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Renewable energy how-tos offered at fair: More than 100 exhibits expected

OREGON – Anyone interested in saving energy and protecting the environment can get how-to information this weekend at the eighth annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair at Ogle County Fairgrounds.

More than 100 exhibitors and 60 workshops will be available Saturday and Sunday.

“One of our new things is a person-to-person tent, where anyone can show pictures of what they’ve done in their own homes,” said organizer Sonia Vogl of Oregon. “That will be a real interesting time of sharing.”

“We have something for everybody. The highlights this year are the keynote speakers. One will talk about community solutions to climate change. Another wants to find 1,000 homes to retrofit for zero-net energy use. And another will talk about how to adapt roofs to keep heat out in summer and bring heat in in winter.”

Among the featured speakers:

Pat Murphy, “Beyond Sustainability” – Surviving oil depletion and climate change with community solutions, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Linda Wigington, “On the Path to Deep Energy Reductions in Existing Buildings,” 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. She wants to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving deep energy reductions in existing homes through the North American Thousand Home Challenge.

William Miller, on creating energy-saving homes using high-efficiency lighting; water-to-air and water-to-water heat pumps attached to a ground-source heat exchange and Energy Star appliances; and by reclaiming waste heat from gray water, noon to 1 p.m. Saturday.

There will be at least seven concurrent speakers each hour on both days. Topics will include seed saving, growing vegetables in small spaces and composting.

Exhibitors are still signing up for the fair, Vogl said. Two who are new to the fair will provide information on building structures using straw.

Field trips to local energy-efficient homes will be offered both evenings, and there also will be events for children, including making solar ovens, building with cob and camping. There also will be a silent auction for a generator donated by Huntley Horticulture. The starting bid is $1,000.

Concessions will be available on-site.

Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair

What: More than 100 exhibitors and 60 workshops

Where: Ogle County Fairgrounds, north of Oregon

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: For adults, $7 a day, $10 for both days; for 12 and older, $3 a day or $5 for both days; younger than 12, free with a parent

More info:

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