Renewable Energy Fair Aug. 11-12 in Oregon, Ill.

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OREGON, Ill.—With Byron Nuclear Generating Station as backdrop, the Sixth Annual Illinois Renewable Energy & Sustainable Lifestyle Fair will take to the Ogle County Fairgrounds in Oregon, Ill., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12.

Presented by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA), the fair will feature 60 workshops and presentations, and more than 100 booths and exhibits. Events include featured speakers, displays, tours, children’s activities, food and entertainment. The Giving Tree Band (Saturday) and Prairie Wolf (Sunday) will present live music, and the Oregon Lions Club will serve a pancake breakfast starting at 8 a.m. both days.

Fair hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday. Cost is $7 for adults per day or $10 for both days, and $3 for youth ages 12-16 per day or $5 for both days. No pets are allowed.

Keynote speakers include the following:

Torbjörn Lahti of Sweden will speak about “Sustainable Communities” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Lahti—an adjunct teacher at Umeå University and founder and co-owner of the environmental consulting firm Esam AB (The Human Ecology Company), based in Umeå, Sweden—will address developing and building sustainable communities. He is the initiator and former coordinator of the eco-municipality movement in Sweden, and has been working professionally with sustainable development during the last 24 years. He has been active in developing 60 eco-communities and has received worldwide international acknowledgment. He is the co-author of the book The Natural Steps for Communities—How Cities and Towns can Change to Sustainable Practice (New Society Publishers).

William M. Stigliani, Ph.D., of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, will speak about “Environmental Challenges in the 21st Century & Potential Solutions” from noon to 1 p.m., Saturday. Solutions to problems created by global environmental changes and resource depletion will require the emergence of new paradigms for development. Discussion will focus on energy systems to replace current primitive applications, green technologies that minimize raw material inputs and pollution, preservation of ecosystem services, and new models for sustainable development. Stigliani co-authored the study “Year 2000 Iowa Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory,” developed research reports at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., and was a senior research scholar in the Environment Program at the International Institute for Applied System Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Climate change was a major component of his studies.

Alisa Smith of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will speak about “The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday. When oil is running low, and global warming is a serious concern, why ship a vegetable 1,500 miles from farm to plate? To challenge this industrial system, Smith and J.B. MacKinnon ate foods grown within 100 miles of home for one year. They discovered community, old-fashioned skills and the best-tasting food of their lives. She is the co-author of PLENTY: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally (Harmony Books, United States)/THE 100-MILE DIET: A Year of Local Eating (Random House, Canada).

Tours—an additional $5 per person with advanced registration to—include “Super Insulated Home,” “Green Home” and “Dome Home” from 6:15 to 8 p.m., Saturday; and “One-Watt House,” “Earth-Sheltered Home” and “GSG Wind Farm” from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday.

Ogle County Fairgrounds, 1440 Limekiln Road, Oregon, Ill., is about 30 miles southwest of Rockford and 100 miles west of Chicago.

For more information about the fair or the IREA, visit, e-mail or call Drs. Robert & Sonia Vogl, IREA president and vice president, at (815) 732-7332.

from the Aug 8-14, 2007, issue

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