When Go Green Wilmette requested a booth at Wilmette’s Summerfest on July 13 and 14 they didn’t expect the excitement that took place. The booth’s theme was Renewable Electricity with “green” electricity attractions that included a windmill, solar panels and a bike that produced electricity when
Electricity was also produced by two thunderstorms that made manning the booth especially challenging, but Go Green Wilmette volunteers weren’t about to harness that. Instead, they hunkered down and waited it out. “The rain’s no problem as long as we’re here for something good,” said Greg Vasilion, who was caught in the storms on both afternoons.
This year’s event drew more visitors than any previous year and at least 100
visitors stopped by the Go Green Wilmette Booth to receive more information
about 100 percent Renewable Electricity through the Village of Wilmette’s Individual Choice Green Power Program.
“Signing up for the [Green Power] Program is really easy," said Margrit Kuehn, the Go Green Wilmette board member who organized the booth.
“It took me about 30 seconds and I will save a lot of money, possibly over $400 for the year," Kuehn said, “There is no way that I could get this kind of a bargain elsewhere and I want to let the community know about it, because it’s available to all residents and many of the small businesses. It is like getting a reward for doing a good thing for the future health of my children. Any parent would do that without a reward!”
When asked what she thinks is most important for people considering the renewable program, Kuehn says the village has set up a very consumer-friendly program with MC2 energy services.
"People should not opt out of the Village Program; they should embrace it and take the small extra step to support Renewable Energy," she said.
"[Residents] won’t find Renewable Electricity for a better price any where else,” Kuehn said.
The electricity bike was especially interesting, because it was the handy work
of Grant Troester, a 2012 New Trier graduate. Grant modified his own bicycle
with parts that he purchased for the purpose and instructions that he found
online. The bike creates electricity when it is pedaled. It can power a bicycle
light bulb or charge a cell phone or other small items. Grant also uses it to
charge a battery that he then uses to run his laptop and desk lamp in his home.
Visitors to the GGW booth could plug their cell phones into the charger powered by the bike.
The brave volunteers in attendance were: Beth Drucker, Debra Favre, Marcia
Heeter, Nan Hoff, Margrit Kuehn, Meg Lanz, Margaret Martin-Heaton, Heidi
Troester, New Trier grad Grant Troester and New Trier student and GGW intern, Greg Vasilion.