Green expo draws hundreds in GJ

A solar panel on display at the Green Expo in Two Rivers Convention Center this morning.

Every day human waste, bundled in tiny plastic diapers, is trucked to the Mesa County Landfill.

Melissa Matthews has a better solution.

She and her husband own Tender Tooshies, a reusable diaper service based in Clifton.

“There certainly is a market for used diapers,” she said, while working a booth at the Build Green Live Green Sustainability Forum and Renewable Energy Expo.

The expo was held Wednesday at the Two Rivers Convention Center. Hundreds of people and two dozen vendors turned out for the event.

“I think most people are interested in the building part,” Matthews said in recognition of the people cluttering other booths.

The exhibitors included the city of Grand Junction, window makers, solar-panel builders, light-bulb retailers and a variety of companies touting energy-saving products.

“I am actually building a house (in Fruita),” Cindy Boatman said. “I have become aware that we need to take care of the planet.”

Being good to Mother Earth is a good reason to attend such an event, but putting the “green” ideas into practice requires plunking down the green.

Wally Shaw, who says his old Collbran home loses heat “like a Chihuahua lost in a blizzard,” said it has not been economically feasible to invest in the green technology.

“I have been interested in alternatives for several years now,” he said. “I’m thinking of going solar.”

Not everyone was there of their own accord.

“I’m here because my dad is here,” 17-year-old Eric Severance said.

With the variety of green ideas floating around, Severance said he decided to make the best of things.

“I decided I might as well get some ideas,” he said.

Why, he asks, are solar panels square when nature makes solar panels in the shape of a leaf?

Andy Whipple, at the Atlasta Solar Center booth, had no answer for why man and nature differ, but he did have an idea or two about why so many people attended the event.

“I think word is getting out,” he said. “It’s the big national buzz.”

The buzz caught the ear of Mesa State College.

Xcel Energy, one of the expo’s sponsors, recognized Mesa State for participating in its energy and design assistance program.

A new Mesa State classroom building uses 47 percent less electricity than similar-sized structures and has saved the school 609,235 kilowatt hours.

“That is the most energy-efficient building on the Western Slope,” said Fred Eggleston, spokesman for Xcel. “I challenge anyone to find me a building that is more energy-efficient.”


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