Green West Expo comes to L.A.

LOS ANGELES Organizers want to show business leaders how they can help their bottom line and the environment at the same time.

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It's not the biggest convention, but it is making a big impact on the environment. The Green West Expo is at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week.

"We do it here in Los Angeles because L.A. actually has the only convention center that really has a huge green initiative," said Diane O'Connor, Green West Expo. "So we're talking about renewable energy sources that are today powering the exhibit hall floor. They do recyclable water, a huge recycling program." In fact, there's no carpet on the convention floor -- all to save energy.

This is a green marketplace displaying everything that's environmentally friendly, from plant walls to fireplaces to fuel-cell cars, to furniture, to toilets. Yes, toilets.

One urinal is water-free. Installed in the Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre, it saves 10 million gallons of water a year.

One geodesic structure is actually a tree house.

"It is a guest house that we build in trees around the world so that tourists and volunteers can come and stay in the village in order to generate revenues for the village to become self-sustaining," said Joseph Barrett, president of Lift Kids.

And it's not just products on display; even Manpower Temporary Services is going green.

"There is so much demand for green personnel within the marketplace, specifically in the L.A. marketplace, where we're having a lot of companies and organizations that are looking for green and sustainable employees, but just don't know where to look," said Manpower's Lee Fossey.

One display was designed in the studios of Eric Lloyd Wright, the grandson of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It shows a variety of sustainable building products, including a wall that goes up 30 percent faster than normal construction, and a block that's made out of concrete and Styrofoam. In other words, your old coffee cup.

We've all heard of bamboo floors, right? But what about bamboo countertops? They come in a variety of colors, and it's made from bamboo and recycled paper.

Other countertop material is made from recycled glass, and it comes in a wild array of colors.

Wallboard material is made from 100 percent recycled paper. The beauty is that it's fire-resistant -- quite amazing for paper.

The Green West Expo ends Thursday.


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