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New energy for sustainable living

HUDSON — As a support mechanism for sustainable living, Basilica Hudson hosted the initial Our New Energy Fair on Saturday.

Vitality-conscious organizations filled the arts center. Open-minded representatives presented curious attendees with information about affordable ways they could help the environment.

“I’m looking to buy a home soon and I would like to consider the best options,” said Andrew Aulde, of Hudson. “I’m here for some networking.”

The fair showcased a community stage for public speaking. Aulde said he sat in for a talk called “Pretty Darn Good.”

“I learned some facts about green building, solar and net-zero energy,” Aulde said. “You don’t have to go extreme with everything at once. For example, I always thought that the insulation of your house should be able to breath, but I found out that it should be tight. The tighter the insulation, the less outside air that gets in, which lowers your energy bill.”

LabX, a program with the National Academy of Sciences, had a large map of New York state and multicolored pins. People who interacted with the map would place two pins on the location they are from, one color representing what their top energy priority is, and the other indicating what they’re willing to sacrifice for new energy.

The popular colors on the map were yellow and black, which meant most people at Basilica on Saturday had a top power priority of environmental health and sustainability or a willingness to forgo cost. The graph was meant to show how the public can connect, said Geoff Hunt, of LabX.

Georgia Asher, of Shady, pushed in a yellow and purple pin. Her concern is environmental health and sustainability and she’s willing to give up energy independence.

“Climate change is destroying the marine ecosystem and creating difficulties for wildlife,” Asher said. “We’re looking to change our energy supplier, but we can’t do rooftop solar panels, so we’ll have to do community solar or hydro power.”

Fossil fuels are creating a huge climate problem, Asher said, so she’s trying to move away from them. She wants to change her heating system from propane to an air-source heat pump.

“There are a lot of interesting things here,” said Asher.

Native Landscapes Garden Center, based in Pawling, had information on thousands of native plants. By planting these shrubs on your property, said President Peter Muroski, you can create a wildlife habitat that has a common sense approach to the quality of life.

From native plants for limestone soils to native plants that attract birds, the listing was extensive.

“This stuff is gaining momentum,” Muroski said. “There’s a symbiotic relationship between plants, animals and bugs. Native plants have less pesticides and fertilizers, and making it part of the landscape can sustain the life of bugs and plants that have been here for thousands of years.”

Reach Jordan J. Michael at 518-828-1616, ext. 2309,, or @jordwhyjames on Twitter.

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