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Business owners, residents get information on going green

June 07, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Jennifer Guenther of Enkore Kids in Boonsboro speaks to Richard Steward, account executive at Nassau Broadcasting, during the Go Green Energy Conference held Monday in Frederick, Md.
Photo by Heather Keels,

FREDERICK, Md. -- A free-admission Go Green Energy Conference held at the Frederick Fairgrounds Monday offered participants information about environmentally friendly homes, cars and even diapers.

"A disposable diaper is a minimum of 500 years in a landfill," said Jennifer Guenther, co-owner of Enkore Kids in Boonsboro, which sells cloth diapering systems, as well as new and used toys.

Cloth diapers can be reused throughout a child's diapering years and can even last through several children, Guenther said. They can also save as much as $3,000 compared to the cost of three to four years' worth of disposable diapers, she said.

Enkore Kids was one of more than 125 indoor and outdoor exhibitors at the conference, 18 of which were from Washington County.

Other Washington County exhibitors included Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights of Rohrersville, which sells daylighting systems; Glory Energy Solutions LLC of Boonsboro, which provides energy audits and sells solar generators; and the Barr Construction Institute, which offers green building courses and education in LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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The conference also included workshops offering tips for homeowners and businesses.

In one session, Allegheny Power Account Manager John Emerick spoke about rebates, tax credits and other incentives available for energy-efficiency upgrades, which are detailed on the company's website, http://www.alleghenypower.com, under "Watt Watchers."

Allegheny Power also offers home-performance programs, including an in-home walk-through consultation that Maryland homeowners can get for free and a comprehensive home-energy audit for $140, Emerick said.

Clear Spring resident David Clark said after listening to the presentation, he and his wife, Colleen, were interested in getting the comprehensive audit done on their 1974 home, and they learned that they could recycle a window-unit air conditioner they recently replaced.

Clark said he was also interested in the potential for solar or wind power systems at his home, and was eager to see the technology displayed at the conference.

The conference, which is in its second year, was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

During the opening ceremony for the conference, Bartlett described an exchange he had with a conservative radio talk-show host, who expressed surprise that a Republican was sponsoring a green energy conference.

"He said, 'That's what radical, left-wing wackos do,'" Bartlett said.

Bartlett, who has been an advocate for green energy since the late 1970s and early '80s when he built passive solar homes, said going green was very much in line with his politics.

"You know, I started thinking about, you know, 'conservative' and 'conservation,'" Bartlett said. "Aren't they the same root word? And I'm wondering, how did we get divorced in the past?"

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., also spoke at the conference. Cardin described alternative energy as one solution to three problems: unemployment, environmental problems and the need for energy independence for national security reasons.

"It makes no sense whatsoever, from a national security point of view, to be dependent on energy from countries who disagree with our way of life when we know how -- we developed the technology -- to make us energy- independent," Cardin said.

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