Going Green at the Community Fair

My life revolves around my community and its various public projects. The best involve environmental improvements and the raising of local consciousness. In our area, my fellow supporters have made significant inroads by promoting eco-friendly alternatives, funding causes (such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with the new energy-efficient fluorescents), educating the locals, and lobbying government and regional businesses. It is import to reduce one’s carbon footprint these days. This means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions an individual or enterprise produces. This keeps me plenty busy as you can well imagine. I give lectures, write articles, and otherwise spread the word. Hence this particular blog for you.

What are you doing in your community? I hope you have joined me because you care and want some new ideas. Let me tell you about the Westport Green Village initiative. It is an environmental group that among other projects participates in an annual community fair. All kinds of businesses far and wide support it from a local grocer and hardware store to a hair salon and martial arts studio. If you are going around assessing interest, don’t overlook anyone. I mention the latter because they set up a large booth lined with a soft mat to demonstrate their sport. They gave a talk at regular intervals during the fair and the demonstrations often involved volunteers. It was very interesting to the public who is eager to learn more about self defense. You can read guides like this to get started: https://www.selfdefenseguide.org/quick-guide-self-defense-complete-beginner/. You never know what situation you will encounter as you go through life. Just do go on your personal journal unaware.

The fair raised significant funds for our touted green causes, enough to feed our budget for the next year. I will be sure to ask the martial arts studio to attend once again. I might even take a course on my own since I found the principles of self protection to be valuable. I never paid that much attention to the subject. I don’t want to be a fear monger, but anything can happen especially if you are out at night or wander far from home. Don’t discount the possibility of mugging, assault, or a home invasion. Be ready to react.

Safety is within your own hands. If you train your body, you can surprise an attacker and offset most aggression. It is not a matter of size and weight but of agility and strength. You learn vulnerable points on a mugger’s body and how to use stun guns, Tasers, and mace. You learn self confidence so you don’t immediately panic and lose complete control. Applying fancy maneuvers comes with time and you won’t be Jackie Chan in a few weeks. You will, however, stave off danger because you will maintain a stance of “don’t mess with me.” Kids learn martial arts for fun and recreation and it is a great way for them to socialize and make new friends. Adults have different priorities. If you are concerned about safety, by all means learn self defense.

Eco Fest in NYC

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Though technically not in the New England area, one of the best places to go during the summer over here is the Ecofest gathering on West 70th Street in New York. Every year it makes the city’s calendar of events, and is designed for environmental enthusiasts that want to see and hear some of the most important advocates in the green movement. It’s not just for green enthusiasts though. Ecofest gets widespread public and private support from around the city.

This year is number 26, and its goal is to get people involved, engaged, and prepared to start and continue to be environmental at a grassroots level. There is the education part of the festival but there is plenty of entertainment, organized and presented by the West Side Cultural Center of New York. Every year I see lots of national and local media people covering the event, a huge plus to get the message out.

We need alternative energy sources, and this year brings an Alternative Fuels Display that includes solar powered cars and alternative fuel source cars running on stuff such as electric and natural gas. It’s good to know some of these alternative fuel source cars are already a part of the New York City and state agencies. While we can’t always avoid using gasoline to run our cars, we can conserve the amounts we do use.

Now here is an interesting but a little weird display – the Ecofashion show. The collections are made from 100 percent organic and recycled material. There is the far more likely to attend Ecofest Environmental Education Conference, good for those who aren’t interested in seeing the latest creations from Hefty Bag.

It is truly an inspirational event that gets better every year. What makes it better is the major environmental organizations get involved and offer volunteer time, money, and other types of support to help make Ecofest a success. Here is a short list of some of the key public and private supporters:

New York Zoological Society
The Audubon Society
Sierra Club
The Natural Resources Defense Council
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
General Motors
Ford
Chrysler
Volvo
Toyota
Lexus
Nissan
AT&T
IBM
New York City Transit/MTA
Consolidated Edison
New York Power Authority
Port Authority of New York

To make as many people as possible aware of Ecofest, they have established a web site at www.ecofest.org. It is a simple, straightforward site, built that way to reduce its carbon footprint. But there is a lot of useful information about the fest, plus on their About page there are a series of video clips that show their prior Public Service Announcements, offering a bit of nostalgia. On the Home page there are important Ecofest stories and information, along with the logos of currently committed sponsors and organizations. There is a flyer you can download and print to take along with you to the festival.

I give Ecofest 5 stars for entertainment, information, and relevance to the environmental and conservation causes.