i Car will be on site, with four vehicles to test-drive.

Looking to save money and improve your household energy, water conservation and waste reduction? The Home Energy Assessment Village features businesses certified to conduct home energy upgrades; they will be on site to answer questions.

If you missed them last month at the Farmers Market, Beutler Advanced Comfort and Home Energy Systems, Brower Mechanical, WellHome and Greiner are back, and some are again offering free home energy assessments.

Got a competitive streak? Kids can challenge their parents to join them at the Bike Rodeo. Who knows the rules of the road better? Got hand signals? How are you at dodging that random pile of yard waste?

Representatives of Davis Bicycles! will be on hand with folks from the Davis Bike Collective. They will do safety and helmet checks and send parents and kids off to maneuver around the course. Those who complete the course will enjoy a tasty bike-powered smoothie treat. For a little less serious competition, go next door and ride a Whymcycle.

Visitors can earn tickets for free prize drawings by taking the Cool Davis Pledge; collecting tickets in the carbon footprint game; counting their CO2 reductions with the Cool Davis checklist; walking, biking or taking public transit to the festival; bringing their own water bottle; volunteering at the Cool Davis Day of Service; or making a donation to a Cool Davis project.

Prizes include All Star plants from the UC Davis Arboretum, a Cool Davis date package, Cool Davis stuff, UCD FADS bag, restaurant gift certificates, Zipcar memberships, a water conservation kit, bike repair certificates and bike items, soda makers and an electric lawn mower.

“And because Cool Davis is filling up the parking lot with all that fun, remember to walk, bike or take public transportation,” organizers said.

For more information, visit www.cooldavis.org.

— Lynne Nittler is co-director of the Cool Davis Festival.

Lynne Nittler

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