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Live simply, so others may simply live

Energy Conference 2014

by Kory Stone/Business Manager

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Keynote speaker Ed Begley Jr speaking at the Energy Conference at Lake Land College in spring 2014. Photo by Kaitlyn Conrad

Lake Land Colleges Renewable Energy Conference was a success! Record numbers were in attendance with 5 sponsors, 53 vendors, 63 break away sessions and 801 registrations total. Compare this to just last year which had 3 sponsors, 36 vendors, 59 sessions and 649 registrations total and one can see the growing support renewable energy is getting locally and abroad. It 2006, Lake Land decided to start making greater efforts to become more eco-conscious. Since then they have went above and beyond just becoming conscious of their impact. They have become one of the leading schools in America in utilizing and promoting renewable energy.

The atmosphere was alive and electric with ingenuity and creativity, fueled by curiosity and a passion to learn how to not only lower an impact on the world, but also how that can impact one’s wallet. The conference was hosted in the West Building and from 8-4 there were classes, exhibits and presentations ranging from hydrogen fuel cells to rain gardens and hydroponic growing systems to Amish sun lighting. Leading the conference this year in the key note address was none other than famous supporting actor Ed Begley Jr. His message of “Live simply so that others may simply live” was received by a packed house and listening ears as he told his stories from his early days, such as his first electric car and to how he is combining his two passions in creating environmental conscious programing.

“It’s been a lifelong journey of taking small steps to reduce my carbon footprint. Along this journey, I’ve realized that the way I live not only reduces my energy consumption and lasting impact on the earth, but it’s helped my pocketbook. Living in a sustainable manner has shown me unlimited returns.”

It is a simple enough mission to live by as a society – save money by being more reasonably conscious and responsible so that other generations may also live well. What would be the downfall of creating better world, anyway -one where Americans have energy independence, green jobs, sustainability, livable cities and clean air and water.

It is easier than one may think. As Begley states “Pick the low hanging fruit first.” What he means is start small – change out light bulbs to get LED or CFLs, unplug appliances or plug them into power strips that can be shut off to eliminate “ghost voltage.” Get creative and reuse things or buy from those who are when possible. Check out yard sales, thrift stores, pawn shops or online resale shops before buying new. These not only save money but also support many local and small time business owners as well.

There are all kinds of things one can do to lower their footprint and save money. Congratulations to those who are, because they know – like John Muir said – “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

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