Delaware News

Fair's takeaway: Opportunities to go green abound

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Local environmentally conscious businesses and organizations will come together Aug. 25 for Preservation Parks' fifth annual Green-Wise Fair.

The fair, set from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at Deer Haven Preserve, 4183 Liberty Road in Delaware, will feature more than two dozen vendors who offer sustainable products and services.

"This isn't your typical fair," said Sue Hagan, Preservation Parks marketing and communications manager. "We do have food and activities, but the audience we get is really invested in it, and so our vendors say that they're talking with virtually everyone who comes through, which isn't what you get at your typical fair.

"It's for people who want to learn new and hopefully easy and not-too-expensive ways to tread a little bit more gently on the Earth," she said of the event, which typically draws about 600 visitors.

In addition to merchants and organizations offering goods and information, the Delaware Community Market will host a scaled-down farmers market throughout the day, and Habitat for Humanity's ReStore will be on hand to collect new and gently used home goods.

Everyone who visits the fair will be able to enter a raffle for a chance to win green prizes, but those who donate to ReStore will earn extra chances at winning.

Classes held inside the park lodge will educate visitors about invasive plants, nontoxic home-cleaning solutions and tips for safe food storage.

From 12:25 to 1:30 p.m. in the lodge, the documentary Perfect Fire will be shown. It highlights the work of central Ohioan Dale Andreatta, who creates cooking stoves for those who live in developing countries. Andreatta will follow the showing with a demonstration of the stoves.

Tech Used will be on hand to collect used electronics. Cables, wires, cellphones, fax and copy machines, keyboards and more will be collected free. There is a $5 fee for CRT screens and a $20 fee for televisions, because they contain hazardous waste that must be disposed of. Tech Used recycles the materials and has a zero-landfill policy.

At the Arts Castle booth, volunteers will help children complete projects that use recycled items. The day's theme matches with one the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center has been working with all year, thanks to a $35,000 PNC Arts Alive Grant.

The grant helps fund classes that promote green art. Green programming at the Castle has included a rain-barrel workshop, a show featuring "upcycled" artwork, and a green rendition of Cinderella that featured 30 children who created their own costumes and props from recycled materials.

"We're making people aware of taking care of our environment by asking them, 'What can you do with those things that lots of people consider trash?' " said Arts Castle Executive Director Diane Hodges.

"It's really kind of made our teachers as well as the Castle more aware of how we can continue on with this beyond this year, because it really does make you think more about creatively working with materials and how to put those into art, as opposed to going to JoAnn's and finding something that you can just paint or assemble," she added.

The Castle also will spend the day at the fair promoting its Kickstarter campaign. It is using the fundraising website to collect $2,000 to purchase a new kiln for fall classes.

A popular veteran vendor, Scioto Gardens also will have a booth at the fair. Linda Johnson, who owns the nursery, always brings plenty of seasonal native plants and flowers to show and sell.

This year's stock will include hibiscus plants and anything "bright and cheery in the nursery," Johnson said.

She said she looks forward to the fair each year because she can share with others the importance of planting native species that can feed native birds and insects.

"Because of the kind of event it is, it really is a great opportunity to do some teaching and share with people what we're doing and why we're doing it," she said.

"It's also an opportunity to meet a lot of different people who are doing things to help improve the environment," Johnson added. "I always learn new things by being there."

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