By Allison LeCain
The 14th annual Sustainable Living Fair comes at a time of uncertainty in the renewable energy market, according to Woodward Governor.
The company recently halted its solar and wind power business in China.It expects to see a 50 percent decline in its renewable energy business. Nevertheless, the Sustainable Living Association is spreading knowledge about everyday ways to reduce the carbon footprint and is succeeding on a community level.
“We try to appeal to all the users of the Earth’s resources,” said Kellie Falbo, executive director of Sustainable Living Association. “We want to unmask some of the solutions to some of the problems we have today.”
The association focuses on alternative fuels and vehicles, green buildings, natural health and healing, local agriculture, renewable energy, and green living.
Within the NoCo community, people are harvesting ideas brought on by the association. Falbo said she helps show companies and residential areas the long-term benefits of installing solar systems, including financial payback.
“We’d like to see more and more wind and solar incorporated and systems in place to support those on a large scale,” Falbo said.
There are many accessible ways to reduce energy and pollution on a daily basis, which is what the association tries to inspire people to do. The Sustainable Living Fair will include 75 free workshops where people can learn how to reduce consumption.
“I think the astounding rate of energy consumption that our country utilizes, it cannot withstand, so we have to look at alternative options that are really viable today,” Falbo said. “I’d like to see more people making the effort, even if we’re just making baby steps when it comes to consumption.”
The fair is on September 14 and 15 at Legacy Park. Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for the whole weekend. It includes everything you can imagine, with a family area, teen tent, beer garden, locally-sourced food market, live music, yoga, DYI activities, belly dancers, expert talks, and electric vehicles to test drive. For an additional fee, there are workshops to help build wind turbines and portable power sources.
The association works with Drive Electric Northern Colorado to provide alternatively fueled vehicles for fair-goers to test drive. In the past, Falbo said she’s seen cars that run on everything from vegetable oil to bio-diesel. The cars are available for people to drive from the parking lot to the fair.
“We have these fantastic vehicles that show people different ways of using resources that are already available without having to get more gas and oil,” Falbo said.
Participants of the fair can expect to gain knowledge about cutting consumption on a big scale and on a smaller scale in their everyday lives.
“Understanding our usage will help us begin to investigate what options are available in our own individual lives to start making some conscious, educated choices in the direction of renewable energies,” Falbo said. “We can start to gauge where we can make small change on an everyday level to create big change, not only for ourselves but for the systems in place and for the future of our planet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing our thinking about what we do in our daily life and the choices we make.”
For directions or to view the full schedule, visit www.sustainablelivingassociation.org/sustainable-living-fair.
Green Awards of Fort Collins:
• Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community in May 2013
• Gold Level Certification of Solar Friendly Communities in April 2013
• Award for Innovation in Local Government recognizing the Sustainability Services Area in March 2013
• Ranked 11th on America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities in May 2012
• Ranked 3rd on the Best Bicycle Cities list in Aug 2011
Tips to conserve energy daily: Skip the electric dryer and hang dry your laundry
• Drive less by biking or car pooling • Grow your own garden