"Green" Products Get High Marks at New Jersey Expo

People concerned about the environment turned out in droves for the Global Green Expo, which was held at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., from April 25 to April 27 to celebrate Earth Day, and they were met with scores of new, innovative products.

Ralph Izzo, chairman, president and CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group, the primary sponsor of the expo, noted that the expo was meant to get people thinking about how to change their behavior. “While climate change is a global problem, there are steps that each of us here in New Jersey can take to make a difference,” he said in a news release. “The Expo will be an event designed to inform and inspire people about what they can do to make our world a cleaner, healthier place to live.”

There were all sorts of companies and businesses featuring environmentally friendly products at the event. While some of their ideas were old, there were a handful that are new or only now catching on in various forms throughout the country.

Exhibitors of Greenfleet Car Service promote their fleet of hybrid vehicles at the Global Green Expo.Exhibitors of Greenfleet Car Service promote their fleet of hybrid vehicles at the Global Green Expo.For instance, Greenfleet Car Service, based in Union, N.J., was promoting its fleet of hybrid cars. Unlike other car services, Greenfleet only uses hybrids and does not have a combination fleet. Employee Woodly Maurice noted that his company is the first car service in New Jersey to go completely hybrid. The company’s Web site bills itself as New Jersey’s “first all green vehicle ground transportation company.” Just take a look at the Web site at www.greenfleetcarservice.com to view some of their great hybrid vehicles.

Ryan Holl shows off an Orion product designed to decrease electricity usage at factories.Also at the event was Orion Energy Systems, which was promoting its new product: a light pipe that is encased in a plastic bubble and can be placed on a roof. The bubble allows natural light to enter a room through highly-reflective cylinders. According to a March 20, 2007 article in Northeast Wisconsin Marketplace Magazine, the simple fixture uses half the electricity of typical high-intensity discharge lights that are usually used in manufacturing plants. In that same article, Neal Verfuerth, president and CEO of the company, said the device saves money and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

An exhibitor shows the Husqvarna AutomowerAn exhibitor shows the Husqvarna AutomowerAnother company showcasing its wares was Husqvarna Automower, which said its automatic mower results in no emissions, no carbon dioxide and no noise. According to a pamphlet, “the automower returns to the charging station automatically and then leaves to cut when fully charged.” The pamphlet goes on to state, “Automower uses an onboard navigation system to constantly monitor its position relative to the wire, enabling it to efficiently mow all parts of the lawn.”

Even funeral directors are latching onto the idea of green technologies and services. Bob Prout, co-owner of Prout Funeral Home in Verona, N.J. was at the expo showing environmentally-friendly caskets made of bamboo, pine and other biodegradable materials. His booth seemed to be one of the most popular at the show, with many people commenting that they wanted to do as little damage as possible to the environment upon their deaths.

Bob Prout with Prout Funeral Home talks about environmentally-friendly funeralsBob Prout with Prout Funeral Home talks about environmentally-friendly funerals

In addition to exhibitors showcasing their wares and services, the expo also featured interactive workshops, presentations, family entertainment and more. Better yet, the first 1,000 people were given a free compact fluorescent light bulb, which uses 75 percent less electricity courtesy of PSEG. Now, that’s some innovative thinking!