Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair 

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As a rule, say Robert and Sonia Vogl of the Illinois Renewable Energy Association, people who buy fuel-efficient cars use them more and drive further than ever before. But, they point out, those days may soon be over. "If current energy, climate, and economic trends continue," they wrote recently in the Rock River Times, "travel will move far down the list of what most people can afford. From necessity, our lives will become locally focused." But they still hope Chicagoans will carpool 80 miles west of the Loop to IREA's fifth annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair. There are 60 workshops and more than 100 exhibitors; among the speakers are German physicist Bernt Steinmuller speaking on the "passive house" (a dwelling that's comfortable with no furnace and no air conditioner) and Paul Fenn of Local Power (, who's pushing local governments to get into renewables in a big way. The Vogls say the fair has grown about 10 percent a year since the first one was held in 2002. If it's about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and making sustainable use of energy wherever it comes from, it's probably here. Sat 8/12, 9 AM-6 PM, and Sun 8/13, 9 AM-5 PM, Ogle County Fairgrounds, 1440 Limekiln (off Illinois 64 between Oregon and Mount Morris), Illinois, $7 ($10 weekend pass), $3 for kids 12-16 ($5 pass), kids under 12 free, 815-732-7332 or

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