EcoFest 2015 Presents:

EnergyWise: Sparking Local Solutions

Our community celebration of the environment will focus on energy- how we make it, use it, measure it, and conserve it. All kinds of energy are up for exploration, and harvesters, explainers, innovators and entrepreneurs will be there to engage with the public. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Arlington Town Hall 

730 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA

No charge for admission, free compost, raffle, Food Link Cafe, and children's activities.
Thank you for sharing our EVENT FLYER with your networks!

10:30 AM: Family Music Concert, Lyons Hearing Room, second floor.

11:30 AM Forum: Local Energy Solutions, featuring Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine and Home Energy Efficiency Team President Audrey Schulman. Come hear how the Town is saving money and energy, and how residents can apply energy efficiency concepts at home. Lyons Hearing Room, second floor.

Trashformations on the Town Hall stage. A student exhibit of recycled art. Renewable Energy is the theme this year. Register artwork on Thursday, March 5 at Town Hall 4:00PM - 7:00PM. More information here and registration form here.

Compost: fill your own container with some high quality, local and free compost made from Arlington’s own yard waste. Town Hall parking lot.

Food Link Cafe: Garden hallway, free treats, coffee/tea/lemonade $1 or free with your own mug

Computer Recycling: by the Computer Cafe, in the Town Hall parking lot, FREE

Raffle: THANK YOU to local Arlington businesses for their generous donations in support of EcoFest

Children's Activities:

  • Try an ERG with the Arlington Belmont Crew Team- how many WATTS can you generate?
  • How does wind power work? Mothers Out Front art activity will show you
  • What did we use before electricity? visit Old Scwamb Mill to find out
  • What is the difference between incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs? ask the Dallin School Go Green Team

EcoFest in the NEWS

Recycled Beauty Photo Exhibit featured during EcoFest
March 2, 2015 

Recycled Beauty is a photography exhibit that highlights the many ways our community can approach recycling and reducing waste.

Arlington Town Hall’s second floor gallery space will feature Arlington resident Ellen Callaway’s exhibit “Recycled Beauty.” The exhibit represents the result of Callaway’s work with the Arlington Recycling Committee to illustrate recycling concepts visually so residents feel inspired to consider new ideas and recycle more.

The public is invited to the opening reception with the artist on Thursday, April 16, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Proudly supported by the Arlington Recycling Committee

Used cooking oil can be made into biofuel 

Energy Reduction Solutions for Town & Home
March 2, 2015

The town is keeping a watchful eye on its energy use. Ruthy Bennett, Arlington’s Energy Manger, explains that her role “is to help lower the Town’s energy consumption and reduce funds spent on energy in all the town and school buildings and vehicles.” A recent award of Massachusetts Green Communities grant funding paid for the installation of new Energy Management Systems (EMS) at Ottoson Middle School and Arlington High School. These systems, which are already in use in most elementary schools, lower energy consumption during periods of time when parts of the building are unoccupied. Energy Management Systems manage a whole school’s energy use by monitoring separate zones of the building. This way, according to Bennett, “we can track if equipment is functioning efficiently and correctly.”

Want to know even more about Arlington’s energy activities? Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine will speak at the EcoFest forum called Local Energy Solutions beginning at 11:30 AM in the second floor Lyons Hearing Room. Mr. Chapdelaine will update the community about energy-related initiatives we can expect to see in the next few years.

Since most of our energy spending is done at home, EcoFest vendors will have a wide variety of solutions to offer. Local banks will be on hand to describe loan options for home energy efficiency improvements. Consumer group Mass Energy will describe how each of us has choices about where we purchase our energy, including renewable sources such as wind and solar. You can sign up for a free home energy audit with MassSave. Our local SunBug Solar will show visitors how solar panels harvest energy from the sun. If a home renovation is in your future, check out Boston Building Resources, which accepts donations, by appointment, of reusable building materials for its resale store. 

Our outdoor landscapes can also be a source for home energy savings. “Save energy (and money) by planting evergreen trees to the north of the house to block cold winter winds,” says Sally Naish, owner of Light & Shade Garden Design, Inc, and member of the Arlington Garden Club and the Arlington Tree Committee. Naish will host a table at EcoFest with many suggestions for reducing energy use, such as limiting use of power equipment and purchasing locally sourced plant and landscaping materials. To help with summer weather, Naish suggests, “Plant tall deciduous trees to the south and west to shield the house from the hottest summer sun, while allowing the sun to penetrate when the leaves are gone in winter.” Letting that natural light in during the winter months can also save energy use on lighting.


EcoFest Offers Energy Ideas
February 19, 2015

smart stripLEDbulb 

Products such as smart power strips, with surge protection,
and Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs 
make saving energy, and money, easier than ever.

It takes energy to do everything. Bodies burn calories for energy, computers get plugged in or draw stored electricity from batteries, and making plastic water bottles takes energy as well. But how often we think about our energy use throughout the day?

EcoFest on March 7 at Town Hall will offer a wide variety of ways to think broadly, and wisely, about our use of energy.

Saving energy saves money, and there are many ways to achieve those savings. Arlington’s Weatherization Office will be on hand to describe the kinds of subsidized programs that are available to seal air cracks in our homes where heated air escapes. The Mass Save program, available to all residents, will be there to sign residents up for free home energy audits. 

Lighting, televisions and computers are big energy hogs in our homes. The Dallin Elementary School Go Green Club will be selling energy-saving light bulbs and smart power strips as part of the club’s year-long Be Bright Power Down campaign. Up to 20% of our monthly electric bills can be from our lighting use. How much energy and money can you save by switching to CFL and LED light bulbs? Ask the Dallin Go Green Club members. Proceeds from the fund raiser will help launch Dallin PTO activities that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

When our electronic devises reach the end of their lives, the Department of Public Works hosts an electronics waste recycling program five days a week at 51 Grove Street. Reclaiming the metals and plastics in our devises takes significantly less energy than mining raw materials from the earth. At EcoFest, our local Computer Café will be accepting computers and monitors for recycling, at no charge.

Recycling other packaging material is also a simple energy-saving activity. The Arlington Recycling Committee has an interactive game for visitors to test theories about which saves more energy, recycling a glass bottle, a plastic water bottle or a soda can? Visit their table to make your best guess.

Food provides human energy, but it also consumes energy to make and ship around the country and the world. Wasting food creates a loss of energy at the farm, at the food preparation and processing companies, and at our grocery stores. At EcoFest, Food Link will host the Food Link Café. They will provide information about how we can all participate in eliminating this cycle of waste. By partnering with our local grocery stores, bakeries, cafes, and the Arlington Food Pantry, Food Link makes sure that nutritious food donations are delivered to local agencies that serve people in need. It is an all-volunteer solution to our very local problem of food insecurity, which affects hundreds of families in Arlington every week.


EcoFest to host Town Manager in Local Energy Solutions Forum
February 12, 2015

Solar panels being installed at First Parish

Installing solar panels on the roof of First Parish Church in 2014.
Photo courtesy of the church

EcoFest is moving up in the calendar this year and will take place Saturday, March 7 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Arlington Town Hall.
This annual celebration of the environment will focus on energy- how we make it, use it, measure it and conserve it. This is a free community event, with activities and displays for all ages.

Leading off the day will be singer/songwriter Chris Nauman, with a family concert in the second floor Lyons Hearing Room beginning at 10:30 AM. Chris draws inspiration for his folk rock style from Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger, among others. He’ll accompany himself on the guitar, and singing along and dancing are encouraged.

Meanwhile, Town Hall will be full of local organizations, ideas, explainers and interactive displays. Center stage will once again host the ever-popular Trashformations, a student art exhibit of recycled art. Trashformations has a theme this year: Renewable Energy. A tip for getting started: search online for renewable energy art images to find some inspiration. Click here for more information and here for the registration form.

Beginning at 11:30 AM in the Lyons Hearing Room will be our featured forum titled Local Energy Solutions. Town Manger Adam Chapdelaine will describe the recent achievements in energy efficiency implemented in many Town buildings. These energy- and cost-saving measures have been made possible by Arlington's designation in 2010 as a Massachusetts Green Community, which allows the town to apply for grant funding to reduce our municipal energy use. Mr. Chadelaine will update us on how far we have gotten towards our original 20% reduction goal,  and answer questions such as, What are the latest technologies the Town is benefiting from? and What additional measures will we see more of in the coming years?

Our second forum guest is Audrey Schulman, president of Home Energy Efficiency Team, or HEET, a nonprofit organization that is leading efforts to provide free, practical and critical education to cut carbon, save energy and reduce our environmental impact. HEET's programs empower local nonprofits, businesses and residential communities to commit to and implement energy efficiency and clean energy practices. As part of HEET’s Race to Solar campaign that helps nonprofits acquire electrical solar power systems, HEET helped Arlington's First Parish Church get solar installed in 2013. HEET executive director and Sustainable Arlington member Ashka Naik comments, "The only way to overcome any global crisis is to ignite collective local action. This is our chance as a community to truly mobilize to leapfrog to a cleaner and smarter energy future!"

EcoFest is organized by the Town of Arlington, Arlington Garden Club, the Recycling Committee, and Vision 2020’s Sustainable Arlington. More information at

Students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 are invited to submit works of art created out of recyclable materials that have been reused and repurposed for the project. Projects can be submitted by individuals or groups of students. Remember, electronic waste is also recyclable (but not in your curbside recycle bin). Since electronics are 100% recyclable at DPW during their regular office hours, you can use interesting electronic parts for your project. The theme of Renewable Energy should be incorporated into your artwork.

All projects need to be titled and submitted at Town Hall on Thursday, March 5 between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. There are a few other conditions artists should be aware of in order for the artwork to be able to be displayed, having to do with size and weight. 

Here is the registration form
Here is the information on a flyer

Questions? Contact Patsy Kraemer at 781-858-8629 or  mail to:

Co-sponsored by Arlington Garden Club, Town of Arlington, Vision 2020-Sustainable Arlington.

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