Apr 242005
Authors: Jen Utter

In hopes of educating people on environmental problems and celebrate planet Earth, Fort Collins community members gathered Sunday for Earth Fair 2005.

CSU's Action Awareness hosted the fourth annual Earth Fair at City Park featuring informational booths, live bands and guest speakers.

This year's theme, "Dream Globally, Live Locally," focused on globalization and the environment and practicing sustainability in day-to-day life.

"Sustainability is the means of supporting yourself without exhausting your resources," said Amelia Schmid, Kidz Zone coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Living Fair.

Action Awareness also held a silent auction offering items such as bicycles, trees and plants from local Fort Collins businesses including Nature's Own, Fort Collins Nursery, Recycled Cycles, Fossil Creek Nursery and Just Trees. The silent auction stressed the effects of globalization and the importance of shopping locally, said Mandy Quinn, member of Action Awareness.

Fort Collins resident John Anderson, also known as the "Worm Man," showed visitors how to take food scraps and turn it into worm compost that could be used for potting plants.

"It's important not to throw things in the landfills," Anderson said. "They're nothing but poison pots."

Anderson transports food and worm compost in his "Wormbulance," a vehicle painted to resemble an ambulance.

David Bartecchi, director of program development for Village Earth, an organization designed to promote sustainable community-based development, attended the event to provide information on helping an American Indian reservation in Pine Ridge, S.D. get its residents back on their land and live a life of sustainability.

"It's the eternal dream of everyone (on the reservation) to get back to the natural way; getting back to a way of self-sufficiency and use the natural gifts such as the wind and the earth," said Henry Red Cloud, Pine Ridge Project coordinator.

Village Earth brought a wind generator made out of automobile parts to show observers how it plans to implement sustainability in Pine Ridge.

The event not only showed adults the importance of sustainability but also targeted children. The children planted their own flowers in mugs, played Earth-related games and painted pictures.

Sara Bernhardt, associate director of development for the Newton Marasco Foundation, had a booth promoting the children's book "The Sea, The Storm and The Mangrove Tangle" by Lynne Cherry. The book won the Green Earth Book Award, which the foundation awards to the children's book that does the best job raising awareness about the natural environment.

"The Newton Marasco Foundation is about promoting environmental stewardship," Bernhardt said.

Despite the cool temperatures and cloudy skies, people still attended the event with their dogs and picnic lunches.

"I think the event went great considering the cold weather," Quinn said.

Many students and community members found it important to attend the event and raise awareness about living a life of sustainability.

"It's not just about recycling. It's about changing your whole mentality," said Linda Gonzales, systems administrator for the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair.

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