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East Hampton’s First Annual Sustainability and Renewable Energy Fair

Posted on 20 August 2014

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Aubrey Roemer’s “Leviathan” waved over tables manned by advocates of sustainability and renewable energy. Photo courtesy of Dea Million.

By Mara Certic

Solar energy companies, inventors, beekeepers, musicians and environmentalists gathered on the grounds of Miss Amelia’s Cottage in Amagansett on Saturday, August 16, for the first annual Sustainability and Renewable Energy Fair.

According to Dea Million of East End Climate Action Network (EECAN), the decision to hold a fair came after East Hampton Town pledged to power its community-wide electricity needs with renewable energy by the year 2020.

Saturday’s fair ran from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and a large, painted sign advertised the event to passersby. Aubrey Roemer’s art project “Leviathan,” a series of portraits of Montauk residents, waved in the wind high over the event, and was visible from the street. However, fewer people showed up than Ms. Million had anticipated.

“We didn’t have the best turnout, but we had a lot of competition with the Writers and Artists game and Hillary Clinton,” she said on Wednesday. The 66th annual charity softball game between  the actors and authors also took place on Saturday, and the former secretary of state and first lady signed copies of her new memoir at BookHampton.

“We started organizing too late and August is the busiest time and no one can do it,” Ms. Million explained. In October, she said, work will begin on organizing next year’s fair, which her group hopes to hold in either the spring or fall. “It’s about the locals, it’s about our sustainability,” she said.

Ms. Million remains optimistic. “The seed was planted and we just need to water it,” she said. Despite the small crowd, Ms. Million said that the event “went great.” Local market Simply Sublime Café and the Whole Le Crepe food truck catered the event as music played all day long in tents donated by Hoops for Hope. “The music really brought it all together,” she said.

Representatives from Green Logic, Oceana, the Surfrider Foundation and even Bonac Bees were on hand to explain their expertise and offer information about various forms of sustainability.

Representatives from Doc Power were on hand to showcase some “interesting renewable-sourced power generators that you can hook up and plug in your blender,” Ms. Million said.

A representative from Tesla motors stopped by the event during the afternoon, she said, as did the Long Island Birth Network.

She hopes to make it an event that all nature-loving organizations and people attend in the future. “To come together and have a big party with the success of East Hampton’s climate concerns and goals,” she said.

“That’s the point of it,” she said. “I think it’s achievable. It’s possible if we all get together and make this happen.”

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