VPIRG Goes to Solar Fest

An update from VPIRG Summer Organizer, Austin Andersen

Sun, fun, and solar panels… Solar Fest 2014 was the educational and empowering festival weekend for the environmentalist in all of us. From workshops on installing home photovoltaic systems to lectures on backyard permaculture; vendors selling bamboo tie-dye t-shirts to organic Portobello pizza; Solar Fest was part carnival, part university, and part family summer-camp for the sustainability movement.

As VPIRG’s summer field organizer, I was not only attending the event to polish my own environmental education, but also to continue our petitioning efforts against the Vermont Gas Systems fracked gas pipeline going under Lake Champlain. Festival-goers flocked to the VPIRG table with enthusiastic questions and comments about how the campaign was going and how to get more involved; something that is always a pleasant occurrence in the advocacy world.

Working alongside the organization’s most enthusiastic canvassers, the VPIRG team succeeded in gathering over a hundred and twenty signatures in opposition to the VGS gas pipeline, dozens of photo petitions (including the one pictured), and raised over two thousand dollars to fight the big money in politics campaign. The VPIRG team arrived with a mission of raising support for our causes while getting to know the very constituents we have spent the summer advocating for. The weekend was a celebration of all that VPIRG stands for, bringing together environmentally-conscious & curious individuals from all over the world to Forget-Me-Not Farm in Tinmouth, Vermont.