Spring Into Green 2014

It’s time to spring into green again. Several green events for Southern Nevadans are underway or coming soon. To be clear, green events have become so popular that they happen all the time in our community, it’s just that some major ones tend to occur at this time of year.

Creating a sustainable community requires the participation of everyone at every level. When businesses and government get involved and join other green leaders on the same page, things can happen very quickly. That is exactly what happened at Convene for Green.

Spring Into Green with Convene for Green

Convene for Green is a local sustainability summit that fosters collaboration on initiatives focused on turning Southern Nevada into a sustainable community. Government officials, business leaders and non-profit organizations will hear from national and local experts about sustainability topics and work on a plan to bring important green objectives to fruition over the next year.

Green Chips is the non-profit catalyst organization that organizes Convene for Green, now in its fifth year. They are dedicated to building community through collaborative partnerships for a more sustainable future.

This year, Green Chips collaborated with the U.S. Green Building Council – Nevada Chapter (USGBC-NV) to produce an expanded three-day event, the Green by Southwest Leadership Summit. Convene for Green kicked it off at the Springs Preserve, followed by two more days of speakers, workshops and networking with green building leaders from across the region.

Green by Southwest featured talks by distinguished sustainability leaders. Workshops on the Living Building Challenge informed participants about creating some of the greenest buildings imaginable. A product expo showcased green materials, products and businesses, and the USGBC-NV Spring Mixer brought everyone together for networking and fun.

Walking and biking tours highlighted some of our local green buildings including the LEED GOLD-certified Mob Museum, Molasky Center, Smith Center, Las Vegas City Hall, Zappo’s and LEED Platinum-certified Bonneville Transit Center; as well as LEED Resort Tours of the Venetian, Sands, Palazzo and City Center. The people behind these local non-profits have done a tremendous job putting it all together. Special thanks to Green Chips executive director Rick Van Diepen and U.S. Green Building Council – Nevada Chapter president Daniel Huard.

Designers, builders, and regulators as well as business owners and managers, have gained important insights and knowledge they can use to improve our communities.

What about everyone else?

Spring Into Green 2014 - GREENFest & Festival of CommunitiesFor homeowners, families and just about everyone, do not miss the GREENFest Annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 12th. This will be the fifth year for the free event and the second time in conjunction with UNLV’s Festival of Communities. What a great combination this is!

At GREENFest, you will find an array of information, fun activities, products and great food. You can learn about solar energy, electric cars, how to live lighter and healthier, and make connections with local groups to take your involvement to the next level. There will be live music, art on display, a farmer’s market and plenty of things for kids to enjoy too.

As if that’s not enough, the Festival of Communities will feature students and local community organizations highlighting the rich cultural diversity of the Las Vegas Valley. This is a must-do event so make sure you mark your calendar and take the whole family.

Those who drive clean-energy vehicles can start off by participating in the inaugural GREENFest Procession, organized by Drive Clean Energy Las Vegas, from Town Square to Thomas & Mack on the morning of GREENFest. See www.thinkenergystar.com/greenfest/procession/ for details.

Best of all, GREENFest is a solar-powered, zero-waste festival. I love it!

Events like Convene for Green, Green by Southwest, GREENFest and the Festival of Communities highlight our steady progress toward sustainability in Southern Nevada. With the challenges we face, both now and into the future, nothing could be more important. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities. Get connected, stay informed, become involved and make a difference. Working together to build a future we can live with is just about the best thing I can imagine.