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Spring 2007 Forecast: A Green Planet and Green Economy

Release Date: 04/23/2007
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - April 23, 2007) What does it take to build a truly sustainable society that uses clean energy and renewable fuels, and still is profitable for American businesses? It requires tremendous ingenuity and innovation, and on April 24, EPA will show that America has what it takes! Generating energy from ocean waves and producing fuel from algae are just two examples of the innovative and commercially viable ideas that EPA’s National Sustainable Design Expo will display. The annual exhibition showcases the best new designs for sustainable products and technologies, also called "green technology.”

The National Sustainable Design Expo is open to the general public without charge on April 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 3rd and 4th Streets.

"Green designs not only help protect our planet by using renewable fuel sources and less toxics, but they also ring up big sales at the cash register." said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. "There are great environmental challenges facing the U.S. in the coming decades. Smart companies are seeing these challenges as a golden opportunity to create a brand new market - - green technologies.”

A highlight of the Expo is EPA’s third annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award, a national competition involving 41 teams of college and university students who will exhibit their novel design projects. Former P3 projects proved that green designs save energy and are profitable. Several of those projects have become new commercial ventures.

The 2005 P3 team from Oberlin College team founded the Lucid Design Group after designing a real-time (up-to-the-minute) energy monitoring system. In just two weeks, the technology reduced electricity consumption by 32 percent and water use by 20,000 gallons in two dormitories. Oberlin also implemented the project campus-wide and is now the first college in the U.S. to save energy through real-time monitoring.

Last year, Duke University students designed a house with enough audiovisuals for a theater that ran on electricity generated by solar panels. Home Depot was so impressed that it partnered with Duke to create The Home Depot “smart home” as a live-in laboratory where the company can learn how to construct green, energy efficient homes, and then market the technology through its stores.

EPA launched the P3 award in 2004 to respond to sustainability challenges in the developed and developing world. This national competition enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to sustainability challenges.

More than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies support the EPA’s P3 Award competition.

The Expo will include exhibits by government agencies and nonprofit organizations who will demonstrate successful sustainable technologies and products. The Expo is co-sponsored by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education.

Information on the Expo and the P3 Award:
EPA’s sustainability research program: