Keeping current

Amy Musser

Got any plans for Sept. 14-16?  The Southern Green Living Expo will be at the Asheville Civic Center that weekend, and you should plan to be there.

I know if the weather’s nice it can be hard to motivate yourself to drive downtown and find a place to park.  But Asheville (and you) need a green trade show, and you’ll be glad you went.  After taking last year off, the Southern Energy and Environment Expo (SEE Expo) has been reborn at the Civic center – bigger, better, less dust, and with air conditioning!  As an exhibitor,  I can tell you that the AC is appreciated.

What I like most about the event is having a chance to reconnect with all the green businesses that we work with around Asheville, and having time to just talk in general about what’s new and exciting for them.  Green living is all about change – finding ideas both new and old that work better and learning to incorporate them into our lives.  All that change means that we constantly need to update ourselves about the cool new stuff that’s out there.

Did you know that in the last 2 months, a new technology has come out that takes the efficiency of geothermal heat pumps to a whole new level?  Or that heat pump water heaters are finally hitting the mainstream?  Or that home energy monitors are now making it possible to “hypermile” your house in ways that just weren’t possible a few years ago?  There’s other stuff going on that I don’t even know about yet, and I’m going to find out at the Expo.   Personally,  I’m hoping to find the perfect fuel-efficient car to replace our 10 year old TDI.

If you’re planning a major purchase soon (or let’s face it, are just worried that your water heater or furnace or car might die), this is a great place to do a little recon.  You can get a look at the latest/greatest replacements and chat with people who know more about this stuff.

But if you’re not up for a major financial outlay, there’s something for you too.  There is a nonstop track of seminars that will teach you about all kinds of stuff – composting, canning, biking, solar….  And I’m not even making this up:  there is a local cheese tasting.

I’m planning to give a talk on how to hypermile your house and will also appear on a panel of net-zero homeowners.  As an added bonus, if we don’t blow it in the next 2 weeks AND our electricity bill shows up in time, we may be able to announce that our house has officially been net-zero during our first year with solar.  The biggest thing I learned this year?  About half the journey to net-zero was appliance conservation and stuff that anyone in any house could be doing and that I should have been doing 20 years ago.  So, join me and get yourself halfway there even if you can’t do solar yet.

Asheville’s a small town, and one of the nicest parts of that is that you can get to know your counterparts in the “green community” and we can all learn from each other.  Events like this are the glue that brings us together to figure out how to do what we do in a more coordinated way.  See you there!

Copyright 2012 Amy Musser