A Bevy of Green Happenings!

There are a lot of green happenings in Southern Nevada this weekend! Whether you are in Las Vegas or Henderson, or anywhere in Southern Nevada (or maybe even California), here are some events worth attending:

oct-fest-2013First Friday OctoberFest

USGBC Nevada has a very cool workspace. As a part of Idea Works, they are inviting Friends of the Chapter, current members and those thinking about membership to a unique open house event in conjunction with First Friday.

This month’s theme: Oktoberfest!

Stop by and say hi on your way to First Friday and find out about how green building helps your home, business and community.

Sip on complementary suds. Lite bites available for purchase from featured food truck vendor: Lola D’s! Visit usgbcnv.org to RSVP.

Solar NV’s 2013 Tour

2013 Solar Home TourSolar NV is the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society. The organization formed in 2004 with the intent of promoting clean, renewable energy in our state and they have been doing so ever since. In the interest of full disclosure, I was a founding member and have served on the board. The group holds monthly educational meetings that are free and open to the public, featuring interesting presentations on a wide range of topics relating to renewable energy, efficiency, incentives and so forth. They also produce several notable events each year, including an annual Nevada Renewable Energy Leadership Award banquet and a $2,500 scholarship to a deserving UNLV undergraduate or graduate student who is pursuing a future in the solar / renewable energy industry.

Signature Event

Many would agree that Solar NV’s signature event is the Southern Nevada Solar Home Tour, now in its ninth year. It is part of a nationwide event called the National Solar Tour, coordinated by the American Solar Energy Society, which is the catalyst for tours that take place simultaneously in hundreds of towns and cities across the nation, normally on the first weekend in October. This year’s tour date is this Saturday, October 5th.

The Southern Nevada Solar Home Tour

Solar NV has tried several formats for the tour over the years but one common theme is that it is self-guided. That means that between the tour hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, participants can choose which stops on the tour they want to visit and in any order they wish. Here is how it works.

Registration at SolarNV.org is the first step. It is also first-come, first-served since participation is limited and past tours have often sold out. A modest fee of $20 per vehicle means that several friends can carpool for the day while saving fuel, having fun and at minimal cost per person. But wait, there’s more! If you drive a fuel-efficient hybrid or electric vehicle, registration is only $15.

No matter what you drive, if you are already a Solar NV member, registration is just $10. If you are kicking yourself for not joining sooner, here’s the best part: You can register for the tour at the regular or hybrid price and become an annual member of Solar NV for just one more dollar.

A tour guidebook will be provided electronically and registered attendees will be provided with the addresses prior to the date of the tour. The guidebook will be available for everyone but the addresses are only sent to registered attendees.

What’s in Store?

This year’s tour will feature approximately ten homes in various locations across the valley, including the east, northwest, Summerlin, downtown, and as far south as Anthem. I’ve been told the tour will also include a solar-friendly home builder too.

The focus is obviously on renewable energy. I’m not sure about specifics this year but tour-goers can expect to see a variety of systems and technologies. Past tours have featured solar electric and water heating systems, daylighting, green buildings, examples of energy efficiency, passive solar design, alternative materials including adobe and straw bale construction, electric and plug-in vehicles, water and landscape efficiency, solar cooking, and so on.

One of the best things about the tour are the wonderful people involved. The homeowners deserve special thanks as do the numerous volunteers who help them. Some locations will include experts who can provide detailed explanations about various systems. The overall experience is always fun, interesting, upbeat and educational.

This is the time to embrace solar energy. Prices are at all-time lows, incentives are strong and the benefits have never been greater. Become part of the clean energy revolution. There is nothing like a local solar home tour to demonstrate the benefits of green living!

Southern Nevada Trails Day Event – Connecting Our Community

trails-daySaturday, October 5th – Henderson’s Cornerstone Park – 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m.

Please come join us for the best Trails Day event ever held in Southern Nevada. Get all the details here.

This is a great opportunity for the public to pick up information and maps on the incredible trails we have here in Southern Nevada. The regional trail system, now branded as Neon to Nature, has 467off-street trails and over 1,150 miles, as well an additional 475 miles of on-street bike lanes and routes. There will be over 50 booths at the event with information not only on trails but on other things to do in our diverse outdoor environments here in Southern Nevada.

The event is jammed packed with activities that should appeal to all age groups.

  • Exciting Door Prizes
  • Family Fun Walk around Cornerstone Lake – Starts at 10:00a.m.
  • Mountain Bike Rides – offered free during the entire 4-hour event
  • Bounce Houses for kids
  • Climbing Wall
  • Bike Maintenance Demonstrations
  • Small and Large Horse Exhibit
  • Pet CPR Demonstrations
  • Main Stage Presentations on new exciting trails and recreation destinations in Southern Nevada, such as Wetlands Park, Craig Ranch Regional Park; Vegas Valley Rim Trail, Black Canyon Water Trail, Sloan Canyon, Tule Springs Fossil Beds, and Whitney Ranch Recreation Area.
  • Bike Swap
  • Trails Day Photo Contest Winner Announcement & Award Presentations

Solarbration 2013

solarbrationSolarbration blends art, technology, and outreach to promote renewable energy, inspire conservation, and support sustainable communities. The festival will showcase the power and possibilities of Solar Energy. The purpose of the Solar Festival is to produce Southern Nevada’s premier renewable energy and arts festival. This one-day, family friendly festival combines world-class entertainment with incredible educational opportunities in renewable energy, sustainability and community engagement. Follow Solarbration on Facebook to get updated information about the festival.

Solar Decathlon

desert-solUNLV is one of the 20 teams chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to compete in the prestigious international competition Solar Decathlon 2013. The competition challenges the collegiate teams to plan, design, build, promote and operate a solar-powered net-zero house. UNLV’s entry DesertSol is designed as an ultra-efficient house that celebrates Mojave sustainable living using solar as the only fuel source.

Team Las Vegas is composed of UNLV undergraduate and graduate students with different background and expertise. From architecture to engineering to economics, and other majors in between, the members of Team Las Vegas dedicate their time, talent and effort to a real world project that aims to educate the public about renewable energy, sustainability and the environment.

The competition will be held in Irvine, California on October 3-13, 2013. More details can be found on the Team Las Vegas Solar Decathlon 2013 Facebook page and on the DesertSol website.