Healthy Home Tour and Fair in Avon Saturday |

Healthy Home Tour and Fair in Avon Saturday

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

AVON, Colorado ” The word fair doesn’t usually conjure up images of recycled computers, solar panels or environmentally friendly houses, but when it’s a fair in honor of sustainable homes and renewable energy sources, it’s easy to see why a Ferris wheel isn’t the main attraction.

The Vail Symposium and the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability have teamed up to bring the Healthy Home Tour and Fair to Avon and Edwards this weekend in an effort to show what living green is all about.

“It’s really cool to see how beautiful a green building can be, it’s not just ‘Oh, I have to live in a shack in the woods and that’s green,'” said Dani Janklow, director of marketing and development for the Vail Symposium.

Both the fair, located in Nottingham Park in Avon, and the guided tour of the six Edwards-area homes are free. Participants can take shuttles from the park to the homes or visit the homes on their own by bike or car. Each of the homes on the tour are in various stages of construction, giving onlookers examples of how a home can have a lower impact on the landscape, and how to make it more energy efficient from the inside out.

“As people go from home to home they are going to be able to see different green practices and learn ways they can institute them in their own homes,” Janklow said. “The purpose of the event is to focus and highlight really what is going on with the green lifestyles, building initiatives and products across the country and in our local community.”

Jim Guida is a lifelong homebuilder and operates his own construction company, called Jim Guida Construction. Two of the houses his company built for the Heritage Park project in Edwards will be on the tour. Guida will give personal tours of those houses, pointing out ways the builders are trying to save energy by using energy-efficient appliances and better insulation.

“The thrust thus far … at Heritage Park is energy efficiency ” how tight we can build these homes, what energy-efficient products we can put in these homes to make them … use less energy (and) having less of a carbon footprint,” Guida said.

Some of the steps he’s taken to meet those goals include using heating equipment with a 94.6 percent efficiency rating, three different kinds of insulation and foam air sealing. A home can lose approximately 30 percent of its energy when it’s not properly insulated; sealing off those leaks is a very important aspect of a green-built home, Guida said.

Allison Wear and her fiance, Frank Navarro, own another house on the tour. The home, which is still under construction, features solar panels, triple-paned windows (to reduce noise), low-voltage lighting and exterior siding made from recycled local beetle kill. Wear hopes to get the gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council. Going into the building process, Wear knew she wanted her new house to be green, she said.

“It’s just something that we’ve always had an interest in and I think it’s good for the world and good for the community especially,” Wear said. “You look at the broader picture and you see how water is a finite resource so to build a home that’s going to use very little water, even though it’s a large home, it’s just the right thing to do.”

Besides the tour, families can enjoy the Healthy Homes Fair in Nottingham Park where environmentally-friendly businesses will have booths set up to demonstrate their products. There will also be live music, food and kids activities like face painting.

“It’s not only about healthy building, this fair brings in the healthy lifestyle component of being green,” Janklow said.

GRX is an electronics recycling company that will be on site. People who’ve been holding on to old computer monitors and hard drives are encouraged to bring them to the fair for proper disposal. According to GRX owner Matt McLaughlin, the plastics, glass, circuit boards, wires and toner cartridges that are found in many electronic devices can be ripped apart, separated and recycled.

“Over 95 percent of all the raw material that we bring in we get recycled back in to the manufacturing of new products,” McLaughlin said.

Representatives from Organic Housekeepers, a local cleaning company, will host a mix-your-own-organic cleaning-products demo and Innovative Energies, a renewable energy company, is bringing a solar-powered trailer for people to look at.

Energy consultants from Active Energies, an energy consulting firm based in Avon, will talk to people about how to make their homes more energy efficient.

“There are varying degrees of improvements that you can make and, just like an improvement to your car, some are going to be really beneficial from the get go and some will take a lot longer for you to realize the benefit,” said Megan Gilman, president of Active Energies.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: Healthy Home Fair.

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Nottingham Park in Avon.

Cost: Free.

What: Healthy Home Tour.

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The homes are throughout Edwards. A shuttle is available at Nottingham Park in Avon.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-476-0954 or visit

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