This post is long overdue as the Rhode Island Sustainable Living Festival took place about a month ago – but better late than never, right?
The festival, put on by the Apeiron Institute here in RI is a two-day long event dedicated to showcasing sustainable living and renewable energy products as well as celebrating the green lifestyle. Green Life Smart Life was an exhibitor at the event and met with individuals from across RI who were interested in learning about our green building project.
While the festival presented an opportunity to showcase our project to the local community, it wasn’t what I would call a perfect event. Some thoughts:
The festival took place at the Apeiron Instutite which is located in Coventry, RI. For those of you not from RI, Coventry is very far from pretty much everything. It is located in a section of the state that isn’t close to the highway and therefore takes many, many hours to get to (well, maybe not many, but it feels that way). There is no way anyone would have just stumbled across the festival and we felt that this hurt attendance and also bringing the green message out to the mainstream.
Attendance was not great. We had some nice conversations with folks who were clearly dedicated to sustainable living. But like in the previous bullet, we weren’t reaching the consumers and Rhode Islanders who were unfamiliar or uneducated about these topics. This is critical for making green a part of our every day lives.
If you are from Rhode Island, you have to try Rhode iLin ice cream. Their ice cream is made from local and organic ingredients and simply delicious. Kim & I opted to eat a lot of this in place of lunch.
We have a small mailing list as a result of the people we spoke with and many expressed interest in touring the home when it opens. However, I don’t think the experience met our expectations. I believe the staff at the Apeiron Institute worked extremely hard to put on this festival and do great work in the field of sustainability.
But Rhode Island has a long way to go. We need more mainstream events to educate people on the cost savings and benefits to the environment by living sustainably. We need to be able to reach average Rhode Island families to talk about the health benefits of going green and dispel the myths that it is always so much more expensive than conventional living. There needs to be a broad outreach to citizens to understand the environmental policies currently on the books in RI and where we can do better. Now more than ever, with the RI economy in terrible shape and the best and brightest leaving to find jobs, we need to harness the power of sustainability to assess our current state and make smarter changes that create jobs. Our infrastructure is falling apart, our deficit is through the roof and there is no industry left anymore.
The RI Sustainable Living Festival brought to light one very important note: celebrating the lifestyle is not enough – we need solutions, change and mainstream adoption – and fast.
Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter