Sustainability Summits > 2013 Sustainability Summit > Resource and Energy Efficiency Track

Resource and Energy Efficiency Track

Session 1
9:30-10:15 a.m.: Residential Solar: Does it Make Sense for You?
Brian Cunningham

photo of Brian CunninghamRenewable Energy is real, and tens of thousands of residential solar electric systems have been installed across the country in just the last few years. The sun is free and provides abundant energy. But will it work for everyone? The answer is Maybe. Come find out if it will work for you, and what the benefits and barriers are to owning your own miniature utility system.

Brian Cunningham is the owner of Dog House Solar PV, a solar design consulting company with clients across the United States. He is also a NABCEP certified PV Installer and an adjunct professor at Eastfield College. He has a BSEE from the University of Tennessee and has been in the DFW area since 1985. Prior to going green, Brian was an R&D engineer in the defense and telecom fields. His interest in solar dates back to the late '70s, while he was still in high school. In 2009, he finally decided to turn his longtime hobby into a career. Brian has always enjoyed playing with electricity.

Session 2
10:30-11:15 a.m.: Zero Waste Events: The Next Level in Event Recycling
Kim Soto

If you build it they will come. When it comes to event planning, we spend most of our time building and promoting and very little thinking about the cleanup at the end. Planners and organizers are more interested than ever in green events, and many turn to recycling as the low-hanging fruit in going green. However, with a little more planning, your recycling event can become a Zero Waste event, preventing or diverting 75 to 100 percent of typical event-generated waste. This presentation will define Zero Waste, walk through steps for planning a successful event, highlight common obstacles and offer suggestions to avoid them, provide pointers for working with stakeholders and guests and share best practices for a great event, start to finish. Time is included for questions and answers.

Kim Soto is the waste minimization coordinator for the City of Plano. She has been with the city for more than five years and has worked with dozens of organizations to make their events greener. She has a background in education and environmental sciences and spent two years in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps volunteer. She finds it highly amusing that after all of her years of study, she finds herself working in the garbage department anyway! When she's not sorting through other people's trash, Kim is avid Instagram photographer, wannabe gym rat and mother of two.

Session 3
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: How to Save Money and Energy
Kathleen V. Gardner

photo of Kathleen GardnerLearn overall strategies as well as specific ways to save energy, which in turn will save you money. Information learned can be applied to the home and work environments. Topics include home areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage and yard. Other subjects covered will be electrical appliances, equipment, plumbing, water usage and lifestyle.

Kathleen Gardner has been involved in sustainability and green design as a project manager, design consultant and registered interior designer in both the industry and educational institutions for many years. She was a professor at Oklahoma State and Baylor universities in interior architecture and has owned her own design business. For many years, she worked in facilities management at Dallas County Community College District, where she instituted the carpet recycling program in 1999 and presented the concept of green construction to the Chancellor’s Cabinet in 2003. She became an Accredited Professional through the LEED program in 2005. She co-chaired the first DCCCD Sustainability Summit and continues to work with fellow sustainability advocates. Living sustainably has always been a passion and lifestyle.

Session 4
2-2:45 p.m.: Walking the Talk: An Energy Efficient Home
Chuck Dale