Lakeland Green Business Expo Promotes Local Sustainability

Jeff Kratsch initially wanted to put his marketing skills to work raising awareness about protecting the environment "one light bulb at a time." He founded his Bradenton-based environmental nonprofit,, in 2007 with that in mind.

"There's so much information out there about sustainability, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start," says Kratsch. "The original model was to help people figure out how to change a light bulb, the easy energy conservation stuff."

The concept bloomed into what he hopes will become a regular series of green business expositions. It started with what Kratsch called a "flawless" event in Sarasota-Bradenton in June 2009, and will continue Feb. 27 at the Lakeland Center with the Lakeland Green Business Expo.

The events have been given a catchy name, created by Kratsch and his 11-year-old daughter: Green Home WamaLama Green Business Expo. The goal is to create a local answer to sustainability, green living and green business practices, and to showcase "American innovation in the new 'green' economy."

The Lakeland event, featuring a recycling drive and an Eco-Kids zone with fun learning activities, will showcase green initiatives developed by government agencies across Lakeland and Polk County.

The expo will include exhibits and programs by "Green Earth Presentation" sponsors such as Magnify Credit Union, QuickBeam Energy of Winter Haven, new hybrid vehicles from local auto dealers and other vendors of sustainable and energy saving products and services.

Krastch says he's planning a third show in October 2010.

"We're not trying to be a big Vegas-style or Orlando-style trade show," Kratsch says. "We really are trying to promote local business, local economies and demonstrate ways to drive the sustainability when you find these things."

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Writer: Carter Gaddis
Source: Jeff Kratsch,

Read more articles by Carter Gaddis.

Carter Gaddis is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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