The 2014 Evanston Green Living Festival is shining a spotlight on a hot local issue, the City’s push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become the most livable community in the nation.
The eighth annual festival, with a theme of “Healthy Citizens, Healthy Environment,” is co-presented by the Evanston Environmental Association (EEA) and the City of Evanston from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.
“Every year, the Green Living Festival is one of Evanston’s most popular events,” said Catherine Hurley, the City’s sustainability coordinator. “That’s because it’s both fun and educational, and it focuses on what we can do locally to solve global problems like climate change.”
The 2014 festival highlights the Evanston Livability Plan and what residents can do to help achieve the City’s goal of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. The City recently received good news: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored it as one of the nation’s top 30 local government users of green power. Also this year, Evanston became the third community in the nation to be awarded a 4-STAR rating for excellence in sustainability.
“The Green Living Festival is a one-stop-shop event featuring the best in local green products, services and ideas. We want people to really enjoy their festival experience and walk away with fresh ideas on how to lead a more sustainable life,” EEA Board President Rick Nelson said.
Citizens’ Greener Evanston (CGE) will be playing a large role in this year’s festival, coordinating stations where attendees can learn more about the focus of this year’s festival, the Evanston Livability Plan. “CGE is delighted to be involved in this year’s festival to help spread the word about this important plan and how citizens can help achieve its primary goal of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016,” said Eleanor Revelle, CGE President.
This festival also will feature the Green Market, with exhibits by more than 80 participating green businesses and organizations; the Tiny House, a 128-square foot sustainable house built by Northwestern University students; a showcase of all-electric and hybrid autos and other alternative forms of transportation that will help reduce attendees’ carbon footprint and allow them to ride in style. Also, there will be bicycle rickshaw rides for those who want to experience the ultimate in alternative transportation, alternative Energy displays including solar panels and energy efficiency demonstrations, fun-filled family and children activities, delicious food and beverages and live music.
Festival sponsors include The Archer Patterson Family Foundation, Whole Foods Market, energySMART (a Nicor Gas program), Evanston Community TV, Evanston RoundTable, Homefield Energy, Natural Awakenings, PACE Suburban Bus, Roberts Architects & Construction and WinSol Power Company.
People are encouraged to bike, walk or take mass transit to the festival. Free shuttle service to and from the downtown Davis Street Metra stop will be available, thanks to the City and Davis Transportation. Secure bike parking also will be available.
The Evanston Ecology Center, built in 1974 by a group of local citizens, serves as a focal point for environmental education, sustainability and volunteerism in the community. The EEA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term success of the Evanston Ecology Center.