Eco-Solar Expo & Tours

With the continuous growth in the city of Calgary (and surrounding area), the high energy costs, the signing of the Kyoto Protocol and the increasing destruction of the environment there is an immediate need to share all the information that is available for consumers to make good decisions regarding their purchases, homes, lifestyles, health, finances and future. The Eco-Solar Expo, Eco-Solar Tour and the workshops will not only provide information but will show the technology in action, describe the benefits, provide experts in their field and make suggestions for Calgarians to make positive changes.

The 2003 Eco-Solar Expo will be the second annual event following a very successful 2002 EcoLOGICAL Living Expo that was originally hosted by Clean Calgary. This year Sustainable Calgary has taken up the challenge to host the event. http://www.sustainablecalgary.ca/

The inaugural event provided Calgary residents more than just pamphlets and brochures, it offered exposure to:
energy efficient methods
innovative building technologies
products to take home to make immediate changes
contact information from the building experts
new technology in action
water conservation information and products
one-on-one discussion with experts about cost effective home improvements

Doug Mackenzie-Mohr, author of Fostering Sustainable Behaviour writes “it is essential to have a firm grasp of how to effectively encourage individuals and businesses to adopt behaviours that are resource efficient. But behaviour changes rarely occur as a result of simply providing information.” Mackenzie-Mohr talks about Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM), as an attractive alternative to information-based campaigns. CBSM demonstrates that behavior change is most effectively achieved through initiatives delivered at the community level that focus on removing barriers to an activity while simultaneously enhancing the activity benefit.”

We recognize that the barriers for most people are:
not knowing what technology/products are available
determining if the new technology is a good investment
finding out if the new technology has proven success
finding the experts to do the installations
The expo goes beyond the information stage; it provides a complete package to the community.

Last year’s event provided products and services to assist people to reduce their impact on the environment. The City of Calgary Waterworks division sold 45 water conservation kits, Clean Calgary sold 10 rain barrels, a list of potential energy audits recipients were collected and a large numbers of people signed up for memberships with the environmental protection groups in attendance. Since the expo was held, home improvements have been completed, energy audits have provided home owners information on how to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and new technology (solar panels, low flow toilets, etc.) are being installed in homes and businesses.

THE ECO-SOLAR EXPO AND WORKSHOPS

Tentatively set for September 13, 2003

On the day of the expo, we will set up large tents for the exhibitors to showcase their goods and services. Throughout the day we will be demonstrating:
energy efficient products
alternative energy sources (wind & solar)
building technologies
other environmental initiatives

This will be complemented by both workshops and speakers. The workshops will give visitors hands-on training and the speakers will share their knowledge about relevant topics. There will be an area for school age children to learn a project and to share their thoughts on the environment. We will be selling the brochure this year (at a very minimal cost) to help cover some of the costs. To encourage the brochure sales we will number each booklet and hold a draw at the end of the expo for a solar operated item. The exhibitors will pay a fee to participate, a reduced charge will be offered to non-profit groups.

THE ECO-SOLAR TOUR

In June, we will host another Eco-Solar Tour that will be held in conjunction with a tour in Edmonton. The tour will take participants by bus (for a small fee) to several locations that demonstrate:
energy efficiency techniques
new building technologies
water saving devices
yard and garden innovations
alternative energy examples

Information sheets about each location will be provided. We have established an affiliation with people in Edmonton and want to advertise the events in both cities. We will offer the tours on separate weekends. This will give Albertans a chance to participate in both tours. The tours will also be used to promote the expo.

For more information please email Sustainable Calgary [email protected] or call Judi Vandenbrink @ 288-6046.