Earth Day in Fairfield: Global eco-issues hit home
They had the whole world in their hands -- at least a mini version of Mother Earth -- as crowds converged Saturday on Fairfield Warde High School for the town's annual Earth Day celebration.
The event featured eco-friendly businesses, civic groups and individuals with enviro-centric themes, ranging from solar and wind energy to recycling and gardening.
For instance, Troop 88 Scouts Zachary Ratner, 13; Blake Cheney, 13, and Ben Ratner, 11, promoted square-foot gardening. Jack Burns shared information on single-stream recycling. Tara Cook-Littman promoted GMO-free practices in Connecticut.
"This showcases the amazing work of the community and brings together businesses, town departments, volunteer groups and community citizens to create changes that support the environment and our economy," Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey said in welcoming remarks.
Scott Thompson, chairman of Fairfield's Clean Energy Task Force, was happy to have the forum to "promote both town government and community efforts for energy efficiency and clean energy.
"This event is a great platform to present our initiatives and connect with the community. We find a lot of individuals interested in clean energy here."
Fairfield-based Planet Fuel Beverage Co. was another of the many exhibitors at the event. The celebration was a launch opportunity for the brand four years ago. Co-founder Amy Barnouw said, "Planet Fuel is an organic, low-sugar juice targeted to the teen and tween market. We're members of the 1 percent for the Planet group, which harnesses the collective giving power of like-minded companies. Our cans are recyclable and our business supports organic farmers."
In addition to exhibitors like Barnouw, the event included author talks, cooking demonstrations, a question-and-answer session with town and state legislators, musical entertainment and a "trashy" fashion show.
Carla Marina Marchese was among the authors on hand. She is a beekeeper and the founder of Red Bee Honey and, in 2013, released the book, "The Honey Connoisseur," a guide to American honey.
In the cooking department, Fairfielder Amie Guyette Hall, a nutrition coach and graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, showed how to prepare organic vegetable drinks and provided samples.
Throughout the day, musicians like acoustic guitarist Irena Hart entertained the masses.
But it was Fairfield students, perhaps, who drew the most attention with their "trashy" fashions. More than two dozen young people used throwaway materials like plastic bags, plastic ties and wrappers to create "fashions" from them. Late morning Saturday, they staged a fashion show to model their creations to an appreciative audience.