Rain barrels were offered for sale at the 2008 Green Living Festival. Nearly 75 local green businesses and organizations are slated to be at this year’s festival.

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On Oct. 3 the Evanston Ecology Center will welcome a diverse group of green exhibitors, an award-winning environmentalist, an eco-musical, the all-electric Tesla roadster, and The Green Mama to the third annual Evanston Green Living Festival. The Evanston Environmental Association (EEA) and the City of Evanston are hosting the free festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Boulevard.

This year’s theme is “Live Green, Live Inspired!” EEA president Linda Lutz said the one-day Festival is designed to motivate participants “to look for inspiration not only within ourselves, but also in the efforts of others who work tirelessly to improve and preserve the environment, and who seek to inform and lead us to live more sustainably.”

Festival chair Fred Schneider said, “With a keynote presentation by award-winning environmentalist Howard Learner, demonstrations of alternative forms of transportation by innovative green vehicle organizations and an ‘eco-musical’ just for kids, the festival is expanding its offerings at a time when we all could use a bit of inspiration to motivate us to live greener lives.”

The 2009 festival will feature exhibits by nearly 75 local green businesses and organizations offering such services as organic lawn care, natural pet products and holistic health alternatives. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and learn from many of the area’s businesses and organizations that are at the forefront of the green movement. The public is urged to walk or bike to the festival, where bikes can be parked at the free bike corral.

After the keynote speech at noon by Mr. Learner, environmentalist Manda Aufochs Gillespie, also known as “The Green Mama,” will give a presentation on “Live Green, Save Green” at 1:30 p.m. These and other experts will offer advice to everyone seeking to reduce their impact on the environment and live more sustainably.

Throughout the day, festival attendees can get hands-on experience through an array of green activities: demonstrations on composting and rain barrel use, car sharing, driving a bio-fuel automobile, learning simple practices that contribute to water and energy conservation and reducing carbon output.

Free rickshaw rides will add some fun while demonstrating another alternative form of transportation.

Additional information can be found at the Festival website, www.evanstongreenfest.org .