Houston Touts 'Green' Living

The Houston Green Expo focuses on green building, energy efficiency and renewable energy.It's all packaged and designed to get green information into the hands of consumers.Houston Mayor Bill White is championing the cause.

"I'll tell you what, it's so exciting this first annual green consumer expo has all sorts of home improvements that people can make to cut utility bills and vehicles that consume less gasoline, I even understand there's a semi-truck that is a hybrid that Wal-Mart has. So this is going to be an education for a lot of people, but more than that a chance for people to improve their houses and cut their bills."

Houston was long considered a hard sell when it comes to green living.A city rooted in and funded by the oil and gas industry isn't going to be the first place to embrace energy conservation and less dependence on fossil fuels.But White says this is the future of Houston's growth.

"The new industries of the future are going to be how do we reduce energy consumption, how do we have energy consumption with fewer emissions. And I'd like to see Houston be a leader in that and that creates jobs in our community and keeps our community more affordable. So there is a little bit of this, you know, man bites dog in the story because we're a traditional leader, and we're proud to be a leader, in the worldwide oil and gas industry. But as we keep looking to the future and how that's going to evolve I want to be a leader in clean energy."

The expo will feature energy efficient homes and cars.For people who aren't in the market for a new house or vehicle,there's plenty of information about greener paint, greener light bulbs, and greener shopping bags.

Cris Eugster is with the Mayor's Office for Sustainable Growth.He says they hope this spurs a grassroots component of conservation.

"The city is doing things on its own initiative in terms of embracing a more sustainable path, in terms of renewable power, energy efficiency. This is really calling to action our community around a greener, more sustainable lifestyle."

The Houston Green Expo is free to the public. It's open tomorrow and Sunday from 10am to 5pm at Reliant Center.

Laurie Johnson. Houston Public Radio News.

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