What: Cool Davis Festival, featuring interactive exhibits, entertainment and information on how to reduce your carbon footprint
When: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12
Where: Central Park, Fourth and C streets
Getting there: Ride your bike, walk or take the bus; Unitrans is offering free rides all day
By Kerry Daane Loux
The city of Davis, officially named the “Coolest California City” in June, is celebrating our One Cool City. All are welcome to join friends and neighbors from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in Central Park alongside the Davis Farmers Market for this fun, informative, community-based event.
Visitors will find entertainment, family activities, interactive exhibits and lots of information on how to reduce their carbon footprint through the choices they make about their home and garden, transportation, food and healthy lifestyle.
This is an important time to increase efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Recent climate news warns that CO2 measurements in the atmosphere have now reached 400 ppm. As a point of reference, in 1970, the level was under 325 ppm, and for the 2,000 years prior to 1900, the level held steady at about 275 ppm, according to an NPR.org report on May 10.
Noted the article, “The CO2 number’s physical meaning is straightforward: Out of one million air molecules, 400 are carbon dioxide. That’s 0.04 percent. But that small number packs a big punch. It is one of the clearest measures of how human beings are changing the planet and shows how much carbon we have put into the air. And carbon dioxide drives global warming.”
Warns Richard Houghton of the Woods Hole Research Center, “Under business as usual, we’re heading to over 600 parts per million. It could go to over 800 parts per million by the end of this century.”
Human beings can change that outcome by working individually and as a community, nation and world to decrease their carbon footprint.
This is why Cool Davis was formed in 2010, following adoption of the city’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
“Cool Davis is dedicated to helping Davis succeed at reaching our adopted goal of carbon neutrality,” says Judy Moores, board president of the Cool Davis Foundation. “Our vision is to get every household, business and community organization working on carbon reduction and then, together, to build renewable sources of energy into our collective footprint.”
Adds Bill Heineke, foundation treasurer, “While we are working on a global issue, the solution starts with each one of us and the individual measures we can take to reduce our personal climate impact.”
Davisites can learn how to contribute to these goals at the Cool Davis Festival; admission is free.
Exhibits and advocacy
The Cool Davis Festival will have representatives of local climate advocacy groups and exhibitors showing solutions related to transportation, the built environment, your house and garden, and consumption, such as health/nutrition, shopping and other lifestyle choices.
Start at the Cool Solutions Center on the green. Residents can pick up a checklist to see how far along their household is toward carbon neutrality, and to assess their next energy- and cost-saving steps. Completing the questionnaire puts visitors in the free Cool Davis drawing for prizes. Visitors can select a free Cool Davis veggie bag to replace the plastic bags offered in the produce aisles and use it as a model to make more.
Local experts in home energy, water conservation, transportation and waste reduction will answer individual home project questions. Garden experts will chat about irrigation, planting, composting and mulch.
Three hours of food and household product demonstrations will provide both the how-to and tastes of recipes using fresh Farmers Market produce, including “unplugged” low-energy meals with Chef Debra Chase and healthy, low-cost meals for small households with UC Davis chef Sal Gagliano, owner of cookingpartys.com.
Dan Flynn of the UCD Olive Center will offer tastes of olive oil and provide insights about olive oil production around the world. Solar Cookers International will be on hand to talk about cooking with the sun.
Lots of vehicles
On Third Street, Davis Bicycles! is creating a bike circus with a safety course and other cycling activities such as bike polo for everyone to join.
At the other end of the park, the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Show & Tell will feature Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, plug-in vehicles from Ford and many others, with local owners and car dealers answering any question under the sun about electric cars.
In face of serious warnings and evidence of a climate crisis, Davis residents can focus on how each individual action reduces the community’s collective carbon footprint. Converting just one household trip per day to a bike ride or a walk has an impact. Reduce, reuse and recycle as a way of life reduces waste.
“We are already known as an engaged community, and the city is working on specific activities to encourage people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so we’re getting cooler all the time,” said Chris Granger, executive director of the nonprofit, all-volunteer Cool Davis organization.
“Join us on Saturday, Oct. 12. Be part of the solution, and have a great time, too!”
For more information, go to www.cooldavis.org.