Sep 222004
Authors: Chris Kampfe

The winds of change blew through Fort Collins last weekend and were wholly embraced, both literally and figuratively.

The Fifth Annual Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair came to the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., this weekend, providing its own energy from renewable wind and bio-diesel sources. The Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association sponsored the fair, and brought together businesses, educators and consumers who are collectively interested in sustainable living.

“We’re a really solution-based event,” said Kellie Falbo, vice president and treasurer for the RMSLA. “We bring the expert to the consumer; we’re looking to teach people to work with the earth.”

Sustainable living is broadly defined as practicing a lifestyle that allows nature to replenish its resources in accordance with their consumption. Models of sustainable living include using renewable energy sources (such as bio-diesel fuel, which is made from vegetable oils and is compatible with common diesel engines), natural health practices, organic agriculture and ecologically friendly building, to name a few.

Falbo said she was happy with the attendance during the fair.

“It’s been a steady flow, and I’m very pleased with the turnout,” she said.

Those who attended witnessed a range of vendor and exhibitors, from organic foods, farming and healthcare to exhibitions displaying multiple alternative-energy sources, education and eco-friendly investments.

Attendees could also attend a range of workshops and listen to speakers. National speakers this year included Gary Erickson, owner and CEO of Clif Bar Inc., and Nick Forster, host and co-executive of the nationally syndicated radio show, etown.

Forster’s show explores unique styles of American and world music while showcasing human-interest stories about individuals who are conscious of both their community and world.

During his speech, Forster addressed the concept of sustainability and used folk singer/activist Pete Seeger as a model for positive social change.

“(Seeger) found value in using his music to build a community,” Forster said. “I came home (from a trip to Europe) armed with that idea – using music to build a community. We are trying to build a conscious community.”

Forster illustrated the value of acting locally to inspire global reform.

“How we shop, how we vote, how we build our houses, they all affect our lives,” Forster said. “You have a sense of interconnectedness, in all the decisions you make.”

Advertising and promotion for the fair was provided by the Fort Collins advertising/

marketing agency One Tribe Creative. According to its Web site,, One Tribe provides its services exclusively for companies striving to create positive value for their employees, their communities and the world. One Tribe President/Creative Director Paul Jenson described promoting the fair and some of its exhibitors as “a breath of fresh air.”

While vendors, speakers and exhibitors may have differed in their respective enterprise areas, the sustainability theme did not fade throughout the fair.

“When you’re talking about sustainable living,” Forster said. “You’re talking about a community that’s blessed.”

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