The City of Irving hosted the first Home Energy Fair in the lobby of the former Central Library on Saturday, Feb 9. The fair featured environmentally friendly products and services.
“The goal of the Home Energy Fair is to help the residents and businesses in Irving,” Dan Vedral, director of traffic and transportation for the City of Irving, said. “We have 25 different vendors here, so the response has been excellent with the developers. TXU brought free trees for attendees. We also have electric cars out front.
“This is a way to bring vendors in that provide products that can make your home more energy efficient. The City of Irving cares about the environment. We are certainly in a nonattainment area right now. This is our way of providing homeowners with an opportunity to meet with vendors about more efficient attics, solar power, more efficient appliances and things like that for your house.
“As long as our houses are more efficient, we can cut down on our CO2 footprint as a city. We also have Water Utilities here, which gives homeowners ideas on how to conserve water, and the city council appointed a Green Advisory Board to look into environmental issues for the city. The council is looking into environmental initiatives for the community.”
Stephen Coffman, who works in business development at EarthX, spoke in support of the city’s environmental conservation efforts.
“EarthX is the largest environmental and sustainability Earth Day event of its kind,” Coffman said. “The City of Irving has been a great partner for EarthX. They always come out and help support our event, so we wanted to return the favor and help them put on an important energy fair to bring the community together to learn about renewable energy options, conservation, environmentalism and what we can do in our daily lives to make a difference. Our main reason for sponsoring this event is to create more community.
“We want to create earth advocates in our neighborhood. It’s important to get the community engaged and aware of what they can do. Too often, you go and watch an environmental film and you feel good about it at the moment. But what are you actually doing about it? We need solutions, so continuing to stay involved and to share ways to be better stewards of the Earth is what it takes.”
Sara Beckelman, a member of Irving’s Green Advisory Board, volunteered during the Home Energy Fair.
“I heard they were giving out trees. I’m a Citizen Forester and I’m also on Irving’s tree board, so I wanted to help with the trees,” Beckelman said. “We have four different kinds of trees: bald cypress, cedar elm, live oak and Monterrey oak. The goal is to grow more canopy in Irving to shade the streets and houses, and help conserve energy.”
Angie Hartman, a resident of Irving, attended the fair to learn more about sustainable living.
“I’m very interested in everything that’s renewable and green. I serve on the Green Advisory Board for the City of Irving, and I have solar panels on my house,” Hartman said. “This was a really good event. There were a lot of different vendors here and a lot of great information, so I’m glad I came. I wanted to get a free tree from TXU and to check out some information about air quality.
“The main thing that drives me to solar energy is the idea that we aren’t using carbon fuel. We aren’t putting pollution in the air. It’s a hundred percent clean. There’s no waste or loss of energy. It’s free for everybody. It’s the perfect energy source, really.
“I’m excited to see so many people here and so much interest in renewable energy from both vendors and potential customers. The City of Irving does a great job in promoting green and sustainable living. They really are pretty far ahead of a lot of other cities in that regard. It’s great to see the turnout here today and to see all the different ways that people are supporting sustainable living.”