Gardiner Climate Conference
By Jennifer Bruntil
From Issue 42: Spring 2019
In March, Climate Smart Gardiner hosted its first Go Green Expo at the Firehouse. The event showcased local “green” vendors, educators, and legislators who educated the public on ways to be more climate smart in their lives. The family-friendly event included a little something for everyone, with presentations, activities for kids, music, and healthy food. And the green theme worked in more than one way; it was on St. Patrick’s Day weekend!
Presenters included Ulster County Legislator Tracey Bartels, who spoke about the County’s plastic bag ban. Representatives from the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency talked about composting and recycling; Mark Varian and Steve Weir presented on the Gardiner Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory; and Hugo Jewel, Founder of Recharge2go, LLC, discussed the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs).
There was a children’s story time focused on climate change, and environmental music was provided by the Tree Huggers and members of the Climate Action Coalition. 150 to 200 people of all ages attended, and many vendors offered prizes to be donated to a raffle that was held, raising almost $400 for the Gardiner Firehouse!
Jason Mayer, Coordinator of Climate Smart Gardiner, said, “We are hoping to do this next year. We had a fun photo booth, leprechauns, a scavenger hunt, free vegan chili, a coloring station, and other fun activities. Hannaford also had a contest, with a prize to the winner, where kids drew ways to be more climate smart and hung the drawings in the store. We had local EV drivers showcasing their vehicles. This was a great way to educate children and it was encouraging to meet so many people in our community who care about our environment and want to make a difference.”
Having attended the Expo with my children, I can say the event offered all ages lots of great information about the things we can do to help our environment. Such an impressive turn out with so many young people attending, was inspiring, considering that this is an issue that will only become more important in the years to come. Please visit facebook.com/climatesmartgardiner for more information.