July 19, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Car show in Ridgefield puts pedal to the metal on sustainable living

RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment is hosting an electric vehicle car show this weekend to enlighten the public about living greener and recognize a local business that is already doing so.

From noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, car dealers and electric vehicle owners will be at Nod Hill Brewery to talk to those who are considering making the switch. Connecticut Green Bank will provide information on subsidies people can recoup from using electric vehicles and solar energy, and electricians will answer questions from those wanting to install green technologies in their homes.

“Most Ridgefielders are quite knowledgeable about the environment … but they don’t know how to take those first steps” toward living sustainably, explained committee member Vincent Giordano. “Questions are barriers to action … (and) it’s helpful to have somebody to talk to — it’s a service we want to provide.”

The event is also honoring Nod Hill as the first recipient of the Green Business Award, which was developed by RACE and the Norwalk River Watershed Association to promote sustainable practices among area businesses.

Nod Hill is the first and only brewery in Connecticut that is entirely solar powered. Its rooftop solar array offsets 100 percent of its electrical usage and pushes more than 5,000 kilowatt-hours back into the power grid each year.

The business recently added a 5,000-square-foot pollinator meadow to its biergarten and relocated its parking lot away from the Norwalk River to prevent runoff issues. The lot is outfitted with solar LED lighting and wired for the future installation of electric vehicle chargers, and soon native plants will be added there to act as a riparian buffer. Nod Hill also sends all of its spent grain to local farms to re-purpose as livestock feed.

“Our mission is to grow our brewery mindfully, respectfully and sustainably, (and) we keep these goals in mind with every decision we make,” operations manager David Kaye said. “The recognition is certainly nice and we appreciate the love from the community. Any sort of encouragement for other businesses to implement more sustainable practices is a great thing.”

Ridgefield High School senior Alexia Anglade helped RACE and NRWA develop the criteria for the Green Business Award, which is based on a points system. She also designed a website where business owners can learn about eco-friendly practices and where consumers can learn about living sustainably.

Businesses that earn enough points receive a special decal to alert customers of their green practices, as well as promote on the organizations’ websites.

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