Sheltered beneath the unbounded canopy of the June sky, with the rich green land generously bursting every stalk into bloom, it is hard to imagine that we live in a world that needs any reforming. We forget that we live in a country that expends energy faster than we are regaining it. It is obvious that we, as Americans, need to take action to face our massive carbon footprint, but the task is daunting. That is why you should know about the 9th annual Fairfield, Iowa Eco-Fair that is coming up the first weekend in June—a time to celebrate our ability as human beings to be creative and proactive, without pointing a finger of blame. The focus will be on sustainable mobility, taking a look at what we can do as a community to improve our means of transportation. Global warming is arguably the most important issue of our time, and studies show that nearly 30% of the average American’s emissions are attributed to private transportation. Coming up with a solution for transportation could make drastic changes in America’s emissions.
The Eco-Fair has always been organized entirely by MUM students. This year sustainable living students Marissa Markowitz, Juliane Neves, Elisabet Humble, and department worker Diana Yepez are the main forces behind the weekend. They have found innovative guest speakers active in the area of alternative transportation, holding the conference on the Post-petroleum Paradigm, Bicycle Tourism and Wilderness Appreciation, a workshop on making your own bio-diesel, and much more. Keith Wallace Drive will be closed off to cars, creating a brilliantly green oasis, lined with local vendors selling local organic snacks and musicians playing live folk music for you to enjoy on your way to a speech or workshop.
For the past two years Marissa has organized the Eco-Jam, a fashion show displaying recycled and organic clothing designed and modeled mostly by MUM students. They go all out for this event, creating stunning images and an energy that is tangible. You won’t even know that the models are wearing bottle caps and plastic bags, they make the clothing so beautiful! After the fashion show Marissa has arranged a dance party with MUM DJs and a special performance from the Rabalai brothers’ Porno Galactica.
When I asked Marissa why she and her fellow students devote themselves so fully to this event she said, “We love working with students and people in the community, brainstorming on how we can promote and share sustainable living practices.” People come away invigorated by the group energy, with new contacts, and life affirming goals for the future.
Held June 6-7, 2009, on the MUM campus, visit the website: www.mum.edu/ecofair for the full schedule of events.
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