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Missoula’s Climate and Clean Energy Expo is back at Caras Park (this weekend)

Expo hosts Abby Huseth, Amy Cilimburg, Andrew Valainis and Caroline Lauer, from this event in 2019!

Climate Smart Missoula is excited to host Missoula’s third annual Climate and Clean Energy Expo, Saturday, September 25th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Caras Park. It’s free, family-friendly, and filled with climate inspiration and actions. We hope you can join us!

Why this Expo and why now?

This summer we’ve all been awakened to a world where the climate problem that was supposed to be decades away is actually today’s emergency. Drought, extreme heat, ever-lengthening wildfire season, smoke, storms. There’s no denying we’re all affected. There’s also no denying we can all be part of the solutions we need now more than ever.

At the Expo, you can visit with nonprofit organizations, clean energy advocates, businesses, and educators, who will all share their unique piece of the climate and sustainability puzzle. Interested in solar? Want to know more about composting? Curious about electric bikes or building your own bike? Wondering what’s up with local zero waste efforts? Or what local government is doing right now? Interested in learning how you can be effective at advocating for climate action with Congress? Excited to step on a brand-new Mountain Line or ASUM electric bus? Or, are just curious about what on earth an “Electrify Missoula” campaign is all about?

Find your answers this Saturday!

You may be thinking, I’m interested, but climate and clean energy seems so overwhelming. What do I have to offer? What is my niche?

Come to the Expo, and be part of our community’s Venn Diagram of Climate Action! We’ll bring sidewalk chalk and create these giant circles (image, right). Then we hope you’ll consider and share your answers to these key questions:

What brings me joy?

What is the climate work that needs to be done?

What can I bring, or do, or give right now?

What meets at the center for you? Bring your ideas or even your own drawing. We’re excited to have a visual image of what our community can do to be part of climate solutions we need now more than ever.

To be honest, we know it’s not easy right now. The almost sure-thing federal climate legislation is not a sure thing. Our state is not listening to the science. The IPCC report is “code red”. COVID continues to disrupt our sense of normalcy. Inspiration can be hard to find, and it’s easy to feel disconnected or despairing.

But we also know that the antidotes to despair are community connection and feeling that we can make a difference. There truly are amazing things happening in our community, and our Expo aims to showcase these efforts and opportunities to get involved.

As urgent as the challenge is, there have never been more opportunities for all of us to be part of climate solutions, right here in Missoula. Local action helps not only build a safer climate, but also a stronger community, so we can weather the impacts we’re already experiencing and lean on each other for inspiration to move forward.

At Climate Smart we’re partial to a metaphor about climbing a mountain: We may not be able to see the top, but we can see the next step. Even when it is daunting, we channel our resolve and take that next step, then the next. As we climb, we are beacons for others who are also on the mountain – helping to light the way for those behind us and showing those in front of us that they are not alone.

So, we hope you’ll join us this Saturday at Caras Park.

The day’s activities will also feature several short presentations. The main stage schedule includes:

  • 11 am & 1pm. How to Go Solar 101: 30-minute presentation and Q&A with MREA, Climate Smart, and Clearwater Credit Union.
  • 12pm. Climate Action in Missoula: The Path to 100%: What, Why and How. Hear from community leaders and Expo hosts about exciting new projects and the launch of Electrify Missoula!
  • 11:30 am & 1:30pm. EVs, Solar, and Batteries, Oh My! 30-minute presentation and Q&A with industry veteran Dan Brandborg of SBS Solar on integrating batteries with EVs and home solar.

And all day –

  • The Electric Transportation show: electric cars, bikes and buses
  • Local solar installers and over 25 climate and sustainability exhibitors
  • Kids activities
  • Cool, inspired people to chat with!

We take the health of our community seriously. COVID safety measures will be in place; attendees are asked to mask up to protect our community. Please stay home if you have any COVID symptoms or are a close contact.

Finally, we thank our title sponsors for the Expo: Clearwater Credit Union, the City of Missoula, Missoula County, and the Montana Renewable Energy Association.

For more information visit: www.missoulaclimate.org/clean-energy-expo.html

Abby Huseth is the Outreach Director and Amy Cilimburg is the Executive Director with Climate Smart Missoula.

This Sustainable Missoula column is brought to you – via the Missoula Current – every week by Climate Smart Missoula and Home ReSource.

Sustainability Happenings

Here we offer ideas about sustainable ways to stay involved in our community. If you like these offerings, consider signing up for Climate Smart’s eNewsletter here. And sign up for the Home ReSource eNews via their homepage here.

Climate Protector Ride Sept. 25, 9:00 – 10:00 am. Silver Park. Join Families for a Livable Climate, Missoula County Sustainability, Free Cycles, and Pedal Missoula for a family friendly ride that ends at our Expo. Details here.

Missoula’s third annual Climate and Clean Energy Expo – Sept 25, 10 am – 2 pm. Missoula, together with partners (Montana Renewable Energy Association, City of Missoula, Missoula County, and Clearwater Credit Union) are hosting this premier event. Featuring solar installers, climate & sustainability organizations and businesses, mini-presentations on climate and clean energy topics, and the launch of a new Electrify Missoula campaign, kid’s activities, and more! More information is HERE.

National Public Lands Day — Sept 25:

· Mount Dean Stone (Missoula) trail work day, 9am -2:30 pm. Info/Register here.

· Help plant native plants along Rattlesnake Creek, 1-4 pm. for more info & to volunteer, email Clancy Jandreau of Missoula Conservation Lands: jandreauc@ci.missoula.mt.us

· Help remove old wildlife-harming fence on Mount Jumbo, Missoula. Organized by Tangle Free MT & MT Fish, Wildlife Parks. Meet at 8 am at Mt Jumbo’s Lincoln Hills Trailhead. More info here.

The Work that Reconnects Workshop Saturday, October 9. 3:00 – 9:00 pm. Join Families for a Livable Climate in a half-day, outdoor gathering to engage in a widespread set of practices which can enliven our depleted spirits in this time of climate change, rekindle our awareness of how we are interconnected, and remember why it is worthwhile to step up and take any action. More here.

Climate Change and Your Child’s Health: What every Montana parent should know October 12, 12:00 – 1:00 PM. What are the threats to Montana’s children from climate change and how can we keep them safe? Join Families for a Livable Climate and Montana Health Professionals for Healthy Climate for a special event with Dr. Lori Byron and Dr. Robert Byron. More here.

Trees for Missoula has MANY fall volunteer Tree Planting opportunities this fall.

Missoula’s Farmers Markets. Eat local now through the early fall! The original Farmers Market at the north end of Higgins runs every Saturday 8am-12:30 – information here. The Clark Fork Market is now located at 101 Carousel Drive near Dragon Hollow, runs every Saturday 8am -1pm – information is here.

Bike to Barns tour – Aug. 14-Sept. 30. Explore local farms and flavors on a 15-mile bike tour through Missoula’s Orchard Homes and Target Range neighborhoods. Check back here for more info.

Materials donations to Home Resource keep the wheels of reuse spinning in our community; and remember that everything you need to know about what to do with your unwanted stuff is at www.zerobyfiftymissoula.com.

Find more local activities and events at Missoulaevents.net and on Montana Environmental Information Center’s Conservation Calendar. And you too can help organize events – here’s the 2021 Calendar of Environmental Awareness Days – month by month breakdown of world day campaigns.

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