Ames to celebrate sustainability this Saturday at Eco Fair

Justin Lo

Organizations throughout the city of Ames will be at the Ames Eco Fair to help people learn more about sustainability and inform them about environmental issues.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29 at the Community Center Gymnasium at 515 Clark Ave.

The Ames Eco Fair will have vendors that will be showing off energy-saving products. City of Ames staff and organizations will be available to talk to the public, and free refreshments will be provided by Alpha Phi Omega.

“We’re doing what we can to get people in the door so we can show them ways that they can save energy and become more sustainable,” said Susan Gwiasda, public relations officer for the city of Ames.

Gwiasda says that the Eco Fair will provide activities for children, do giveaways for small sustainable items and have exhibits to interest people, such as the Team PrISUm’s solar car.

“[Team PrISUm] has been to about every Eco Fair we’ve had,” Gwiasda said. “They bring the car with them and it’s a very popular exhibit where they show people how the car works and what their project is about.”

People who are going to the Ames Eco Fair are encouraged to arrive in a “green” way, such as walking, biking, carpooling or taking public transportation.

“We’re going to recognize those folks [by giving them] a button that identifies them using ‘green’ transportation to get there, and their names will go into a special drawing for door prizes,” said Steve Wilson, Ames’ Energy Guy and Ames Eco Fair coordinator.

The Ames Public Works, Ames Resource Recovery Plant, Ames Energy Services and Ames’ Fire and Police departments are some of the city organizations that are planning to be at the event. Businesses such as Ken’s Appliance, U-Haul, Interstate All Battery Center and Goats on the Go are also planning to be at the Eco Fair to talk to people about how their business is sustainable.

Along with information about sustainability, groups at the event have been asked to share information about their history as this year’s Eco Fair is in conjunction with Ames’ sesquicentennial.

“For example, the Ames power plant has been providing electricity to Ames community members for more than 100 years,” Gwiasda said. “We’re asking vendors if they can help celebrate the sesquicentennial by bringing in some of business’ history and be prepared to talk about that history and their presence in the community whether it be five years or 50 years.”

This year’s Eco Fair will be the 10th annual event showcasing sustainability and conservation efforts in Ames.