Rain barrels, our Congressman, and other green events

Once again, good people, the calendar is turning green.

Next week, on Wednesday the 26th, you can learn about rain barrels from your pals at the City of Charlottesville. Why rain barrels are good, how to use one, and so forth. Best part: The $45 fee for this workshop includes a 50-60 gallon rain barrel! That’s a good deal, says I. Call 970-3260 to register (which is required). It’ll happen at 5pm in the Charlottesville Pavilion. (Accompanied by a not-half-bad Doors cover band playing "Riders on the Storm" over and over and over again? You’ll have to attend to find out!)

O.K., on to the next event: Tom Perriello, that’s our Congressman Tom Perriello, will be at the CCDC on Thursday, August 27, from 12:30 to 1:30pm, rappin’ ’bout energy policy, green building, and other environmental subjects. It’s free, but you must sign up by emailing jon@f7engineers.com. Snacks too, and an opportunity to ask questions. "Tom, why did the coal industry send you all those fake letters?" Yeah, I’m still mad about it too.

But I am glad that September 7, which is Labor Day, there’ll be a Farm Tour. It’s only $5 per carload to drive around, at your own pace, to these five local farms, visit and browse their wares. Sounds awfully family-friendly to me. Buy tickets at the City Market or through the mail at Market Central, Inc., PO Box 6459, Charlottesville, 22906.

As I write this, folks out at Brownsville Elementary are no doubt getting ready for a 2pm media tour of the newly renovated and added-onto school—meant to be the first in Albemarle to be LEED-certified. This fall, go to any event at the school you can, just for the chance to see how kids these days are learning to use dual-flush toilets, studying under skylights instead of fluorescents, and attending class in "teaching gardens." I also love the way the school is organized into Coastal, Piedmont, and Mountains sections, imitating the zones of Virginia’s environment. Get ’em while they’re young!

One final note: Play spot-the-cop in Albemarle County and you just might get a chance to see the new Honda Accords that some officers will now be driving. It’s an attempt by the sheriff’s office to save gas; four-cylinder Accords are not nearly as fuel-hungry as the Crown Vics you usually see in the rearview.

Other green events we need to know about? Post ’em up.

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