Renewable Energy at the Oregon Country Fair

Solar Oven and Panel

More and more, people are looking for concrete action on climate change. I was recently reminded of this on a trip to the Oregon Country Fair, with a variety of eco-friendly practices and activities.  

I connected with volunteers from’s Corvallis chapter at a booth dedicated to environmental action. We discussed some of the campaigns for a stable climate happening right now in Oregon, such as opposition to the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and pipeline. We also talked about the September 8 Climate Day of Action, so mark your calendars! There is a lot of excitement about this nationwide event.

One of the highlights was Energy Park, with its focus on renewable energy. I met a representative from the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association ( about home rooftop solar. The University of Oregon offered demonstrations of how various forms of renewable energy work. Other booths offered examples of novel solar technology, such as a solar oven and a solar water boiler. There was even a solar tack welder for metalworking! Yes folks, renewables are not only a solution, they can also be fun.

Parabolic Solar Cooker

The Oregon Country Fair even made it easy to leave the car at home. Shuttles from downtown Eugene were a popular option, stopping just blocks from the Amtrak station. The fair has taken strong steps to reduce its carbon footprint, proving that a summer vacation need not be a huge carbon bomb.

By Brent Swanson