PITTSFIELD - Living the Change Berkshires, a climate action group, is collaborating with local schools in preparation for the 4th annual Berkshire Earth Expo to take place at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires in Pittsfield, Mass. on April 6, 2019.

For the past three years, Living the Change Berkshires has been a leading organizer of this annual climate and sustainability fair, focused on energy efficiency, climate resilience, and environmental conservation. Each year, the Expo has grown in size, stature, and impact, with over 1,200 people attending. For the upcoming Expo next year, the group is integrating a school-based program called the “Cooler Communities Challenge” into the design. It is based on a successful model called “Cooler Concord.”

“We are very excited that, with the enthusiastic support of school administrators, we are going to be working with students and teachers to showcase young people’s interest and engagement with the subjects,” Judy Eddy of Living the Change says.

The guiding goal of the Cooler Communities Challenge is to reduce a community’s carbon footprint and improve its sustainability by engaging students in research and activities that employ proven methods to address current climate, energy, and environmental problems.

“There are many ways in which schools' standard curriculum offers opportunities to learn about and even make a difference in the areas of energy, climate change, and protecting our beautiful Berkshires,” Eddy adds.

Students’ work will be presented in interactive exhibits at the 2019 Earth Expo, where community members can learn about the subjects and benefit from “one stop shopping” for energy efficiency incentives, renewable energy and other sustainable living solutions that will be provided by local vendors and non-profits.

“We will invite all visitors at the Expo to pledge or take actions that can save money while lowering their greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon footprint,” says Anne Legêne of Living the Change. “Pledging to make changes in the areas of energy efficiency, greening our energy, transportation, food, and lifestyle will be easy and convenient with the many services and resources present at the Expo. Our team also plans to engage student interns to track and compile the results of these actions and we will let our community know the results.”

Thus, the Cooler Community Challenge serves to:

(1) Empower young people and celebrate their contributions to solutions and activities related to energy efficiency, climate change, and environmental preservation and protection.

(2) Offer a new opportunity for teachers, students, parents, and community members to study climate, energy, and environmental topics, and devise hands-on actions within existing curriculum requirements that result in tangible outcomes community wide.

(3) Lower our community’s carbon footprint.

Students are key to the Cooler Community Project. Study topics and actions can come out of many disciplines – from science and civics to art and hands-on work in the outdoors – that comply with STEAM curriculum standards.

How to Participate:

Both public and private schools are currently signing up to participate in the Cooler Community Challenge. Projects can take many forms, such as written documentation, posters, science projects, exhibits, drama, art work, video reportage, public relations and more. Grants are available for participating. If you are a teacher, parent, or school administrator interested in learning more, please contact us.

They are also seeking vendors offering related products and services, and volunteers.

Please contact: Judy Eddy at 413.652.5387 judy@judyeddy.com or Uli Nagel at 413.329.3514 livingthechangeberkshires@gmail.com

(press release sent to WSBS from Judy Eddy for online and on-air use, article image taken from the Living The Change Berkshires Facebook page