Stressing Retrofitting in a Community That Demands Change.
Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment or ACE has been around a good long while, long enough to see the stressed and demands of a growing community and what the effects of these changes have had on the environment. They want to see action, and they want to start at the root of the community: Public Schools.
In a well thought out welcome to the 2nd Annual Green Living Expo, Takis Karatonis (who is also the principal founder of the Colombia Pike Revitalization Project) discussed the need for structure in the community and the strong desire to help people see the need for retrofitting. “It is a matter of changing how everyone things about community… what we want to do is start in the public school system…” which is why ACE decided to hold this year’s ACE expo in the Washington Lee high school. Over 60 vendors from Whole Foods and free trades shops to Home Energy gurus and Architects were side by side, row by row ready answer questions and more importantly raise awareness for their causes.
Karatonis graciously introduced Virginia Senator Mary Margaret Whipple and Chairman Chris Zimmerman of Arlington County who spoke briefly about the new Solar Raisers program (More on the Solar Raisers Program to come- Keep posted on the Green Gobbler!). “Arlingtonians are skeptics about creating a more sustainable program. They are always finding reasons to not do something- why don’t we help them find a reason to do something… Be that change to your own community. Retrofit. Change your pattern of thought. Find a solution and start one person at a time. ” Zimmerman’s thought evoking speech was exciting and brought the audience to cheers and applause.
Getting people excited is great, getting young folks, especially in the public school system is even more awesome. There were dozens of high school age kids volunteering their Saturday at Washington Lee to help out the ACE Green Living Expo. It was a wonderful thing to see these kids at school on a beautiful Spring Saturday, and no, I don’t think they were in detention. They were engaged in their community, asking questions, learning about their community and what they can do to insight change; learning how they can be that “one persona at a time.”