August 2010 Edition - Radish Magazine

August 2010 Edition - Radish Magazine


Something for everyone at Illinois

Renewable Energy Fair

By Ann Ring

If it has to do with renewable energy or

healthy lifestyles — whether food, home

remodeling, transportation, clothing, personal

care, books, gardening, green building

supplies or energy efficiency — you’ll find

it at this year’s Illinois Renewable Energy

and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair. The fair will

be held Aug. 7 and 8 at the Ogle County

Fairgrounds in Oregon, Ill. Now in its ninth

year, it is the largest event of its kind in

Illinois and the longest running.

“There will be about 200 vendors this

year,” says Dr. Sonia Vogl, Illinois Renewable

Energy Association’s (IREA) founder and

current treasurer and secretary, “plus 100

booths, entertainment, children’s activities,


tours, food, speakers — I could go on and

on.” The IREA, which hosts the fair, is a

501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to support sustainable energy development

in Illinois.

One featured speaker will be Dr. William Miller, of the Oak Ridge National

Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. “He will discuss different home energy efficiency

features and their results,” says Vogl, useful to any homeowner interested

in making small or large efficiency changes. Dave Rollo, of Bloomington, Ind., a

great force in establishing a Bloomington peak oil task force, will outline strategies

that will mitigate declining fuel supplies affecting all of our communities. Its

third featured speaker, Howard Latin, is one of the best-known environmental law

scholars in the U.S.

Workshop topics include information on geothermal, solar power, green

remodeling and architecture; insulated concrete forms and other green building

products; organic pet toys and pet food; green cleaning products; electricity power

meters for your home; farm-to-school programs; solar ovens and much more.

One could say the fair, which Vogl predicts will draw more than 4,000

attendees, is a labor of love on subjects in which she and her husband are well

versed. They have been active in the environment and energy fields during their

entire careers. Both are retired professors from the Lorado Taft Campus of

Northern Illinois University, where Robert taught environmental quality, alternative

energy and research, and Sonia taught field ecology, seasonal and prairie studies

and interpretation. At their home, they installed a 3.2-kilowatt grid-connected

photovoltaic system and a one-kilowatt wind generator, which provide 70 percent

of their home’s electrical power.

“This (putting on the fair every year) is a full-time job,” says Sonia, “but

IREA has a wonderful board that works together.”

For more information, visit

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