Earth Day 2013 might be celebrated with Crestview street festival

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 01:21 PM.

Jason O’Daniels — DeFuniak Springs’ code enforcement and environmental compliance officer, who organized his city’s April event — has offered to help Crestview leaders produce a similar festival. Demonstrating green technologies showed residents in the neighboring city how the practices can save taxpayer and personal dollars, he said.

“I had so many different types of vendors last year,” O’Daniels said. “I had Alabama A&M University bring a biodiesel reactor down. It took raw waste vegetable oil, ran it through the whole process and produced diesel oil at the end and ran a generator.”

Companies demonstrated solar power applications for residences, a wind turbine that generates power in as little as a half-mile-an-hour breeze, and “a guy running his car, lawn mower and weed whacker off of propane.”

“I wanted to make sure I encompassed everything so I even had a soybean-based spray insulation company that reduces energy consumption for heating and cooling,” O’Daniels said.

Embracing green technologies is key to a successful conservation program he said.

“You can become energy (efficient) and self-reliant — municipal and personal — but it takes so many ways,” O’Daniels said. “You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. At our Earth Day event, we were showing how this is achievable.

Working with Gulf Power, DeFuniak is poised to cut its street lighting bill by 70 percent, O’Daniels said.

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