Those looking for a crash course on living "green" can do no better than attend this weekend's inaugural Four Corners Green Living Expo.
The brainchild of the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado, working in close cooperation with Eco Logic Events, the two days of workshops, speakers and exhibits is intended to offer consumers and residents real-world ideas about sustainable options for food, clothing, cars, homes and all the many other accoutrements of our modern lives.
The expo's appeal lies in one-stop shopping for the answers to all those lingering questions you've had. How does solar really work? What about hybrid and electric cars? How can I improve my consumption of locally produced food? Can I really build a greener home, or even one entirely out of renewable resources such as straw bales? The answers to these plus many more questions are all available at the expo.
Chicago's Green Festival was the inspiration for the local expo. Organizers hope to ride on the rising tide of consumer interest in all things green. By offering exhibits and speakers on a multitude of topics, organizers figure that attendees initially intrigued by just one topic, like green building, may be surprised and enthused to learn about other unexpected possibilities.
The expo features obvious green-living ideas such as solar options for your home and business, plus ways to construct or remodel your home using green-building materials.
The expo also offers approaches for dealing with your individual transportation choices. New Country Auto Center is bringing its hybrid models to the expo, a greener transportation choice familiar already to most folks. But New Country also plans to offer workshops about green-maintenance programs, and green-driving tips, for folks with ordinary gasoline-fueled vehicles. If you are not yet willing or able to make the commitment whole hog to a hybrid, how can you at least lessen your footprint with your existing vehicle?
One key aspect to living greener is reusing our old stuff. Durango Cyclery's Bicycle Lemonade program takes old parts and bikes and turns them into useable transportation at dirt-cheap affordable prices - squeezing bikes from lemons, as they like to call it.
The expo's food court is an eco café with the catchy handle of Relish. Expo-goers can enjoy delicious local food provided by Sunnyside Farms, Zia Taqueria and Turtle Lake Refuge, fueled of course by local brews from our excellent microbreweries.
The expo is capped with a keynote speech by one of Colorado's renowned, and entertaining, experts in renewable energy, Randy Udall. Udall hails from Carbondale, and always offers new and intriguing insights to the state of the world, the state of our energy consumption, and common-sense actions we all can take to break free of our current energy paradigm. Udall's talk will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Four Corners Green Living Expo is an exciting, and hopefully annually repeated, new event for Durango, spurring forward the community's growing conversation about sustainable living. Check the Web site for more details at www.4cornersgreenliving.com.
Mark Pearson is director of the San Juan Citizens Alliance.