“We’re very good at engineering,” Antoine Palmer told us in the season finale of Renewable Season One. Sitting on the grounds of Sustainival, an all renewable carnival event that uses food and fun to spark conversations around sustainability, we chatted as a biofuel powered food stand laced the air with the smell of mini donuts.
The big idea behind Sustainival, which runs this year in Edmonton from June 7 to 10, is reframing how families, and most importantly kids, think about sustainability. From a giant ferris wheel to a corn dog stand; seeing machines rumbling along, powered by a renewable energy source, can shift how we understand energy use. The carnival supplements these with signs and installations that unpack how the energy sources work, mostly solar and biodiesel, all in a kid friendly way. Getting people thinking about renewable energy as a capable and accessible choice when they’re young, reframes how they’ll think about it when they’re older. And it’s here that Sustainival takes on a unique role in Alberta.