'Go Green Expo' plants environmental seed at HCC
On Tuesday at the Western Maryland Go Green Expo held at Hagerstown Community College, HCC's Industrial Technology and Energy Instructor Tony Valente, left, talks with student Allen Clavert, right, about programs that are offered at the college dealing with alternative energy. Calvert just received a scholarship to attend the college. (By Yvette May, Staff Photographer)
"On a rainy day, that's great," Bartlett said.
The expo, held for the first time in Hagerstown, included more than 50 businesses, government agencies and nonprofit groups peddling information on green topics such as recycling and alternative energy.
Bartlett, R-Md., said a similar expo the past two years in Frederick, Md., has attracted about 1,000 people. This year, it will be June 13 at the Frederick Fairgrounds.
With gas prices hitting $4 a gallon and other energy costs rising, alternative energy is again getting more attention, Bartlett said.
Tuesday's expo had panel discussions on how homeowners and businesses can save money, and the employment forecast for jobs that are green, meaning they relate to protecting or restoring the environment.
Those with booths at the expo included All-Shred, which destroys documents, and Jernigan's Environmental Services, which advertised a geothermal ground loop, heat-exchange system.
At one table, Leslie Hart, an agricultural marketing specialist for the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, said, "The easiest way to go green is to buy local."
Hart said local buying takes planning — farmstands can't compete with the extended hours of grocery stories — but it's healthy and cuts down on pollution connected to hauling food.
At the PNC Bank booth, Susan L. Himes, an assistant vice president for business banking, said the bank had one of the first branches to be LEED certified, a standard for environmental building.
A Longmeadow branch also is considered green, and improvements to Dual Highway and Virginia Avenue branches will follow the same path, she said.
Representing Advanced BioFuels USA in Frederick, Maritza Gochenour talked about crops and seaweeds that can be used as fuel sources.
Louis L. Lee Jr., a sales and leasing consultant with Younger Motorcars in Hagerstown, stood with Toyota hybrid vehicles, including a Prius.
"The biggest thing is low emissions," he said, noting that fully electric Prius models should be on the market within a few years.
Bartlett said he was the only member of Congress to own a Prius when he bought one in 2000. He bought his second about five years ago. It now has more than 100,000 miles on it, and Bartlett said he's thinking about getting another one.
"If you are circumspect, you get an honest 50 (miles per gallon)," Bartlett said about his car.