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Monday, March 17, 2008

A lot more green at this year's Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show

Last year I blogged about the lack of green products and services being showcased at the 2007 Pittsburgh Home and Garden show. The vendors at this year's show, which took place at world's largest LEED certified building - downtown Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence convention center, did a complete 180 degree turn from last year's event. Energy efficient products were marketed by a host of vendors, and so were green energy service providers in the form of Geothermal heating and cooling and also solar and wind power (all pictured to the right). While the sales people at the solar energy installer quoted me an 8000 kw system consisting of 26 solar panels ( a typical residence shouldn't need more than half of that) I was happy to finally meet a solar installer that was breaking into the Pittsburgh market.

The highlight of the green Home & Garden show was an environmental exhibit that was put on by several organizations including the Bidwell Training Center, Steel City Biofuels, and GTECH Strategies, among others. The exhibit showcased green roofs, some environmental projects from the region, and also some of the projects and work being down by both GTECH and Steel City Biofuels.

Over the last few months I have gotten to know both Andrew Butcher, CEO of GTECH, and Nathanial Doyno, Executive Director of SCBF, and I think they are both rising stars of the local green economy. Below are both Nathanial (center) and Andrew taking a break from the action to talk to KDKA radio.

So what were some of the green products that we were interested in purchasing? Since we've been in the market for outdoor furniture for some time but could not bring ourselves to purchase the Chinese manufactured goods from Lowes, we were very intrigued by an Amish furniture company from New Wilmington PA that made it's outdoor furniture out of recycled plastics. While we did not pull the trigger that day, the prices were very reasonable and we intend on making a purchase soon.

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