Local groups plan Westborough energy fair


WESTBOROUGH – Sustainable Westborough and the Westborough Rotary Club will host a Westborough Energy Fair on Saturday, April 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Mill Pond School in the town.

Speaking to the Community Advocate ahead of the event, Sustainable Westborough Chairman Pete Dunbeck said the fair was the first community outreach program around Westborough’s climate action plan, which was endorsed by the municipal assembly in May 2021.

The goal of the plan is for Westborough to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The fair, meanwhile, will aim to educate Westborough and help the city adopt the plan.

” Adopt [the plan] means helping residents understand what these programs are, [and] helping them make good decisions, informed decisions so that the transition is as smooth as possible for residents and businesses,” Dunbeck said.

Dunbeck added that the fair, which is free, will focus on sharing information about Massachusetts state programs promoting energy efficiency, renewable electricity and electric vehicles, among others.

The event will feature speakers who will discuss different areas of environmental impact and the benefits of decisions such as installing solar panels on homes or installing efficient heat pumps.

“There are a lot of changes coming and it’s important that people prepare for them and be proactive about when to make those investments,” Dunbeck said.

Cheryl Thomas, vice president of Sustainable Westborough, said the fair will also feature Nourse Farm’s vegetable-focused Veg-Out food truck, as well as a large area filled with different exhibitors.

Thomas said the fair was planned by a relatively small group of people meeting every two weeks on Zoom to organize the details.

“It’s good that people realize that this is all done by volunteers,” Thomas said. “We’re just a bunch of people giving up their time for this because we think it’s important.”

Two of the organizers, Michelle Hung and Hallie Pellish, are representatives from Sustainable Westborough Westborough High School and members of the school’s environmental club.

The students, who are both in their second year, are also speakers at the fair and will speak about student perspectives on climate change.

“I’m afraid of the future; I don’t want this to harm our future generations,” said Pellish, who is the community liaison for the Environmental Club.

Pellish said she and Hung were in the same sixth grade class when they did a unit on biodiversity. Since then, she says, she has tried to do more to conserve the planet.

Hung said a number of other high school students from different student groups will present on topics such as ocean acidification, carbon footprints and carbon emissions at the molecular level.

“I feel like we have activities and things planned for people of all ages, including kids,” Hung said.

Thomas encouraged anyone interested in volunteering for Sustainable Westborough projects and initiatives. Individuals can also volunteer with the Rotary Club.

Thomas added that she hoped and anticipated a strong turnout at the energy fair.

“It’s a unique event,” she said. “It’s sort of the first of its kind here.”

To learn more about Sustainable Westborough, visit www.sustainablewestborough.org.

And learn more about the Westborough Rotary Club by visiting www.westboroughrotary.org.

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