Staying informed is important to senior citizens, and sometimes it comes with the added bonus of saving the environment and saving money.
Seniors learned new ways to do all three of those things while picking up freebies and enjoying some company at the 17th annual Prime of Life Festival on Tuesday.
Donald Wildasin, 74, of Dover said he likes to go each year to see what the vendors have to offer and whether there is anything he may be interested in.
"Retire as early as possible," Wildasin said. "There's nothing like it."
Benjamin and Ellen Bower of West York said going to the festival gives them information about what's going on.
"I learned quite a bit about the weeds that you can eat that are beneficial for your body," said Benjamin Bower, 70. "Plus I come for the tablets and pens. One cannot have too many tablets and pens as you get old."
Energy conservation: Audiences learned how to save at least $399 on their electricity bill during a seminar on Pennsylvania Power Switch, led by Christina Chase-Pettis from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Chase-Pettis offered four simple tips to save money while saving the environment as well. Closing vents in unused rooms will save up to $100 each year. Cleaning out the lint filter every time you use your dryer will save another $66 per year, and taking seven-minute showers instead of a bath saves $28 in a year, said Chase-Pettis.
The tip Chase-Pettis said she receives the most grumbling from is keeping the thermostat set between 65 and 68 degrees during winter which saves $85 a year.
She said the trick to making the adjustment is lowering it one degree per day until you gradually reach that temperature, and you won't even notice the difference.
To save another $120, Chase-Pettis recommends shopping around to find an electricity provider that offers cheaper rates, because a rate that is one cent cheaper can knock $120 off your bill in a year, she said.
Chase-Pettis walked seniors through the process of switching power generation services, directing them to PAPowerSwitch.com for more help.
And more: Other seminars focused on nutrition, emergency preparedness, back pain and protecting assets from taxes.
Live entertainment, Zumba instruction and a wide variety of vendors completed the free festival held in Old Main at the York Expo Center. Several vendors offered free food samples in the morning as well.
"This is probably one of our best years," said Jeff Zunic, president of Prime of Life Festival Inc.
As the baby boomer generation continues aging, attendance at the festival increases annually. Zunic said about 3,000 people usually attend the event.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or email@example.com.