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Green Future: Next Gen 

As Criswell said in Plan 9, "We are all interested in the future because that's where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives."

All kidding aside, that future could be dark or it could be bright, depending on the plans we make. If we want it to be sustainable and green, we have to start the planning now.

That's part of the premise for Humboldt Plan It Green: Building Green Communities, an annual conference/expo/tradeshow, this year subtitled The Next Generation.

On Saturday, you'll find the Arcata Community Center's main hall filled with tables manned and womaned by local green organizations from the Heirloom Tomatoes to enviro groups while vendors show off a wide array of green products and services. You'll discover the latest next gen ways to green-up your lifestyle including solar-powered just about everything.

Outside they'll have permaculture and solar demos and a petting zoo. It's also the opening day of the North Coast Grower's Association Farmers' Market season, so you can pick up some produce or starts to grow your own. At noon the Electric Kinetic Samba Parade mixes dancers and drummers with electric and human-powered vehicles.

The side rooms inside host seminars and discussions all day: At 9 a.m. choose between a panel provocatively titled, "Imagine Humboldt" and a workshop aimed at home owners and building contractors with Plan It Green and Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) guiding you through Humboldt County's green building program.

At 10, Schatz Energy Research Center and RCEA present the preliminary findings of their Department of Energy-funded study on the feasibility and logistics of satisfying Humboldt's energy demands with renewable energy resources and thus creating a "Renewable Energy Secure Community." At the same time you can learn about incentives the state is offering in its Energy Upgrade California program.

In the 11th hour, choose between two more topics: The wisdom of Smart Meters is debated in one room while green building certification is outlined elsewhere.

The discussions continue after lunch with a participatory panel on food security continuing an ongoing growing-green conversation started at last year's conference. Down the hall invited speaker David Hopkins holds forth on his book, The Tactics of Hope: How Social Entrepreneurs Are Changing Our World, then on "Innovation and Entrepreneurs." He'll also give a keynote address on "Social Entrepreneurs" just after dinner, which by the way, is the only part of Plan It Green that costs money. A social hour (4-5) is followed by buffet dinner at 5 (just $10), and Hopkins' keynote address at 6:30. For planning purposes, they ask that you please purchase dinner tickets in advance.

The day ends with a dance presented by Ink People's MARZ Project and A&R Productions featuring DJ OnHell, DJ Fade and DJ Ban Anna from MARZ. For more on that call 223-7322.

Plan It Green's Fifth Annual Building Green Communities Conference and Expo/Tradeshow: "The Next Generation" takes place on Saturday, April 2, at the Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way with registration starting at 8 a.m. Conference admission is free.

Organizers request that within reason, please walk, ride a bike, skateboard, roller-skate, wheelbarrow, hop, skip, jump, pedal a kinetic sculpture, parachute in, or take the bus. If you must drive, carpool and fill your car. There will be offsite parking available.

For further information and a full schedule go to

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About The Author

Bob Doran

Bob Doran

Freelance photographer and writer, Arts and Entertainment editor from 1997 to 2013.

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