Portal to the Future

The 2019 festival once again featured a Portal to the Future area at the north end of the site that highlighted some of the ways that art, food, small-scale farming, renewable energy, smart transportation, care for the land, and hand skills all contribute to community-building and local resilience.

In the Portal we presented this question:  What’s the Deal with the New Green? (…or what can YOU do to ensure there is a livable Earth for next generations?).  The Portal is the culmination of a series of colorful stations that lead from the Kids Activity Tent with questions for young and old to answer regarding their goals for Going Green.  Complete all of the stations, spin the New Deal Wheel, and claim a small reward at the Portal.  And when you come up with your own Go Greener Goals you can post them on a giant globe for others to see.

Young folks from the Worcester chapter of the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion MA were on hand to answer questions and engage folks in some creative visioning for how good life could be, with no one left behind.  Sunrise is a nationwide youth-led climate movement fighting to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.  Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a strictly non-violent movement, whose overall ambition is an international rebellion that helps humanity to turn quickly onto a course that is compatible with life on earth, and to build resilient communities in the face of ecological and societal crisis.  Founded by Rising Up! in the UK, Extinction Rebellion took its first acts of civil disobedience in November 2018, as 6,000 rebels shut down five London bridges.  Immediately after this, the movement grew rapidly to become an international uprising which now spans over 200 chapters worldwide.

Older folks from the local group North Quabbin Energy were also there to encourage folks to make clean and green changes in their own homes, neighborhoods, and towns, including creating pollinator-friendly plantings.  On Sunday you can talk to the people from the Center for Ecological Technology and see their presentation on their innovative programs and services for homes and businesses throughout the state.  Once again urine-collecting toilets were provided in conjunction with The Rich Earth Institute, based in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Rich Earth provides ecological sanitation with Best Septic.  They collected approximately 1,200 gallons of urine at the festival, sanitized it with a pasteurizing unit, and then used it to continue their research into the feasibility of the process for making fertililzer.

For more inspiration take a look at the Renewable Energy and Local Living Talks happening every day from 12:00 – 4:00.  Grab a bite or a Bart’s Homemade ice cream and join us in the Portal — the future is ours to create!

This Chevy Volt will power the Renewable Energy tent.

E-Bikes and full size Electric cars, such as this Chevy Volt, were again on display.  Battery technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, and Massachusetts still has great incentives for owning or leasing a variety of makes and models of brand new EVs.




Tiny house under constructionInterested in tiny house living?  We have an example for you.  Eric Daniel, of Orange,  graciously opened his new tiny house to attendees at the festival.  He and Mark Smallidge, of Smallidge Woodcraft in New Salem, designed this new home carefully.  Stop on the way to the Portal and look into what can be available in a small and energy-efficient space.