"You are just a bunch of hippies," "Why would you want to ban me? I am an easy going guy—I just like to float around in the ocean," were some of the quotes Bag Man was telling an amused audience at the NW SolarFest 2012, held in Shoreline on Saturday. At this renewable energy and sustainable living fair, he and Bag Lady were stealing the looks as they dramatically talked about their potential peril.
When the attention was not on them, the crowd was checking out the booths. In addition to the numerous solar panels that lined the rows, there were a large showing of electric and hybrid cars, electric-assist bikes, composting and waste reduction info stations, sustainable architectural designs and much, much more including a few favorites listed below.
- Looking for a project for your kids to do this summer? Ready for them to take care of their own lunch one day? All you need is a cardboard box, black paint, plexiglass or sheet of clear plastic, glass lidded pot and a few cans of vegetables and soup. Line the flaps of the box with aluminum foil, paint the inside of the box black and place a piece of plexi-glass on top and voila—it's a solar oven. To warm up the soup, it will take about four hours on a sunny day.
- Another DIY project, but perhaps a little more complicated, was the construction of pedal cars. From directions off the internet, father and son duo, Barry and Geiger, built them using recycled bicycle parts and PVC pipes. Take a ride in one of those pedal cars and you won't want to return it anytime soon.
- A home built from a reclaimed shipping container. It may be small, but contains all the comforts of home. The Cargo Cottage only costs $35,000. This would work great as an office, studio, guest space or Mother In-Law suite. Now where to put the container.....?
SolarFest is one of those gem events that enough people know about it to make it happen, but the crowds are not too big for all the attractions worth seeing. We had a table seat to eat our lunch while the Not-Its were playing on stage, the kids were able to check out all the kids attractions (solar match-box car give away, car tracks, bird seed feeder craft, bike rodeo showing safe riding and solar water fountains) and parking was a cinch. The SolarFest is in its 9th year running and is produced by Shoreline Solar Project.
Although it is not certain where Bag Man and Lady blew in from, they were a fun addition and hope to see them again protesting another city's (or state's!) potential plastic bag ban.
For more pictures from the event or for more local sustainable information, visit www.ecoeastside.com.