Sustainability Fair

Spring Sustainability, Peace & Justice Series


Shakori Hills has been committed to practicing and promoting Sustainability since its inception. Look around the festival, and you will see composting and recycling bins, solar energy, local foods and gardening, tractors powered by renewable biodiesel, preservation of woodlands and water conservation. The Sustainability Pavilion is the center of this practice, located between the Ticket Booth and the Kids’ Tent. Here we offer a series of demonstrations and discussions where you can learn more and meet leaders in this movement.

Friday, April 17

6pm – Green Drinks with Lyle Estill & Carol Peppe Hewitt

Green Drinks! A Local Drinks/Local Food Happy Hour – Join us as we celebrate all things sustainable. Are you working (or playing) in the field of sustainability or interested in it? Join sustainability authors Lyle Estill and Carol Peppe Hewitt, along with a who’s who of NC renewable energy and local food/local drink/local finance folks for a happy hour get-together. Bring a local drink to enjoy or share. We’ll have snacks and local beverage samples as well.


Saturday, April 18

9:30am – Spring Walkabout with Pierre Lauffer

Pierre will be leading a nature walk and an informative, philosophical group discussion on the historical natural heritage of the Shakori Hills land. With more than 20 years experience in environmental management and planning, Pierre is seeking to change the way regions and communities understand resource usage within the communal context. Open dialogue will touch upon the idea that a community’s public welfare directly relates to the amount of open space maintained as a communal asset.

10am – Making & Using Biodiesel Fuel with Lyle Estill, Piedmont Biofuels

Lyle will lead a down-and-dirty, detailed presentation on this clean and renewable alternative fuel. Learn from the experts how to make one’s car, tractor or home heating system an Earth-friendly machine; a primer on what biodiesel is, why and how to use it. Piedmont will also be on hand for fuel sales in the parking lot (Friday-Sunday 11am-2pm).

11am – Building with Cob and Straw bales! with Greg Allen, Mud Dauber School of Natural Building

The most time-tested of all building methods are the ones that utilize natural, little-processed materials. Imagine being able to construct your own living spaces out of the clay, grass, stone and trees that you can harvest from your own property or immediate area! And imagine further towards a culture in which all members are empowered builders. Natural building has an intrinsic beauty (much like a forest, a mountain or an ocean is beautiful), is healthful for the builders and inhabitants, is intuitive to learn and exists in harmony with our natural world. Greg will speak about and present photos of buildings that he has constructed using cob, straw bale, roundwood and other natural materials; there will also be images from the Mud Dauber School’s natural building workshops, in which students with no previous experience leave an intense week of hands-on building with the confidence to take on their own project!

12noon – Common Ground for Peace & Justice with The Independent Progressive Politics Network

Our 20th Common Ground for Peace & Justice Forum will gather in open community space to share, dialogue and discover how to bring the energy and inspiration of Shakori Hills into our daily lives. If an act of injustice occurs are you prepared to stand for justice?  Do you know what it looks like to live your principles every day? We can – and need to – be honest about how our culture creates and maintains ways to divide and undermine us.  Our challenge is to change how power is expressed in our lives. Come share your hopes, concerns and solutions.

1pm – Transforming OurSelves in these Turbulent Times (an introduction) with Michal Osterweil

We will explore strategies for addressing the task of bringing about positive social change in the tremendously challenging time we are living through by beginning to re-conceptualize our understanding of the Self, social change and the story we hold of the future. Inspired by Joanna Macy’s, Work that Reconnects, as well as other ecological and transformative justice approaches we will combine discussion, meditation and somatic exercises to help us open to a new way of inhabiting and living up to these momentous times.

2:15pm – Sacred Ecology and Nature Spirituality; Nature as Beloved, Inspiration, Healer and Teacher with Leif Diamant

Nature is the original source of many religions and spiritualities. Nature is our home; wildness is our roots. This workshop will explore and practice ways to experience Nature as the Beloved. We are designed ,as human beings, to Love Nature .We will discuss and practice behaviors that can deepen and expand this primary resource in our daily lives. When we do, we open our hearts, minds and bodies to vibrant beauty, health, love, joy, creativity, peace and perspective. Leif Diamant is an organic farmer in Silk Hope (Box Turtle Community Supported Agriculture), licensed psychotherapist (, naturalist and botanist and ordained interspiritual minister. He has taught classes at UNC, Duke, Warren Wilson College, NC Botanical Gardens, Piedmont Earthskills Gathering and the Abundance Foundation.

3pm – Composting & Zero Waste with Bob & Camille Armantrout

Bob and Camille are zero-waste advocates who have been composting for more than a decade. They will present waste reduction strategies and basic composting techniques using low-tech, inexpensive methods that almost anyone can follow. This interactive discussion is intended to help those new to home composting, as well as seasoned composters improve their personal organic waste management practices.

4pm – Affordable Solar Thermal with Jeff Klemm

This workshop will start with an overview of solar thermal for home heating and then delve into how you can apply this technology affordably in your own home. Jeff Klemm has designed and built his own solar thermal panel and will describe how to build one for under $250. A materials list and CAD drawing can be provided to interested parties as a guide to build a panel themselves.


Sunday, April 19

10am – Affordable Passive Solar Trombe Wall Home Heating with Joseph Ballentine

This workshop will demonstrate how to affordably build a modified solar Trombe wall.  A Trombe wall is a passive solar building method used to heat your home.  Jeff Klemm and Joseph Ballentine have designed and built a solar panel using both passive and active solar techniques utilizing easily available and inexpensive or recycled materials.

11am – Affordable Solar Thermal Water Heater with Jeff Klemm

This workshop will start with an overview of solar thermal – for water heating – and then delve into how to apply this technology affordably in your own home.  Jeff Klemm has designed and built his own solar thermal panel and will describe how to build one yourself for approximately $250 to $300.  A materials list and CAD drawing can be provided to interested parties as a guide to build a panel themselves.

12pm – Home Solar Power Electricity with Ed Witkin of Carrboro Solar Works

Ed will lead an interactive discussion about the use of PV within the home. He will discuss solar energy technology and how to improve home PV systems to achieve the greatest energy savings as well as local, state and national trends in PV systems. Participants will also learn about state and federal tax credits, how they apply to solar technologies and how to take advantage of them.

1pm – Small House Sustainable Communities w/ Harvey Harman and Laurie Cone

Drawing from a life spent focused on building Community, Harvey Harman will lead this interactive discussion focused on the many benefits of Small House Sustainable communities. Harvey Harman is the Construction Director for Chatham Habitat for Humanity and is currently starting the Living Well Community, an eco village on the Deep River in Randolph County.

2pm – GrassRoots Festival as a Social Enterprise: Modeled Structures for the Future of Capitalism with Jordan Puryear, GrassRoots Festival Founder

Jordan will lead a discussion on creating socially conscious business enterprises that contribute to community sustainability. Jordan is co-founder of Shakori Hills, Virginia Key and the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festivals, which he has been involved in organizing and running since 1991. The festivals are self-supporting, non-profit corporations whose missions are socially conscious.

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