Educational Workshops Focus on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Local Agriculture

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Educational Workshops Focus on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Local Agriculture

By Sue Hoxie

Topics Suitable for All Interests and Experience Levels

Middlebury, Vermont – February 25, 2010 – A complete schedule of more than 20 education workshops to be presented at the Addison County Green Energy Expo has been finalized. The Green Energy Expo will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Middlebury Union High School.

New for 2010, workshops have been divided into three separate tracks:

  • Energy Efficiency: Topics include affordable green building techniques, weatherization options, and living “off the grid”.
  • Renewable Energy: Topics include alternative fuels and energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.
  • Local Agriculture: Topics include cooking lessons using local foods, creating and using biochar as a soil additive, local farm and food solutions, and creating a root cellar.

In addition, there will be all day hands-on programs for children. They’ll learn more about sustainable living, renewable energy and recycling. Kids can create their own recycled craft masterpiece. 

A complete list of programs can be found here:

An At-A-Glance schedule can be found here:

Keynote Speaker Explains ‘Radical Simplicity’

This year's keynote speaker will be Jim Merkel, author of "Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth." In his address, Jim will suggest many Yankee-practical lifestyle steps to help lighten your ecological footprint and brighten our prospects for the years ahead.

Originally a military engineer trained in foreign military sales, Jim was prompted by the Exxon Valdez disaster and the invasion of Iraq to devote his life to sustainability and world peace. He founded the Global Living Project and initiated their Summer Institute where teams of researchers strive to live on an equitable portion of the biosphere.

Visit the Mobile Solar Trailer Provided by IBEW Local 300

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 300 mobile solar trailer will be on school grounds demonstrating to homeowners how photovoltaic panels can be tied into a residential electrical system. The trailer features a fully functional 1-kilowatt photovoltaic array that powers a 32-inch LCD television and Nintendo Wii gaming console.  The trailer’s interior boasts custom, environmentally-themed artwork by Vermonter Kasia Szabo. 

Since IBEW Local 300 aims to bolster the domestic economy whenever possible, the trailer and all the materials used to assemble the solar array were purchased from local suppliers.  What’s more, all of the solar panels were proudly manufactured in the United States by IBEW members at the Sharp manufacturing plant in Tennessee.  IBEW Local 300’s solar trailer has logged hundreds of miles over the past year visiting career fairs, colleges, technical centers, trade shows and energy expos to educate the public about the union’s commitment to “green collar” job creation through its renowned electrical training programs.

Exhibit Area for Demonstrations and Product Displays

The MUHS gymnasium will be host to about 50 exhibitors demonstrating and displaying their environmentally-friendly products and services. Exhibitors include a wide variety of Vermont businesses, organizations, and agencies dedicated to green energy practices. There will be home builders, solar energy firms, architects, building product companies, conservation consultants, wind power firms, utility companies, outdoor equipment businesses, wood heat producers, and more.

For information on becoming an exhibitor at the Green Energy Expo, email

Event Possible With Sponsors’ Support

The Addison County Green Energy Expo would not be possible without the support of its generous sponsors. They include: Acorn Energy Co-op, Building Energy, Chittenden Bank, The Image Farm, Middlebury Natural Foods co-op, National Bank of Middlebury, r.k. MILES and Shaklee.

Nominal Attendance Fee

The cost to attend this year’s event is:

Families: $5 *
Adults: $2
Children: $1 (under 12)
College Students: Free (with ID)

About the Green Energy Expo Steering Committee

The Green Energy Expo Steering Committee is made up of representatives from the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Addison County Chamber of Commerce (ACCOC), Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC), Addison County Relocalization Network (ACoRN) – Addison County Food Collaborative, Middlebury College, National Bank of Middlebury, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and the Town of Middlebury.

Complete details and schedules are available at


Media Inquiries:

Sue Hoxie
Addison County Chamber of Commerce
93 Court Street
Middlebury VT  05753
p: 802-388-7951

Image Gallery:

A selection of hi-res images are available for download. Please credit: "Courtesy of Addison County Chamber of Commerce".

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