Saturday at the MREA = Energizing!

June 16th, 2007 by Peter Schmelzer

MREA Headquarters in Custer, WI

At the end of the day, we are physically tired but mentally energized after spending the day immersed in the 2007 Midwest Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair.

We left home early this morning to arrive in Custer, Wisconsin, for this annual event. Powered by biodiesel from Northfield Amcon, we pressed through light rain to arrive for the morning classes. We met my parents here, who inspired me to thinking sustainably before it became newsworthy.

Of particular professional interest to me were photovoltaics and strawbale construction, although earth-sheltered homes captured my attention more than ever before. The synergies of ideas and experience represented here is exciting.

pV Class mrea-fair-2007-022.jpg

If you have never been to the Renewable Energy Fair, I highly recommend it. The grounds of the MREA are filled with eye-catching booths and tents of vendors of sustainable products; aisles of the latest fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles; solar water heating systems; wind turbines; good food; and even a tent with fun activities for the kids.

Wind turbine Recumbent Recycling

Here the kids make organic ice cream, which of course they sampled quickly thereafter. They thought it was wonderful having desert before lunch!

Ice Cream

Organic Pizza

Speaking of food, here is a solar oven that was on display. The mirrors reflect the suns rays into a glass oven. The thermometer read 275 degrees F inside!


In addition to the cool stuff to see and learn, the MREA has made this event very welcoming. The atmosphere is one of collegial sharing, courtesy and peace: very appealing and noteworthy in this time of global instability over non-renewable energy sources.

Tomorrow we will return to the fair, for a few more seminars, conversations, and learning. I’ll report again soon!

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