PSEG GreenFest 2009: New Jersey Green at its Best

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This weekend (April 3-5) is the annual PSEG GreenFest at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, New Jersey.  Instead of giving  you an excerpt from the Expo’s press release, I can give you the skinny on the festival since I spent the WHOLE day there.  With a new name (previously known as Global Green) and a larger exhibit hall, I was must more impressed with this year’s showing of exhibitors.  Last year, it seemed that every HVAC contractor in New Jersey was at the show.  (Not really, but it just seemed that way.)  This year, there was a wide array of vendors ranging from of course your usual energy exhibitors to a soap maker.  I will be honest, there is still a strong presence of energy efficient exhibitors, but this is to be expected since residential home and commercial buildings consume vast amounts of energy.

Despite the obvious energy conservation,  there is still a variety of other vendors which will surely delight your green palate.   I have several short podcasts that I will be posting individually highlighting some of my favorite exhibitors.  However, to wet your appetite, here are some highlights of what I saw at the expo:

  • Thought solar is too expensive for your home?  Visit PSEG (electric and gas utility) to hear their plans for incentives for solar for residential and commercial properties.
  • Stop your house or commercial building from wasting your hard earned money.  Speak to the home and commercial energy auditors to put the green in your pocket instead of the utility companies. (If Ed Schwartz from Green Living Solutions is there, give him a big hug for me!)
  • See GM’s fuel cell car of the future.
  • Find out how you can replace your ink for your cartridges rather than buy new ones. See Cartridge World USA.
  • Want to green clean your office or home?  Check out  the corporate and residential green cleaning products companies.
  • Thinking about green  energy solutions?  Check out the plethora of solar,  radiant, wind and geothermal exhibitors. (I am extremely impressed with the ARC Renewable Energy’s vertical turbine.)
  • Want to connect with like minded green moms.  Visit the  Holistic Moms Network.
  • Sick of plastic water bottles at your school? Visit  Back2Tap to stop the plastic madness.  Offering stainless steel re-usable water bottles.  Great school fundraiser opportunity and corporate gifts.
  • Want a healthy green interior?  Plenty of green designer, and building suppliers to talk to. (Say hello to one of my friend, Patrica Gaylor, whose work has been in many magazines.)
  • Tried of mowing your lawn and want to watch someone else mow the lawn?  Check out PeggNet’s solar mover exhibit. (I am extremely interested in this product…)
  • Can’t see how your business can be viable and sustainable?  Think again and speak to the folks at Padosa, a network for business owners. (I am a member!)

This is only a small sampling of the exhibitors at the show. For a partial list, see here.  (I did notice that not all of the vendors are listed, so perhaps more were added at the last minute.)

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The Kratt Brothers

I  went on Friday  since I knew the crowds would be slightly lighter, and I would not have to wait in line to interview many of the exhibitors.  However, if I was merely a visitor, Saturday and Sunday  offers the best entertainment.

“Among the notable and extraordinary keynote speakers is Ed Begley, Jr., an acclaimed actor and committed activist who sets a vivid example by living green at home, on the road, and on the job. In one of his appearances, Ed shares the podium with Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy,’a scientist, educator, and environmentalist who is currently engaged in a very public eco-competition with his friend Ed Begley. It’s a spirited but cordial smackdown that is not to be missed!

On Sunday, Daryl Hannah, accomplished actress and environmental devotee, offers a definition of ‘green’ that extends far beyond her exemplary lifestyle choices to include humanitarianism and conservationism as interconnected components of what it means to rescue and preserve the environment.

Also on Sunday, The Kratt Brothers, creators, producers, and stars of three successful wildlife education television series for families, take a walk on the wild side as they return to their Jersey roots. Their animated and family-focused re-enactment of their wildlife adventures will entertain and educate on matters of conservation.

BILL NYE

I really, really wanted to see Bill Nye since I love his show on Planet Green.   In addition, there are several conferences on different topics.  See here for more information.

While I was there on Friday, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, the new CEO of Green For All, spoke on “green pathways out of poverty.”  She is Van Jone’s replacement since he has a new role  as the White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs. I am sorry that I missed her, but I was too wrapped up speaking to all the vendors.  I am even missed quite a few vendors that I wanted to talk to.

Thinking it is the weekend and your kids won’t want to go?  Think again since I am sure they will love Bill Nye.  In addition, there is GECKO, the Green Environment Caring Kids Oasis, offers a variety of hands-on exhibits.  See here for more information about the  kid-friendly exhibits.

Judging by Friday’s attendance, parking is going to be tough so get there early. Consider taking the train and be delivered to the exhibit in green style via the hybrid shuttle.  Look for the Greenfleet eco-vans.  They run every 35 minutes from 10am to 5pm.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time with a discounts for a two or three day pass.   With Spring arriving, now is the time to make a commitment to go green!  Remember, New Jersey is the Garden State.  We are known for our greeness!

Photos courtesy of PSEC GreenFest.


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