LiveGreenFest celebrates all things sustainable this Saturday

Eight years ago, CPS Energy was looking for a way to promote its investment in clean wind energy, and LiveGreenFest was born.

At first, the event was very localized, held in the parking lot of CPS Energy’s Northside Customer Service Center.

“It was a way to get to know the neighborhood as much as to talk about Windtricity, really for the first time ever,” said Kenny Gunn, product manager for corporate communications, who has been involved with LiveGreenFest from the beginning.

This year, LiveGreenFest, which runs tomorrow, Sat. Oct 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., features more than 80 businesses and organizations offering the latest in sustainable living, and is expected to draw as many as 7,000 people from around San Antonio.

“People are really interested in the subject of sustainability, in reducing their impact and living green; we want to support and encourage that,” Gunn said.

From the first event in CPS Energy’s parking lot, to Eisenhower Park and finally to its current home in Olmos Basin Park, the event has continued to grow.

It grew so much, in fact, that CPS Energy sought a partner, and today, LiveGreenFest is run by the San Antonio Parks Foundation. CPS Energy is still the main sponsor, and just like the crowds, its renewable energy, conservation and efficiency offerings have expanded greatly since the days of Windtricity.

Today, customers can learn about CPS Energy’s Energy Savers, which offers low-cost home energy evaluations, rebates for air-conditioning systems, insulation and gas appliances and low-interest financing for energy efficient improvements.

Attendees can also see if they qualify for Home Manager, a wireless energy management system that allows you to keep tabs on your energy use, and power your air conditioner and water heater up and down remotely, allowing you to save energy – and your hard earned cash.

CPS Energy will give away 1,000 one-gallon native trees, including Lacy Oak, Arizona Cypress, Crepe Myrtle and Mexican Buckeye. Come early if you want a tree, they always go fast!

While there, you can learn about how those native trees fit into a more natural yardscape from groups like the Bexar County Master Gardeners, San Antonio Botanical Society, Alamo Area Master Naturalists, and the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club.

Many of those groups have taken part in LiveGreenFest for years.

“The Parks Foundation and CPS Energy put on a really good event,” said Peggy Day, group chair of the local Sierra Club chapter. “There’s food and entertainment, it’s in a beautiful setting and great mix of people come out.”

Day said she’s seen interest increase over the years among those interested in a more sustainable lifestyle, using native landscaping as an example.

“It’s more beautiful, changing with the seasons and attracting wildlife, but it also saves you – saves you time working in the yard, saving water and saving money.”

Nissan, Chevrolet, and Mitsubishi will have electric vehicles on display, and several solar installers will be on hand to talk about residential rooftop systems – CPS Energy has a rebate for rooftop solar.

Solar San Antonio will also be on hand, to extol the virtues of the sun – and explain how to secure low-interest financing.

The family- and dog-friendly event includes food and drink, a bounce house, all-day magic shows by John Bryant and live music by Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz.

Whether it’s info on sustainable building, energy efficient upgrades, native gardening or organic products, there’s something for everyone at LiveGreenFest.

Tracy Idell Hamilton

Tracy Idell Hamilton was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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