Green Living Festival Saturday at Lampe Park |

Green Living Festival Saturday at Lampe Park

Scott Neuffer
Tribune News Service
Shannon Litz / Tribune News Service Paul Guttman talks about the battery-powered X-Treme E-Bike at the Green Living and Renewable Energy Roundup at Lampe Park in Gardnerville on Sept. 12, 2009.

GARDNERVILLE – The rotten economy has both hurt and helped the go-green movement, said Green Living Festival organizer Vicki Bates, who nonetheless is anticipating a large turnout for the fourth annual event this Saturday at Lampe Park.

“People are definitely having a rough time,” Bates said. “In some ways, it’s distracting, but at the same time, people are learning how to think and do stuff in new ways.”

Last year, approximately 700 people attended the showcase of all things green, and this year, with a banner over Highway 395, organizers are expecting an even larger turnout.

“There is a lot of fun stuff going on, but also a lot of informative stuff in several areas that can help anyone save in energy costs, live more sustainable, learn gardening, whatever,” said Bates, one of seven volunteers of the nonprofit Sustainable Living and Renewable Energy Roundup, which organizes the event. “We cover a variety of interests, but it’s a lot of fun, too. People see the value in the information they get.”

Roughly three dozen booths, along with workshops, food and family activities, will be available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Bates is particularly excited about guest speaker Matthew Stein, author of “When Technology Fails,” a comprehensive manual on sustainable living skills.

She said Stein, a Truckee resident, is the owner of Stein Design and Construction and has built hurricane-resistant, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes, consumer water filtration devices, photovoltaic roofing panels, medical bacteriological filters, emergency chemical drench systems, computer disk drives, automated machinery, and portable fiberglass buildings.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stein has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, Bates said. At noon, he will speak on “peak oil prep and making the shift to sustainability.” At 2 p.m., he will give a presentation on remodeling and retrofitting homes to create fire- and earthquake-resistant buildings.

“Peak oil prep is about when we run out of that easy-to-get oil, when what’s left is hard to get and more damaging, more expensive, with a lot more competition,” Bates said. “People have been saying it since the 70s: we need to get off oil and start making the shift to sustainability.”

The event’s Discovery Center will house activities for all ages: making smoothies on a bike blender, baking in solar ovens, butter making, activities with master gardeners and the Great Basin Outdoor School, a beekeeping presentation, and scheduled performances by Dr. Solar’s Traveling Medicine Show and Suitcase Scalawags.

Back to the economy, Bates said people aren’t thinking about expensive investments right now, such as solar panels, but rather looking at hunkering down and getting through the best way they can.

“The good thing about our event is that it’s free, it doesn’t cost anyone anything, but there are activities for the whole family,” she said.

Taking small steps toward green living results in greater self-sufficiency, even in the worse of times, Bates said.

“For me, it just feels good,” she said. “I know I’m doing the right thing by the planet and future generations. I don’t like being dependent on things that could pulled out from under me some day.”

For more information or to view a full schedule of the event, visit

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