Energy Carnivale unites local organizations, educates for sustainability

Christina Vessa

Video by Karsen Buschjost.


Flowers made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, fire poi balls, a live band and a recycled steampunk theme helped guests learn about sustainable energy practices Saturday night at the Colorado State University Powerhouse.

The Energy Carnivale brought several organizations together with a goal of raising awareness and connection to the topic of sustainable energy in Fort Collins. Members from the Community for Sustainable Energy and Sauce organized the event, which provided guests with interactive booths, games and music from different Fort Collins groups.

Drive Electric Northern Colorado, the Fort Collins Sustainability Group, the Growing Project and the Bike Co-Operative were among several of the Energy Carnivale’s non-profit partners.

“About 98 percent of this stuff is made (from) recycled material,” said John Andersen, who built several of the games at the carnival over weeks leading up to the event.

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Photo Credit: Christina Vessa

This was the first time an Energy Carnivale has been organized at the CSU Powerhouse, according to Fred Kirsch, director of the Community for Sustainable Energy. The organization is working with CSU to educate and raise awareness about efficiency, transportation and renewable energy.

“Our CSU liaison is working with various student groups in the sustainability department and ASCSU,” Kirsch said. “(We) are hoping to pass a CSU resolution to support our current campaign.”

Kirsch said their current campaign is based on maximizing the potential of home energy efficiency and the development of local renewable energy resources. It will establish a grading system for energy efficiency that will let people know how energy efficient a building is before they move in.

Community Outreach Director Lea Pace said the Community for Sustainable Energy hopes to organize more events like this in the future.


“This is our first big event citywide,” Pace said. “The purpose of this event is to bring together organizations that have a cross mission connection to try and look for opportunities for collaboration.”

Pace said the Community for Sustainable Energy is working toward creating a larger sustainable energy community within the City of Fort Collins.

“Energy efficiency can be as small as replacing your lightbulbs with LEDS or as large as going to city council meetings and speaking out and acting as advocates for sustainable energy policy,” Pace said.

Collegian Assistant News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached at and on Twitter @chrissyvessa.