November 4, 2017 – Live from the 10th Anniversary Green Living Expo at McHenry County College!

This is a big day for The Mike Nowak Show for a couple of reasons. First, it is our final Saturday show, at least for the foreseeable future. As of next week, Peggy and I will be on Sundays only from 9 to 11am. Basically, the new schedule is more or less the same schedule that I’ve observed on AM radio since about 2010. There may be more changes (all good–we promise!) on the way, so stay tuned, as they say.

The second reason is that we are broadcasting live from the 10th Anniversary Green Living Expo at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois. As you can see from the above photo, Peggy and I were there last year, though we didn’t broadcast from the event.

The 2017 version of the Green Living Expo is one-stop shopping for folks who want to learn more about topics like local food options, eco-friendly businesses and energy savings and how to incorporate sustainable principles into their lives. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Tour two fully-decorated, locally-owned tiny homes
  • The award-winning travelling exhibit “Sustainable Choices”
  • Artists displaying and selling their sustainable creations in the Artists Walk at the Expo
  • Fall décor/pumpkin composting
  • The Living Lightly Tent, where novice to expert tinkerers come to share their favorite energy-saving inventions or finds.

I happen to have two Halloween jack-o-lanterns that are making the trip with me just so they can be part of the composting operation. But before they meet their untimely demise, I have a feeling that they’re going to decorate the broadcasting table. So let me tell you about our terrific guests for Saturday morning.

We start with ringmaster (ringmistress?) Kim Hankins, director of the Sustainability Center at McHenry County College, who will set the stage for us.

She is followed by the Eco Illini Supermileage Team. Here’s how they describe themselves:

We are a student organization in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and our focus is building a prototype gasoline vehicle which can achieve a high fuel efficiency. Each year, we compete in the Shell Eco Marathon competition against teams all across North and South America. At competition two years ago, the team achieved a school record of 1,137 miles per gallon of gasoline.

Yikes. Where do I get me one of those vehicles? Anyway, The Shell Eco Marathon started in 1939 and came to the Americas 2007. By the way, the current record at the American competition is 3,587mpg. Eco Illini started participating in 2010, and has placed in the top 10 for the past three years. Shie-Jene Shan, who was team president from 2014-2017, and current president Joe Grigus join us this morning.

Next up are Lori McConnville and Freddy Lagunes from Marvin’s Toy Store in Crystal Lake, a local business that specializes in toys that are safe, unique, developmentally sound, environmentally friendly and tons of FUN! Lori is co-owner and she wrote to us that she is planning to bring toys from companies that take environmental stewardship seriously–companies like Hape, Plan Toys, Begin Again, Green Toys and Peaceable Kingdom. In her words:

They not only provide a product that starts with natural materials, but they produce them with an ethic of care for the earth and for people. 
These companies are making a profit and being responsible with our natural resources.  The people running these companies want to make a difference with their businesses.  Many of the companies I do business with are practicing this value as well, and I want to encourage them with a successful business.  Each of these companies rise to the top in environmental sustainability.  
It is my intention to be a part of that and say with my little business that I respect the planet, the people who live on it, and that we can care and make a profit without sacrificing the elements of life:  water, land, air.  
Finally, we welcome Paul LaBarbera, who is the founder and CEO of Magitek Energy Solutions, Inc., a Johnsburg-based renewable energy company with more than 20 years of experience as a residential and commercial electrical contractor. They’ve specialized in wind and solar installations since 2008. They’re also the primary sponsor for the Green Living Expo, so we’re especially pleased to have Paul spread the gospel of solar power.
The 10th Anniversary Green Living Expo is at McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14 in Crystal Lake, Illinois 60012-2761. Our final Saturday show is from 10 to 11am this morning, but the Expo runs from 10am to 3pm.