A full slate of activities has been planned for College of the Atlantic’s annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 25. Among them is a keynote presentation by architect Matthew O’Malia of the firm GO Logic, which designs energy efficient homes like the one above. PHOTO COURTESY OF GO LOGIC

Earth Day to celebrate sustainability



BAR HARBOR — Sustainable living practices, green design and energy efficiency will be brought into focus when College of the Atlantic holds its annual Earth Day celebration Saturday, April 25.

The morning of April 25, before the festivities begin at COA, Friends of Acadia will hold its annual Earth Day Roadside Cleanup. Participants are encouraged to register online with the organization and be assigned a cleanup spot.

On Sunday, April 26, at 12 p.m., Diver Ed hosts volunteers for the Earth Day Underwater Cleanup. Divers and landlubbers are welcome to take part in the event, and “There will be creatures that will need to be removed from debris and released back into the sea,” Diver Ed said.

The community Earth Day event at COA features a keynote presentation by green design architect Matthew O’Malia and roundtable discussions on renewable energy, sustainable building systems and new ways of thinking about waste. Theatrical performances, movies and music are also on the daylong bill.

“It is a national holiday, and it’s a day when everybody can be thinking together about the idea that we are citizens and stewards of the planet, and trying to understand what that means,” said event co-organizer Saran Peetz.

O’Malia is a co-founder of the GO Logic architecture firm of Belfast. The group is focused on designing and building “passive” houses, which use as much as 90 percent less energy than a standard home. Their efficient designs are marked by highly-insulated shells, quadruple-glazed windows, passive solar heating and heat-recovery ventilation systems.

“Technically, we set out to have the energy a building needs for space heating and cooling reduced to almost zero,” the group states in press materials. “The bottom line is a financially sound investment in sustainability.”

Other experts on hand on April 25 include energy expert Marc Rosenbaum, of South Mountain Co., COA Director of Energy Education and Management Anna Demeo, and graduate student Lisa Bjerke, who recently spent a year studying waste practices around the world.

Performers on Earth Day include the Barn Arts Collective (formerly the Mohawk Arts Collective), performing a section of their new piece, “We Run the Ship,” an environmentally-themed play geared toward children. The Acadia Ukulele Society also will perform, along with the folk group Goldenoak (listen to their music here).

The celebration will include information booths on green and renewable energy, food vendors, COA farm sales and a plant sale. A family bike ride is scheduled for the afternoon, along with a screening of “Wrenched” at Reel Pizza Cinerama. The movie is about eco-activism and the legacy of pioneer Edward Abbey.

“Earth Day this year is a way for COA to welcome the community onto campus,” Peetz said. “I hope people walk from this having learned something, and that they have a lot of fun, and they feel a sense of community.”

COA Earth Day Schedule

11 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Matthew O’Malia of GO Logic architecture discusses passive house design and zero-energy homes

 12 p.m.

Roundtable discussion on energy efficiency with Marc Rosenbaum of South Mountain Company, Bar Harbor Town Councilor Gary Friedmann and COA Director of Energy Education and Management Anna Demeo

 1 p.m.

Roundtable discussion on buildings and their systems.

 1 p.m.

Family bicycle ride with Nick Jenei

 2 p.m.

Roundtable discussion on waste and “discarded resources” with graduate student and Watson Fellow Lisa Bjerke, visiting anthropologist Netta Van Vliet and director of planning, buildings and public safety Millard Dority

 2 p.m.

“Wrenched” at Reel Pizza Cinerama. With a follow-up discussion with student Chris Phillips

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