Organizers of this weekend’s Sun Festival Southwest in Scottsdale are issuing a challenge to those who don’t consider themselves environmentalists:
Come view some of the 200 exhibits or sit in on a few of the 50-plus workshops and just try not having your interest piqued by some "green" lifestyle topic, said co-producers Belle Starr and Andrea Tintle.
The event will cover issues from global ecology to saving money on home energy and water use, from development of alternativefuel industries to maintaining good skin care by using natural ingredients.
"We don’t want to preach to the converted. We want to reach out to more people" Starr said. "This is all about being informational and user-friendly and inspirational. It’s about getting a healthier life."
Gardening and landscaping, cooking and house cleaning, home building and remodeling, bargain shopping and even personal financial investing can all be done more intelligently through environmental awareness, Tintle said.
The festival aims to bring environmentalism in from the political fringes to the mainstream, from the ideological to the practical. So there’s an emphasis on putting the green philosophy into a local context, such as demonstrating how to live more comfortably in Arizona’s desert climate, Tintle said.
Scottsdale, a co-sponsor of the event, will have exhibits to show residents how they can support the city’s efforts to promote waste recycling, water conservation, use of renewable energy sources such as solar power and protection of natural desert open spaces by expansion of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
The city and the Arizona chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council today will host "The Idiot’s Guide to Green Building" seminar to show developers and builders the basics of environmentally sound construction.
The state and Scottsdale this year adopted U.S. Green Building Council standards as part of new guidelines for construction of public facilities.
Anthony Floyd, Scottsdale’s green building program manager, said such measures will push the development industry to learn how technically and economically sensible it’s become to embrace environmentally sustainable building.
Sun Festival speakers will herald a similar message to the general public about how advances are making a healthier world more achievable, Floyd said.
Chemist Todd Werpy will talk about U.S. Department of Energy-supported research he oversees that promises to make ethanol — made from corn and residues of other plants — a major source of less expensive, cleaner and more efficient automobile fuel.
What: Sun Festival Southwest When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale events center, 16601 N. Pima Road Information: (480) 488-8792 or www.sunfestival.net
Solar home bike tour What: Sun Festival-sponsored tour of three homes that incorporate energy-efficient environmental design When: Registration at 6 a.m. Sunday; tour 7 to 10 a.m. Where: Starts at WestWorld