With Love, From The Energy Fair
For the City-Times
Friday, February 14th marks a number of different occasions for The Midwest Renewable Energy Association. It marks the deadline to become an Energy Fair Early Bird Exhibitor, which secures a business or organization’s spot at the Nation’s largest and longest running event of its kind. Today marks the last call for workshop proposals to be submitted. Energy Fair workshops showcase innovations in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living. Some Energy Fair presentations take the form of more modern topics, such as Advanced Photovoltaics, and some take the form of tried and true methods of sustainable living, as in Eating Year-Round From The Garden.
However, we all know what National Holiday also falls on February 14th – Valentine’s Day. With The 25th Annual Energy Fair happening this June, I’d like to share some stories from Energy Fair pasts, told by people within our community, in hopes of showing why, on this Valentines Day we should all show our love for The Energy Fair.
“I remember sitting in the Ramlow’s living room,” Mark Klein of Gimme Shelter Construction, and founding member of The MREA, said when reflecting on the first inklings of The Energy Fair. “We were imagining a future where the lessons we were learning about renewable energy and sustainability would be a part of an event that wasn’t restricted to young, long haired ‘70s era dropouts.”
Today the Energy Fair brings nearly 20,000 people of all knowledge levels and interests. Some travel from across the world, and some from our own backyards to learn from experts and enthusiasts in a wide array of sustainable living topics from solar and wind energy, to clean transportation, sustainable agriculture, green building, and more.
“The people that come to The Fair can get info on just about any subject in the renewable energy or sustainable living arena. They can get it from people that aren’t trying to sell them something and I think that’s what people really like,” says Marguerite Ramlow, of Artha Sustainable Living Center.
Then there is Karl & Katja Schwingel, who met in the beer line, or the food line depending on who you ask, at The Energy Fair. “Between the bar, food, awesome workshops, and an all-over fantastic weekend my life changed. Oh of course, Karl and I met,” said Katja on her Energy Fair experience.
Love and inspiration are in the air at The Energy Fair. It is truly the passion of The Fair’s workshop presenters, keynote speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors, staff, board, and of course, attendees, that drive The Energy Fair to be a leader in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living education.
“What we’ve learned is that you really can’t change the world; you change yourself and the world that’s around you,” says Mark Klein. “We’ve taken that lesson and applied it. You do change the world when you change yourself.”
What’s not to love? Send us a Valentine and tell us why you love The Energy Fair! If you’ve never been to The Energy Fair before, don’t miss out on The 25th Annual Energy Fair, June 20-22, 2014. For more information, visit www.midwestrenew.org/energyfair