By Rebecca Foster, Charlotte Energy Committee chair

The turnout was remarkable on a drizzly day in the low 50s to celebrate the newly installed solar system at the CCS compost shed. Sun-themed music defied the elements, and the battery that was still charged from the last time it was sunny powered a string of festive lights. The Oct. 2 event was organized by the Charlotte Energy Committee (CEC) and joined by the Charlotte Grange, Charlotte Community Partners, Sustainable Charlotte, and Window Dressers. The Mini-Fest officially celebrated the CEC’s dual-use project, demonstrating the beauty and utility of solar power combined with pollinator meadows.

Photos by Rebecca Foster

Click to view larger image

Captions:

1. Throngs of young Charlotte athletes were drawn to the smoothie bike lent by City Market for the occasion. CEC student member Chloe Silverman (CVU ’22) gets the blender, full to the brim with frozen fruit, cranking for the young guests.

2. Lauren Akselrod and her children were one of five lucky winners of a raffle prize for taking the bike and pedestrian road survey, which the CEC collaborated on with Local Motion and the Trails Committee. We got a tremendous wealth of feedback from the large number of respondents to the survey. Local Motion will be presenting the findings at the Selectboard meeting on Oct. 25. Note the display of DIY weatherization materials from the CEC’s Energy Shelf just behind Lauren—and in the far back, the inverter and battery for the solar system. Remember to check out ButtonUpVermont.org as soon as possible to get a free virtual energy visit that will help you discover the parts of your home that need buttoning up.

3. The compost shed is a cozy place to huddle in the rain. Top row: Jamey Gerlaugh (Window Dressers), Jacqui DeMent (CEC), Wolfger Schneider (Sustainable Charlotte), Representative Mike Yantachka (Charlotte Community Partners), Deirdre Holmes (CEC). Bottom row: Suzy Hodgson, Rebecca Foster, Chloe Silverman (all CEC)

4. Mike Yantachka sports the library’s Planet Pack for picking up litter. Other Conservation Corner objects that can be borrowed from the library were on display in the compost shed, including a Kill A Watt, a firewood moisture meter, books and the prized thermal camera—be sure to sign out the camera so you can use it to detect cold leaks during your Button Up energy visit!

5. The sign on the perky electric car in the rain reads: “If all Vermont cars were electric, we would save over 800 million dollars in gasoline costs every year.”