University News

Green Solutions Expo at WIU's April 2 Environmental Summit

March 18, 2008

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Organizers of the Fifth Annual Environmental Summit that will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 2 at the Western Illinois University Union in Macomb have added a new feature to this years event: the Green Solutions Expo.

The Green Solutions Expo will include displays from green vendors and organizations throughout west-central Illinois. Invited participants include government agencies; alternative energy producers; companies with innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste; and eco-friendly products. The expo will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the University Union Western Room, which is part of the Grand Ballroom.

The expo and summit are open free to the public.

According to WIU alumna (MBA, 2004) Linda Lee Blaine, director of the Prairie Tech Learning Center in Monmouth (IL), the Green Solutions Expo was the idea of a small group of concerned citizens from Knox and Warren counties (IL) who were interested in educating the public on what can be done to be eco-friendly in west-central Illinois. The expo also highlights the work already being done in the area by companies and organizations trying to lower their impact on the environment and who are developing products to help others decrease their environmental impact.

Blaine serves on the committee, which also includes high school teachers and college professors; college students; a representative from a Monmouth church; the University of Illinois Extension county director; a representative from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; a Farmland Environmental coordinator; and a Western Illinois Regional Council recycling representative.

"It is our hope that the expo will grow and change over time to become a major event in the west-central Illinois region," Blaine added.

Western's summit, "Envisioning Sustainable Communities," is held in conjunction with the national celebration of Earth Day in April. Western Illinois' Environmental Summit is designed to promote environmentally sustainable values, lifestyle and educational activities for the campus community and the greater surrounding region through the exchange of information. It is also an educational outreach of Western's 2007-2008 University theme, "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility: Environmental Sustainability."

Programming will include three keynote speakers: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and president of Save our Land, Save our Towns, Inc., Thomas Hylton, sponsored by the University Theme Committee; registered professional engineer specializing in geothermal systems who was the 2006 Association of Energy Engineers Region III Energy Engineer of the Year, Steven Hamstra, sponsored by Western Illinois University's Physical Plant; and sustainability coordinator at Illinois State University, Enid Cardinal, sponsored by Western's Horn Field Campus.

The summit also will include presentations by Western Illinois faculty and students and members of the regional community; and "Envisioning a Sustainable WIU Community," an interactive exercise to educate and obtain input on a vision for sustainability, with exhibits of current University practices and best practices elsewhere.

Hylton will also present his keynote address, "Save our Land, Save our Towns," at noon, Thursday, April 3 in Room 102 at the WIU-Quad Cities campus.

Western's Environmental Summit is sponsored by the University Sustainability Committee, the University Theme Committee, Horn Field Campus, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Physical Plant, Centennial Honors College, Purchasing Office, Program for the Study of Ethics, College of Education and Human Services, Sodexo Campus Services and the departments of recreation, park and tourism administration and English and journalism.

For more information, contact Mindy Harpman of the University Sustainability Committee at 309/833-5798 or e-mail

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing