Reproduced from the GB Weekly
“Ecofest is about smart ideas that are good for the environment and save people money – bringing them into the common realm and making them accessible for people.” Ecofest Golden Bay organiser Claire Webster explains the thinking behind the 12 year-old festival, which will feature trade stalls, seminars and hands-on workshops.
Staging Ecofest in Golden Bay this year is one sure way of making the smart ideas more accessible to people on this side of the Hill, says Claire, and there will be plenty on display when Ecofest opens at 10am on Saturday 12 May in the Takaka Primary School hall.
“Some examples are really artful recycled clothing, alternative household cleaning methods, solar panels and ‘econo’ ambient heaters. The thing is that people may well be attracted along by one or two really interesting ideas and then discover a whole lot of other things that really appeal to them.”
People who are planning to build a house or are in the process of building right now will find plenty of ideas to take away, says Claire. “There’s a very clever shower dome bubble that fits over your shower cubicle. It traps the condensation, making your bathroom drier and your shower experience more pleasurable too. That’s just one of the ideas that we think are going to appeal to a lot of people.”
Claire says that businesses that mounted exhibits at previous Ecofests in Nelson reported full order books in the months that followed, especially those businesses offering innovative, practical and contemporary ideas. Claire and the event manager, Jo Reilly from Tasman District Council in Richmond, have given preference to local firms over out-of-towners, they say. “We completely support shopping local, but not everything is available here.”
The festival will also feature a competition for schools involving the construction of useful items from the recycling bin. Golden Bay Federated Farmers will conduct a panel discussion too.
“Ecofest is completely aimed at everyday, mainstream people,” says Claire. “If you don’t think you’re green at all, I’d encourage you to come and see all the different ways that you can save money. One of the things I’ve noticed about this kind of innovation is that the ideas of 10 years ago that seemed a little radical are now mainstream.”
Some stall space is still available for Golden Bay’s Ecofest. Contact Claire at the TDC service centre, 525 0020.