"Green" will be a major theme at this year's Labor Day Arts Festival, to be held Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Northam Park, 2070 Northam Road.

"Green" will be a major theme at this year's Labor Day Arts Festival, to be held Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Northam Park, 2070 Northam Road.

This year's festival has a variety of environmentally-friendly activities -- an outgrowth of an overall effort on behalf of the city of Upper Arlington, said Lynette Santoro-Au, the city's arts manager.

"We have a team here called the UA Green Team and we're always looking for ways to be more 'green,' whether it's being more conscientious about the toner we use (on office printers), to how long we let our cars idle," she said. "We're looking at our carbon footprint."

Festival activities include:

Artist Eric Marlow will conduct sessions on making art and jewelry with recycled materials.

Artist Freda Abbott-Ayodele will show festival-goers how to create landscapes using seeds.

Local environmental group Sustainable UA will be on site to encourage recycling and other green initiatives.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio will place receptacles throughout the site so that festival-goers can recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

The festival will also feature Pedal Instead, a free valet bicycle parking service in the southeast area of Northam Park.

"We had great success with it last year," Santoro-Au said of the program.

The city of Columbus launched Pedal Instead in 2006 to educate the public about the advantages of cycling as a means of transportation. Operated by the University Area Enrichment Association, Pedal Instead serves major central Ohio events such as Earth Day and Ohio State University football games.

In 2008 alone, the program parked 3,871 bicycles and prevented an estimated 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Depending on the response, organizers will continue to promote environmentally-friendly programming at the Labor Day Arts Festival, Santoro-Au said.

"We're looking at our events and we encourage more bike riding and always have an opportunity for people to recycle."

cbournea@thisweeknews.com