Fayette County

Green Expo grows by third

The fifth annual Bluegrass Green Expo, coming up this weekend in Lexington, offers everything from electric vehicles and a portable sawmill to rain barrels and organic bug spray.

The expo is being promoted for "Kentuckians who breathe air, drink water, eat food, and purchase products and services."

This year, the expo has more than 70 exhibitors, information on shopping locally, and a "sustainability streetscape" on West Main Street that will display elements of green building techniques, rain gardens and rain barrels. There will be activities for children.

There also will be an electric ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) sedan and pickup like the ones that will begin rolling off an assembly line in Western Kentucky next year.

The event has expanded by about a third this year, taking up 40,000 square feet of exhibition space in Heritage Hall in the Lexington Center.

And the emerging green economy doesn't seem to be as deeply affected as everything else by the global financial slowdown, said Ben Perry, the expo's project coordinator.

"Some of the reasons the main economy is falling off are some of the same reasons the green economy is a little more attractive in terms of energy savings, job development and things like that," he said.

The two-day expo draws 1,200 to 1,500 people a year, Perry said. Attendance was down last year for several reasons, he said, including an admission charge, which has been dropped this year.

Those attending the expos include a lot of educators and people who work in health care and construction, said Perry.

"Other than that, it's just a smattering of doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs, everything under the sun."