Independence Day has always been an outlet for me to explore what freedom really means. As an American, it is a celebration to the beginning of my culture and the strength we have together as a nation. In the 21st century however, on the break of a new energy frontier, I want to join in the fight for my country’s energy independence! This year, at the First Annual Oregon Green Expo, I met 300 like-minded people, businesses, and government officials also thirsting for the opportunity to take that leap.
The following was my personal experience; unfortunately much of what happened had to be left out due to the limitations of my uni-dimensional body.
03 July, 2009
Today started off with a bang, then another, then much more banging as the Native American Drumming ceremony went on. Absolutely enthralling music, but I am afraid it may have lost much of its meaning in an indoor setting… It is true that nobody had a more intimate relationship with the land we live on, than the Native Americans. If there is any one group of people that can help us and teach us to respect our environment, it is them! The following key note speaker, David West, reaches out for their aspect.
Moving from its grassroots toward its eco-technological destination, Oregon shows off “green” ideas for a sustainable future.
Ashland Resource Center:
Sun Storage, solar power (click me):
Ocean Energy Management/Wind Energy 2009:
Mayor Carlos DeBritto pondering his next vehicle purchase:
The government lent their voice to the cause as well. Mayors from across southern Oregon speak out about the future of the Pacific Northwest
Kay Jackson representing Ashland, Don Moore representing Cave Junction, and Carlos DeBritto representing the city of Phoenix.
04 July, 2009
Another great and yet obscenely hot day, as The Oregon Green Expo continues. Early morning, local Tai Chi instructor Michael Vasquez teaches us how to become connected with the world around us. Indifference towards the fate of the planet, its inhabitants, and even human kind, is a real worry for many of us. It is a true resource that we have people like Michael to make sure, on an ultra personal level, that we don’t lose sight of basic human needs. He illustrates in the following class for “Sustainability from Within:”
The following video is of Dr. Lenny Thyme, a chemical engineer and an ex-college level professor. An amazingly intelligent and interesting man, you can check out his writings @ Howdt Blog or a project of his currently underway @ Existence Portal
Energy Efficient Homes Model Contest show, beginner and professional level entries:
Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the concert performed by Scott Huckabay. Nice guy, I wish I could have been more helpful in directing him and his company towards a vegetarian lunch near the Armory.
05 July, 2009
Today I decided to put the camera down, and experienced the expo from a citizen’s perspective. Mostly I reflected on the event, and asked people what they would like to have seen differently, or at the next event. It is amazing the sheer number of people that came together to make this happen! I want to thank Susan Huntley and Don McCoy for their wonderful vision; also a special thanks to Catie Faryl for making me feel so welcomed.
So it’s true that everybody is a critic, and for an event so close to my heart I can’t help but have my own opinion.
We live in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the world, and it was hard to feel connected to anything inside of an armory. This event would have been much more influential in a more public environment, outdoors, near a lake or park perhaps. The energy and passion that the vendors, speakers, and others involved carried with them would have been better able to attract people who do not normally consider themselves environmentalists. Also, a whole fleet of renewable energy technology resources went un-utilized and under-demonstrated. How potent an icon it would have been to see first-hand how capable and cooperative our green technologies are!!
One last thing that I would like to see for the 2nd Annual Oregon Green Expo: I had the pleasure of unintentionally attending the last bit of the growers market, as we were setting up for the expo, and I can’t stress the need enough to support local farmers. I would LOVE to see the farmers market feeding our patrons, rather than just the Pita Pit!