Greening Greenfield’s EcoLiving Workshops at the Franklin County Better Greener Living Show

April 22-23, 10am-4pm - FREE

GREENFIELD, MA - Interested in the Tesla Powerwall? How to keep bees or build rain barrels? Improve your home’s comfort while reducing your energy bills? Or how to get rebates and a 0% interest loan for the improvements? You can learn about all this and more at the 2017 Greening Greenfield’s EcoLiving workshops. Sixteen free workshops will be held at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce’s Better Greener Living Show, April 22-23, at the Franklin County Fair Grounds in Greenfield.

These how-to workshops aim to inspire attendees to live more fully and lightly on the Earth. They aim to help us transform our world toward one that uses 100% renewable energy and build a more vibrant local economy for all. Participants will learn the latest strategies for reducing climate change emissions and enhancing our ecosystem by making our yards more productive and friendly to pollinators, birds and other critters, and our homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

“We have technologies to change how we live, and we have an incredible line-up of speakers who will show us how we can use solar PV, solar hot water, and heat pumps, all while making our homes more comfortable,” said Spartan Giordano, EcoLiving workshop organizer, and owner of Spartan Solar. “This year, in addition to local builders, consultants, and the owner of a tiny house we have several speakers who are at the top of their fields and speak throughout the state. ”

There will be two speakers from the University of Massachusetts Clean Energy Extension: Ben Weil and River Strong. Weil will talk about cutting edge technologies such as the Tesla Power Wall, and how these technologies will revolutionize what is possible. Strong will talk about community-shared solar projects that make it possible for everyone to have solar electricity, even if they rent. The Clean Energy Extension helps towns around the state become Green Communities and achieve their goals.

Another big picture thinker, Lynn Benander of Co-op Power, will give practical advice on the steps that can be taken to achieve the ultimate goal of fossil fuel freedom and 100% renewables for all.

Several people will also discuss how we can transform our homes or build new. Mary Quigley of Quigley Builders and Sally Pick of SJP Consulting will explain how you can improve your existing home over time to be fossil fuel free, and find funds to help out. Jim Meehleder, of Turnkey Builders, will talk about how to build a new zero-net-energy (ZNE) home - one that generates as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.

Spartan Giordano, who received an award for his owner-designed and built ZNE home several years ago, and owner of Spartan Solar, will talk about the “solar that comes with a battery: solar hot water.”

“The people talking about yards and gardens are truly inspiring,” says Edie Heinemann, member of Greening Greenfield and EcoLiving Workshop organizer. ”Topics will range from pollinators to permaculture to water management.”

Danny Botkin of Laughing Dog Farm is back by popular demand. He will be speaking about one of his favorite topics: how to extend your garden’s growing season - the low-tech way.

Several speakers will show us how to extend sustainability out of our homes and into our yards. Pat Leutchman, who writes the gardening column in the Recorder, will share her experience creating what she calls a “sustainable garden” at her new home in Greenfield. Kris Walter will discuss her experience building and using rain barrels to reduce tap water use, which can offset the impact of both drought and flooding. Angela Roell of Yard Birds Farm & Apiary will teach us about the benefits of bee-keeping and how to do it.

Attendees can also learn about the practice and roots of permaculture with Evelyn Lane of Broadfork Permaculture. Finally, Tyson Neukirch of the Farm School in Belchertown will explain how agriculture can be the cure, not the cause, of climate change.

Greening Greenfield invites attendees to enjoy a whole day at the EcoLiving workshops and The Franklin County Better Greener Living Show. The Show highlights many green products and local businesses, many of which offer new energy efficient heating systems, windows, insulation, and much more. Mark your calendars today, and see the complete program which will be posted here in March.  Find out more about Greening Greenfield here.
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