When it comes to being environmentally friendly, Barry McCulley, 56, and his wife Kathy, 46, practice what they preach.
The Scottsdale couple live in a 33-foot solar-powered Air Stream trailer. They commute by bicycle to their jobs as registered nurses, even though they own cars. And both are avid recyclers.
But they say they are always searching for more they can do.
“How can you not want to know what’s out there?” said Barry McCulley, who attended the Green Building Expo with Kathy on Friday, looking for information on solar lighting and construction materials.
The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts was abuzz with people like the McCulleys who had the environment on their minds.
The free event, which continues until 4:30 p.m. today , provides consumers with information about how to “green” their homes and offices, arming them with the latest facts on energy and resource efficiency and the products that support it.
Today’s seminars include going solar and green interior design and remodeling.
Proponents say the move toward environmental sustainability has been picking up steam.
Tom Peck, a construction compliance manager with Cachet Homes in Scottsdale, said he’s seen a shift in thinking among his clients during the past five years.
“Buyers are well aware of how homes impact the environment and are well educated,” said Peck, adding that being green has become one of his company’s top priorities.
Peck, who was at the Expo on the lookout for new environmentally friendly products, said he’s been getting more requests from buyers about how to make their homes more energy efficient.
The question of energy efficiency came up often at the booth of Environment Arizona, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization. Erik Magnuson, a program associate with the group, said going solar is a solution his group is strongly advocating.
Magnuson said renewable energy such as solar power not only cuts down the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but it significantly will save on utility bills and put some extra cash in homeowners’ pockets via federal and state tax credits.
Marla Govern, 54, of Phoenix, came to the event with boyfriend Barry McRary, 52, looking for information on solar panels and green construction materials for the home they plan to build.
Govern said people are beginning to realize the problem of global warming exists and needs to be addressed.
“We are all contributing factors,” she said. “We need to solve the problem.”
Ways to become more environmentally friendly:
• Recycle plastic, including bags and water bottles
• Use the car less. Car pool, walk or bicycle whenever possible
• Explore alternative heating and energy sources
• Change light bulbs to compact fluorescents. They use one-third less energy and last longer