Get Your Green On at Saturday Fest

City holds festival for people keen on green

Get Your Green On at Saturday Fest

It feels good to lighten one's environmental impact, and doing so often results in saving a few shekels, but not every eco-tactic is as simple as screwing in a compact florescent lightbulb. The city has a world-class array of efficiency-minded incentives and green coaching, from cash rebates for slapping some solar panels on the roof to payoffs for turning in an old energy-hog refrigerator, as well as myriad recycling and water-conservation programs and a nationally recognized green-building program – itself doling out valuable advice and payola for cutting buildings' energy use. But trying to take advantage of half of the city's sweet greening programs is overwhelming, and having a phone conversation with someone from each city program would take a month. Wouldn't it be nice if all these people would just go stand around City Hall some Saturday and field questions?

Well, my friend, you're in luck, because Saturday, Oct. 13, is Austin's first Green City Festival, a free gala of everything environmental and efficient. The event is from 10am to 4pm at City Hall. The festivities will include reps from the city's eco-programs and from more than 50 local nonprofits. The speaker roster includes organic gardening guru John Dromgoole, Mayor Will Wynn, various City Council members, scientists, and citizen activists. Events coordinator Laurie Breen of Austin Energy said the Green City Fest evolved out of the annual Garden Festival, held at the Zilker Botan­ical Gardens. You can still get the dirt on gardening, but now 12 city departments will be on hand to answer questions. "It's great for anyone trying to make their home more efficient," Breen said. She added that reps from the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program will be on hand, along with volunteers from the Austin Yellow Bike Project, to talk about green transportation. There will also be live music at noon, free canvas bags and water bottles while they last, and activities for the kids. For more info, visit www.ci.austin.tx.us/greencityfest/default.htm.

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