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Green Shows & Green Drinks
by Linda Pinkham
"What is with everything being about green?" That was the question of the weekend at the Jackson County Home Builders Association show in February.
The show had a very strong presence of green builders and products: Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs), Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), natural plasters, living roof products, certified sustainable home siding, nontoxic cleaning services, solar-electricity, on-demand hot water heaters, efficient and FSC certified windows and doors, home efficiency inspection services, energy-efficient and low emissions heating appliances, and sustainable home builders, designers, architects and engineers. Workshops at the show were predominantly centered on sustainable home designs and technologies.
No doubt, many people were taken by surprise at the array of green products and services available and the great interest by the attendees, with one of the strongest ever attendance figures for the event. While this show is primarily centered around green building, equally strong, but not represented at this show are all of the other green products and services available in our region.
In January, Daniel and I attended the Good Earth Home, Garden " Living Show in Eugene, which has an expanded scope of exhibitors that encompasses all aspects of Green Living. This "green show" was first started three years ago by Berg Productions because they recognized the potential and gave it a try. The Good Earth show has now surpassed the regular home show in both exhibits and attendance in the short time that the show has been in existence.
The exhibit hall at the Lane County Convention Center is about triple the size of our fairgrounds pavilion, and it was packed full of nearly 300 exhibits and seminars. Attendance is free with the donation of canned foods for Food for Lane County, resulting in a very high attendance by the public. We were overwhelmed, and in our explorations found that we barely made it through a third of the exhibits on Saturday. With every intention of returning the following day, the largest snowstorm for that area in many years thwarted our attempts. Our little Prius was pushing snow on the roadways, which had not yet been plowed because road crews were stretched just to keep I-5 cleared. We surrendered and instead built a snowman with our grandkids, but the idea of having a green show in our region occupied our thoughts. We just think it would be a great idea to start such a show here, and now it's just a matter of planting the seed and nurturing it to grow.
Last October, our region had a Little Green Show held at Phoenix Organics in conjunction with the Green and Solar Home Tours in Phoenix and Shady Cove. The home tours and show brought together a group that formed a local chapter of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council. The Cascadia Council believes that because the building industry today interfaces with all aspects of the environment, it is responsible for very significant portions of global impacts to water, energy and resource use. The local Cascadia group meets the first Thursday of each month at 5:30 pm at Phoenix Organics. For more information and about joining the group, come to a meeting or visit: buildgreenroguevalley.org. You can read more about green building in the Rogue Valley in the Green Note by Jason Zook published in this issue.
The local group has been looking at ways to accomplish "A Little Bigger Green Show" and perhaps evolve that event into something like Eugene's huge and all encompassing event. It's a big task that requires broader support and participation than the Build Green Rogue Valley group can supply -- which brings up the topic of Green Drinks.
While drinking may not seem to be a viable solution to problem solving, let me hasten to explain that Green Drinks is an international, social networking movement to bring green people together in a non-agenda and free-form setting where they can relax and share ideas with one another while having a good time (see greendrinks.org). The green drinks can be green tea, or any other beverage deemed appropriate by each individual. Under the unstructured, self-organized Green Drink venue, ideas and actions about green shows, business, employment, and pleasure can shared, discussed, and grown organically and naturally.
In February, Daniel was invited to Green Drinks in Eugene, and had an enlightened time. He reported that it wasn't about people with "like minds" but instead was a group of people "with minds." He found himself at a table with two different minded people -- one who mourned that the environmental movement was not pro-life, and the other who lamented that sentiment differed little from killing our children in a war. They came together on the idea that it is equally problematic to kill off our children's children by leaving them a planet that is uninhabitable through global warming and toxic pollution.
A local Green Drinks venue is being organized, with the first one ever in the Rogue Valley planned for April. Details were not firm at press time, but more information about Green Drinks will be posted once plans are firmed up at: www.greendrinks-roguevalley.com. We hope to see you there, and bring a friend! When you arrive, just ask, "Are you green?" and you will be greeted warmly. Cheers!
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advertising : Ellen Shapiro : 802.373.4006 : Ellen <at> GreenLivingJournal.com
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