Arlington Campus Celebrates Earth Week with Community Fair
Posted: April 24, 2014 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: April 25, 2014 at 6:21 am
Ordinarily, a demonstration of a new lawn mower would not be a major draw to an annual community festival. But George Mason University graduate student Jason Force’s EcoMow Harvester is a bit different.
For one, it’s robotic, like one of those hands-free vacuums that patrol living room floors. Self-powered and self-navigating, a mower doesn’t get much better.
But Force’s does: It runs on grass clippings.
Force will demonstrate a prototype of his game-changing machine at the fourth annual Arlington Earth Week Community Fair at George Mason’s Arlington Campus on Saturday, April 26. For Force and his remarkable mower, Saturday’s exposure to the public unveils an invention that could spark a revolution in lawn care, and beyond. The technology that drives the mower could be used to heat houses or, eventually, provide power to entire cities—using grass clippings compressed into energy-storing pellets.
In addition to the EcoMower, the fair will feature eco-friendly exhibits showcasing ways to live a greener lifestyle, including energy conservation, sustainable foods and eco-friendly transportation. The Earth Week fair is hosted by Mason’s Office of Community and Local Government Relations, University Life at Arlington, and the Mason Sustainabilty Institute. It also features the “Green Living Expo” run by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, Mason’s partner in the event. The day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free of charge.
Highlights include events such as the auction of 25 rain barrels handpainted by Arlington school children (the Operation Rain Barrel competition has become a local tradition). Bidding ends at 2:30 p.m. and proceeds benefit Mason’s Early Identification Program. The presenting of the Arlington Green Patriot Awards takes place at 3 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium. Awards will be given to the individual, business or organization and “people’s choice” that exemplifies sustainability in more than one aspect of their civic service in Arlington. The winning rain barrel designs will be announced at 3:30 p.m.
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