Lawn & Garden Advice for Northwest Florida

2012 Eco-Nomic Living Expo

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The 2012 Eco-Nomic Living Expo will be Saturday, Feb. 4, 9:30am-3pm at the Emerald Coast Convention Center located at 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy in Fort Walton Beach.

The Expo features nationally known and local speakers, exhibits, free document shredding, free tax prep, workshops and seminars on sustainable living, gardening, money management, healthy living and more. There will be special activities for teens and children. Nationally known speaker Dr. Jennifer Languell will provide a presentation titled, “Green, Healthy, Affordable-The Easy Way.” Languell has been featured in BusinessWeek and on CNN Headline News, HGTV and CNBC’s “Bullseye” and is co-host on the Discovery Channel “Project Earth.”

A few of the seminar topics include: Paying for College, Vegetable Gardening: Keys to Success in Northwest Florida, Green Pest Control, Landscaping on the Edge, Financial Apps, Healthy Meals in a Snap, Managing Student Loans, Identity Theft and Coexisting with Wildlife. I will provide a seminar titled “Correct Lawn Management Saves Money” with emphasis on how to grow a green lawn while keeping some “green” in your pocketbook.

Youth activities include: “Animal Ambassadors” is an exhibit with live animals from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. “Become a Farmer” is a fun activity provided by the Okaloosa County Farm Bureau where children will make a radish seed necklace and a homemade “Chia pet” to learn about farming and gardening. “Wind, Sun and Bots” and “Kill A Watt” are two interactive activities for children to learn about alternative energies with robotics and discover phantom energy in their homes to save on the power bill offered by the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H program in Okaloosa County.

Workshops include: “Coupon Magic” and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance will provide a workshop on how to build a rain barrel.

There is no cost to attend the Expo and all seminars/workshops are free except for the rain barrel workshop. This workshop costs $40 with participants taking home the rain barrel they make.

Cintas will have shredder trucks on site for families to bring documents to be securely shred from 10am-2pm.

The IRS will offer free tax preparation for families with adjusted gross incomes $49,000 and below.

To see complete schedule and list of sponsors, visit

Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Okaloosa County, January 25, 2012