Eco Fair returns to Ames


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

ISU President Steven Leath and his wife help keep things tidy while students load up wood chips into a wheelbarrel during Veishea Service Day at the Childcare Center at SUV on Saturday, March 24.

Alexander Furman

Over 40 vendors including clubs from Iowa State will be speaking about ways to live a green lifestyle on March 30, 2013. 

Sustainability topics at this year’s Eco Fair will include water conservation, reducing electric consumption, shrinking carbon footprints and getting involved in environmental issues.

There are also booths from various types of businesses that want to make a difference.

“There’s the [people], the air conditioners, the lighting and appliances, those kinds of energy-efficient items, but then, there also organizations that represent the sustainability issues. Things like rain barrels that handle runoff,” said Steve Wilson of Ames Electric Services. “Organizations like Rain Barrel give people information on how people can use their landscaping without using pesticides.”

In addition to the Ames community, the Green Umbrella organization of ISU and Team PrISUm will also be making appearances.

“We were involved last year; we had a live green booth there,” said Dylan Gaudineer, copresident of the Green Umbrella student organization.

The annual event wasn’t always titled the Eco Fair, though. Some may remember it as the Energy Fair.

“It started out of my office in 2001 as the Energy Fair. [The idea] got so popular that the city developed its own sustainability efforts,” Wilson said. “About three years ago, the other departments [of the city] decided it shouldn’t be exclusive to the electric department, and then, it was expanded to include all things sustainable.”

The goal of the event is to attract people from an educational standpoint.

“The main intent is for people to come in and have people speak with the professionals who know sustainability,” Wilson said. “It’s more of an educational outreach and has turned into a good family event. We get a lot of people, so it stays busy.”

There are also events to help promote sustainability from vendors as well as events sponsored by the city.

Events from vendors include drawings for door prizes, giveaways and gift handouts at individual booths.

Events sponsored by the city include free food, literature from the departments of energy, a kids’ corner with face painting, games and take-a-trip-to-the-book mobile.

Also included is a bingo game that will take people around the various booths to get their card filled out. After the person gets a “bingo” by visiting enough vendor booths, their name is entered into a drawing for a prize.

The third annual Eco Fair has been scheduled to be hosted at the Community Center Gym at 515 Clark Avenue on March 30.