Using local sources of food is an essential part of sustainability efforts. The upcoming Living Local Expo in Lawrence will give attendees the opportunity to discover the many food resources available to them in the area.

The free expo will be held on Saturday, March 23, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Commons at Lawrence High School at 2525 Princeton Pike. No registration is required. Go to for more information.

The Expo — organized by Sustainable Lawrence in partnership with green teams from Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, and the Mercer County Office of Sustainable Development — will feature hands-on workshops, displays from more than 40 local businesses and non-profits, and an “Ask your Neighbor” table where visitors can hear how homeowners and businesses completed successful energy-efficient projects.

One speaker will be Albe Zakes, global vice president of TerraCycle, who will describe how his Trenton-based company is able to collect non-recyclable garbage from consumer packaging and “upcycle” it into new products. Among TerraCycle’s current partners: P&G, Capri-Sun, Target, and Frito-Lay.

One of the panels will be moderated and presented by Alan Rhode of Tri-State Energy and Light in Upper Darby, PA. Tri-state is one of the subcontractors qualified by the state to participate in its Direct Install program.

“Direct Install is a turnkey solution that makes it easy and affordable to upgrade to high efficiency equipment,” says Tri-State’s website. “Direct Install is designed to cut your facility’s energy costs by replacing lighting, HVAC, and other outdated operational equipment with energy efficiency alternatives.” Under the program, the state pays up to 70 percent of retrofit costs.

Eligibility includes existing small to mid-sized commercial and industrial facilities with a peak electric demand that has not exceeded 150kW in any of the preceding 12 months. Buildings must be located in New Jersey and served by one of the state’s public, regulated electric, or natural gas utility companies.

Systems and equipment addressed by the program include lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation; refrigeration; motors; natural gas; and variable frequency drives.

Other speakers at the expo will address a variety of sustainability issues ranging from local school gardening and science projects to the future of transportation to recycling in Mercer County.

In addition to a farmers market featuring local fruits, vegetables, meat, cheeses, and food products, the event will also showcase more than a dozen area farm businesses and chefs.

Participants include: Beechtree Farms, Cherry Grove Farm, Griggstown Quail Farm and Market, Terhune Orchards, the Fulper Family Farmstead, Stony Brook Orchids, the Terra Momo Bread Company, Frank’s Pickled Peppers, Jeff Burd Aviaries, Jams by Kim, the Great American Cheesecake Company, the Savory Spice Shop, Chambers Walk Cafe & Catering, and Eno Terra.

On display will be fuel efficient cars that will be exhibited by local dealers. Area residents with fuel efficient cars will also have their vehicles on display.

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