Lisa Brown, one of the coordinators of this inaugural event, emphasized that while the expo coincides with the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shevat — the Jewish "New Year of the Trees," which has evolved into a type of Jewish Earth Day — it's open to the entire community "regardless of religious affiliation."
Brown said that the emphasis is on providing hands-on knowledge about the many ways to improve the environment. Participants will learn how to compost; explore alternative energy sources, like solar and geothermal power; and get free architectural advice about building environmentally friendly homes. They can also visit the tables of more than 35 exhibitors showcasing sustainable goods and services that are produced and/or available locally.
Exhibitors will include local farms and a vegan bakery; "green building" professionals and retailers; installers of renewable energy; nonprofit advocacy groups; the federal and state departments of environmental protection; makers of organic and bamboo clothing, as well as natural household products; a native plant nursery; and more.
The event will feature prominent speakers on such environmental themes as the future of the electric car; the top 10 things you can do to go green; the meaning of peak oil; and making solar power affordable.
There will also be interactive learning opportunities for children and adults; demonstrations; door prizes; explanations on federal and state energy tax credits; and the chance to bring site plans, blueprints or pose questions to a LEED-certified architect who is donating her time and expertise to the cause.
Performers from Quiet Riot will examine environmental issues using mime, storytelling, music and sound effects.
Rabbi Craig Axler described the expo as a new and "wonderful opportunity for many organizations and businesses to come together in working towards the common good of being more environmentally responsible."
He added that "we are particularly proud to be partnering with Whole Foods and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in this event."
For more information about the event, call 215-628-9970 or go online to: www.bethor.org and search for "Eco-Expo."