Creator of inspiring sustainability competition rallies interest locally
BRATTLEBORO -- Kathryn Blume, co-founder and executive director of Vermontivate!, an award-winning sustainability game, will be coming to Brattleboro on Wednesday, Nov. 6, hosted by the Brattleboro Energy Committee. Blume will be sharing the story of creating a frolicsome on-line/real-world competition which infuses joy and creativity into the serious and important work of tackling the global climate crisis.
Launched in May 2012, Vermontivate! has had players from towns all over the state racking up points for everything from changing lightbulbs and starting compost piles to writing energy-related poetry, decorating bicycles and reaching out to people around the world who’ve been affected by climate change.
From curious beginners, to people looking to save a little money, to green living mavens hoping to share their experiences with others, people at all levels of awareness and engagement found a sense of fun, hope, and possibility around their capacity to make positive change at home and in their communities.
Brattleboro nearly won the 2012 competition, but was edged out in an 11th hour victory by Montpelier, which won the grand prize award, a town-wide ice cream party from Ben & Jerry’s. The 2013 round of the game came down to an intense battle between teams from South Burlington, Calais, and Charlotte, which also squeaked out a last minute win.
"Climate change is the most significant issue we face as a species, and given that we just hit a record 400 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it seems time to kick the Culture of Solutions into high gear with a potent combination of innovation, competition, and a little old-fashioned bribery," said Blume.
Vermontivate! won the 2012 Best Energy Project Award from the Vermont Energy And Climate Action Network. "The players" says Blume, "have told us that Vermontivate! is engaging, entertaining, and educational, and that, most importantly, it’s an antidote to despair. Our ultimate goal" she adds, "is helping Vermont lead the way for the rest of the country. Because really, we’re all in this together."
Blume’s presentation will start at 5 p.m. at the Marlboro College Graduate Center, 28 Vernon St. in Brattleboro. For more information, contact Paul Cameron at 802-251-8135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
opens new store in West Brattleboro
BRATTLEBORO -- The Sunnyside Solar Store Grand Opening Celebration will be today, Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the former Chelsea House Folklore Center Barn at 499 Marlboro Road, behind the Chelsea Royal Diner.
Sunnyside Solar was originally started by Richard Gottlieb, solar engineer and his wife Carol Levin in 1979 and specialized in solar and renewable energy projects and education. After Gottlieb died in 2012, the business was closed. David Bonta of USA Solar Stores approached Levin to carry on the Sunnyside reputation and open the Sunnyside Solar Store, a newly opened solar and renewable store in West Brattleboro. The focus is renewable energy products and education and installation of solar electric and hot water systems, and energy efficiency products.
Opening Celebration at the Sunnyside Solar Store will begin today with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. and will be open for the day until 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be available. For additional information call Carol at 802-258-1723 or Dave at 802-376-3838.