Local fair will teach healthy, sustainable living

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 6:02 p.m. CDT; updated 6:19 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 12, 2013

COLUMBIA--The 11th annual Sustainable Living Fair will take place Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia. The fair is organized by the Peaceworks Center for Sustainable Living.

Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said more than 30 booths will be set up to help educate fair-goers about sustainable living.


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"The fair is an excellent opportunity to learn more about steps that people can take to make their lives more eco-friendly and satisfying," Haim said.

According to Haim, the event will include 10 workshops. A 10 a.m. home-composting workshop was recently added to the fair schedule, but is not currently listed on the website. Those who attend the workshop will receive a free composting bin.

This year's fair will also feature three solar tours hosted by Show Me Solar, a nonprofit organization that educates people about solar energy. The tours offer visitors a chance to learn more about renewable energy and the benefits of being able to use it. 

"There will be an opportunity to learn about steps people can take to save money, improve their health and live more lightly on the Earth," Haim said.

Car pools will go from the fair to the tour locations:

  • A visit to a local medical office that uses a solar water heating system.
  • A visit to Terra Nova, a local intentional community that practices sustainable living. Tour attendees will see the exteriors of two homes in the community and how they incorporate solar energy. They will view Terra Nova's solar panels and discuss ground-source heat pumps.

One of Terra Nova's founders, Claire Garden, said she chose to incorporate more sustainable living practices into her life.

"After my retirement, I took my life savings and invested it in to energy saving over time because I believe it has a better return on investment," Garden said. "Anyone can do it if they want to invest."

Haim said he hopes the fair will encourage others to implement some of these environment-friendly practices into their lives.

"Nobody can do everything when it comes to sustainable living," Haim said. "But everyone can do something. Take one thing, make a change and then adopt that change into your lifestyle."

The event is free and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, 2615 Shepard Blvd.

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