Article originally appeared in the Mountain XPress.
On May 30, Clean Energy for Western North Carolina and the French Broad chapter of Garden Club of America will host Solar Saturday, an event to kick off the summer season.
The event, held at Warren Wilson College, includes two workshops and a presentation from Audubon North Carolina, focusing on how climate change affects the survival of birds. There will also be music, vendors, free beverages and food trucks for participants to enjoy.
The event’s main goal is to build awareness and to educate people about solar energy and energy efficiency, says Ashley Edwards, Clean Energy for WNC’s outreach coordinator. That includes motivating people to participate in the Clean Energy for WNC program, which facilitates purchasing of solar panels for homeowners and businesses.
Edwards says the idea behind the event is to target a new audience, such as families and nonprofits, in addition to the organizations and businesses that Clean Energy for WNC usually works with.
“Oftentimes, I think we partner with environmental causes first, because we have similar missions as far as carbon reduction and reliance on fossil fuels,” Edwards says. He adds that partnering with Garden Club of America and Audubon North Carolina will hopefully help Clean Energy for WNC appeal to a different audience.
The first workshop will be held from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and is geared toward residential solar use. Edwards says participants will “hear it from the horse’s mouth,” as local companies will talk about solar technology and the benefits of using it.
The second workshop, scheduled for 2:30-4 p.m., is aimed at nonprofits and religious organizations, Edwards says. Attendees will hear about the approaches that other nonprofits have taken to increase solar energy use.
Although pets are allowed on the Warren Wilson campus, Edwards advises against bringing them to the workshops.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to the public. Attire is casual, Edwards adds, and people are invited to bring their own lawn chairs.
“Personally, I am really looking forward to it,” Edwards adds. “I am super grateful for the Audubon society and French Broad chapter of the Garden Club’s participation. It’s going to be amazing.”