Ridgefield Auto Show Goes Metal for Sustainable Living


RIDGEFIELD – Ridgefield’s Environmental Action Committee is hosting an electric car show this weekend to educate the public about greener living and recognize a local business that already does.

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

“Most Ridgefielders know the environment well… but they don’t know how to take the first steps” towards a sustainable lifestyle, said Vincent Giordano, committee member. “Questions are barriers to action… (and) it helps to have someone to talk to – that’s a service we want to provide.

The event also honors 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 businesses in the region.

Nod Hill is Connecticut’s first and only fully solar-powered brewery. Its solar panel on the roof offsets 100% of its electricity consumption and feeds more than 5,000 kilowatt-hours back into the electricity grid each year.

The company recently added a 5,000 square foot pollinator meadow to its beer garden and moved its parking lot away from the Norwalk River to avoid runoff issues. The lot is equipped with solar LED lighting and wired for the future installation of electric vehicle chargers, and soon native plants will be added to it to act as a riparian buffer. Nod Hill also sends all of its spent grain to local farms for reuse as animal feed.

“Our mission is to grow our brewery in a conscious, respectful and sustainable manner, (and) we keep these goals in mind with every decision we make,” said COO David Kaye. “The recognition is certainly beautiful and we appreciate the love of the community. Any kind of encouragement for other companies to implement more sustainable practices is a good 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 has also designed a website where business owners can learn about environmentally friendly practices and where consumers can learn to live sustainably.

Companies that earn enough points are given a special sticker to alert customers to their green practices, as well as to promote them on organizations’ websites.

“Environmental conditions are going to force us to change the way we consume products and services, and it’s wonderful to have people in Ridgefield who have that foresight,” Giordano said. “These are the people we really need to promote and praise because they are showing us the way. They don’t just look at the bottom line, they take a long-term view. “

For more information on how to qualify or apply for the Green Business Award, visit www.greenawardct.com.


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