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How do we make our homes and businesses more efficient? How do we build green? How do we practice sustainable living?

In today’s world, there are a lot of questions about how to “green” the ways we live, work and play, but sometimes the answers are not easy to find. Organizers hope the Central Illinois Green Expo will help residents and community leaders define what “green” might be in their own home or business, as well as answer the questions they need to live and work “green.” The Central Illinois Green Expo is set for Friday and Saturday, September 10th and 11th, at the ICC East Peoria Campus.

Attendees will learn what they need to know to prepare for and contribute to a “green economy” in central Illinois. The Green Expo will offer information about energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living, and provide a one-stop-shop for green ideas, resources and best practices through a variety of workshops, activities and exhibitor booths. Topics will range from the health benefits of green housekeeping to how and when to choose renewable energy for your home or business. Numerous organizations will be on hand to provide information or incentives to go green, including tax credits, rebates and grant opportunities.

“Ultimately, sustainability is a regional issue,” says Anthony Corso, director of green building programs at ICC. “The economic, environmental and social benefits of buying goods and services—from food and building materials to the designers, contractors and trades working on retrofitting your energy efficient home—are multiplied within the community when we choose local.”

Several aspects of the Green Expo will be of interest to business leaders. Specifically, presentations and workshops will include a “professional track” for those already working in the industry or who are interested in a green career. Other workshops will focus on “greening” the workplace, improving the efficiency of existing buildings, and “green building” as it pertains to new construction. Business leaders can learn about a variety of green products and services showcased by Green Expo exhibitors.

» Central Illinois Green Expo
Illinois Central College, East Peoria Campus
Friday, September 10th, 10am – 5pm
Saturday, September 11th, 9am – 5pm
cigreenexpo.org

“Central Illinois’ green economy is growing,” says Ginger Johnson, executive director of Tri-County Construction Labor-Management Council. “TRICON and its member contractors and building trades are pleased to be a part of a regional effort to bring ‘green’ awareness to the business community and community at-large through this unique event.”

“The Green Expo will provide a venue for those who already work in the green industry, like contractors and building trades, to acquire additional knowledge and network with others in the green industry,” she says.

Johnson explains that area contractors and those in the union building trades play an integral role in the new green economy. They are the ones building new structures using the latest green technologies and helping homeowners and business owners improve their existing structures to be more safe, comfortable and energy-efficient.

Green Expo attendees don’t have to be business owners or contractors to enjoy what it has to offer. For a green educational opportunity for employees, business leaders could invite their staff to the Green Expo on Friday, when they can visit the exhibits and workshops while enjoying lunch. Everyone can learn about green lifestyle choices at this family-friendly event, including students of all ages. The concessions will feature local food, and the Expo will also include activities for kids and live music. Admission and parking are free.

“It takes everyone from the grassroots neighborhood organization to the leaders of industry and government to move our region toward a more sustainable future,” says Corso. “We hope to start a dialogue with this event that can be built upon as we move forward.”

Organizing partners for the event are Illinois Central College, Peoria County 4-H & Extension Foundation, Lakeview Museum, Tri-County Construction Labor-Management Council and the Sun Foundation. iBi

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