West Coast Green — when they billed it as the biggest green building conference on this coast, they weren't lying. It was huge and the lineup of speakers was excellent. There were roughly 4 tracks a day with at least 40 different sessions going on at the same time so there was no way to come even close to seeing everything. It was amazing!Treehugger was on hand for Saturday's event which began with a rousing opening plenary. There were speeches by Ed Begley Jr, Van Jones, Esq. and Bill Wiehl. Though, by far, everyone was buzzing about Van and his inspirational future-of-green-taking-over speech. He had great points, namely, educate kids today in green building principles of solar installation, and straw-bale house construction, for example, and you will have a skilled trades workforce for generations. The goal is to someday not have a "green" building section in stores but for green to become the norm. There will be building, which is green, and then everything else.
Treehugger staff participated in a morning panel on inspiring kids today to care for the planet and think about the future. The session was great and brought up ideas about incorporating green best practices into low income communities. There was even a teacher with inspiring stories of students taking on environmental challenges and coming up with really creative solutions.
After the morning session, Treehugger staff went down to the real action in the exhibit hall. At times it was a bit like being on the stock exchange floor with people running every direction. It was amazing how many attendees in the exhibit hall not only knew about Treehugger but were also big fans. A big hello to all of you who stopped by\ - both long term readers and new friends. The green building products on the show floor were so polished that it was impossible to tell that many of them were made with reclaimed and recycled materials. One in particular is Trinity Glass, whose interview follows here.
While overwhelming, it was also really inspiring attending West Coast Green. It makes you wonder if we won't be able to get ourselves out of this environmental mess after all. Inspiring students for the future, and making houses and new building materials out of older materials, what will they think of next?