MASON, MI - The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association hosted the first Michigan Energy Fair at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. More than 150 vendors filled the arena to spread knowledge and information about all things sustainable.
Vendors came from all over the midwest and had businesses that ranged from local sandwich shops to solar panel contractors. Most vendors were small businesses who specialized in sustainability for the home.
"We believe that this is an essential part of our future with the end of petroleum coming on," said David Miller, owner of Edison Solar in Ohio. "Electricity is one of the few things that we'll have left and we need to be prepared and to do that we need to deploy as much as possible and learn about it and be ready for that transition when it comes.
Miller also shared that solar is designed to save the customer money and is far cheaper than paying an electric bill every month.
Other topics ranged from how geothermal works in the home to LED lighting for the yard. The common denominator amongst all visitors and vendors was cost efficiency and sustainability for the planet.
The event lasted for two days and the GLREA hopes to host again in the next few years. The event even made it to the front page of the business section of the Detroit Free Press. GLREA board members considered this event a success.
"I don't think there's any reason we won't be going ahead," said Del Bachert, GLREA executive director. " I'm pretty sure we will be back."
The board was disappointed to see that Saturday's turn out was a bit lighter than Friday's. As a result, Bachert said that the board hopes to improve their marketing strategies as well as improve their program guide so it is more clear to visitors for the future.
Despite the lack of visitors on Saturday vendors reported having good sales during the fair. I think it is fair to say that they convinced Ingham county residents of the importance of sustainability.