The environmental fair, which attracted 2,000 people in 2011, is multi-focused. It is a combined university and community function with a mission of educating the community on sustainability. And, it is also a celebration of Earth Day and the environmental stewardship and practices of individuals, organizations, corporations and small businesses.
Earth Day is 42 years old this year and will be observed April 22 in 184 countries, according to www.earthday.org. The first Earth Day in 1970 led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts, plus brought environmental issues to the forefront. The Scarlet, Gray & Green Fair brings local environmental news and products to the forefront.
“We started the event in observance of Earth Day,” said Gwen Covert, chair of the planning committee for the fair.
“Attendance has grown every year for a couple of reasons. We’ve established community awareness and more and more people are interested in the green initiative and finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint,” she said.
Covert said that feedback has been positive, especially from the vendors, who say that people come to the event with a real interest in new technologies.
“The community has always been receptive because we hold a quality event,” Covert said.
One of the relatively new green initiatives includes environmental college degree programs. The Ohio State University had a display with information on their latest green related degree program. The first classes start August 2012.
“We have information today on our degree program in renewable energy,” said Frances Whited, public relations coordinator.
“The program is an associate of science degree and has two areas of specialization, bioenergy and solar and wind energy. Students can select one or both areas of specialization,” she said.
Melissa Willard, owner of Life’s Little Adventures Farm, Inc., was talking with visitors about the rescue and rehabilitation organization and their association with MedWish. An international, nonprofit organization, MedWish recovers and recycles medical supplies that health care providers have to discard for reasons such as becoming outdated.
“We are one of the first rescue centers to recycle shipping containers,” Willard said.
“The containers are 40 feet long and eight feet wide and we can use them for shelters for our animals. We can also use discarded medical gowns or gloves that are past their use date,” she said.
Kevin Hart, corporate trainer for Leaf Filter Gutter Protection, had a model demo unit to show visitors how the gutter system keeps debris such as leaves and other items out of the downspouts.
“Our product helps with water harvesting by ensuring that only water goes into the ground through the downspouts,” Hart said.
“This is our first year at the fair and it’s been a phenomenal show,” he said.
Vendors were located inside and outside of the Fisher Auditorium. There were many vendors setup under a big tent on the back lawn, including several food vendors.
The colors in the name represent the level of sponsorship provided by supporters in the community, including Wooster Weekly News, The Daily Record, and Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative, Inc. at the green level. Gray level sponsors included The Ohio State University Extension, OARDC and the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences, Romich Foundations, Murr Printing and Graphics and 104.5 WQKT radio. The sponsors at the Scarlet level were Lowe’s, Frito-Lay, Kohl’s, Quasar, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, The Wilderness Center, 89.7 WKSU radio and The Ohio State University Wooster Conference Center.
Many of the sponsors also had displays at the event. Others displaying included companies and organizations from agriculture, organic/green products, building and home, business and industry, research and education, transportation and energy. This year, vendors that have displayed at the event since the beginning were awarded a five-year gold plate during the opening ceremony.
Published: April 20, 2012