Thursday, May 5, 2011

U.Va Hosts Eco-Fair as Part of Earth Week 2011 Events

During Earth Week 2011 Parking and Transportation participated in coordinating several events including the "Vanpooling 101" workshop and "Traffic Skills 101" training course, the Recycled Art Exhibit hosted at the Student Activities Center, and the Eco-Fair.

The Eco-Fair brought together University departments, community organizations, advocacy groups and local/regional businesses who represented various facets of sustainability ranging from transportation to conservation.

Community Bikes was on hand with the always popular pedal powered bike blender smoothie maker.  Even Andrew Greene, University Sustainability Planner, got to enjoy a smoothie at the fair (photo by Cole Geddy)!  Chris Gist from Community Bikes was also at the fair to promote bike safety.  Later that evening Chris taught the first session of the "Traffic Skills 101" training course.

Heather Higgins of Bike Charlottesville, a local coalition of bike groups and community members, joined Community Bikes at the event to offer event attendees information on advocacy opportunities and safe cycling.  The new kid on the block, Blue Ridge Cyclery, was also at the fair giving away water bottles and encouraging students to sign up for their mailing list.  BRC opened on Millmont Street in December of last year and in addition to selling quality bikes and gear, they regularly sponsor group rides and maintenance classes.

U.Va Housing and U.Va Dining were both at the Eco-Fair with some great freebies!  As part of Housing's "Changing the Flow" initiative, reps were on site distributing reusable water bottles that can now be used in the newly upgraded water fountains in the residence halls.  Kendall Singleton and her Green Dining team had some delicious granola samples and plenty of information on Sustainable Dining at U.Va (head on over to Kendall's blog for some great photos).

Students from the research and design group, RideForward, had their electric powered Honda Accord on site.  The car, a result of a class taught by James Durand, was converted from using conventional gas power to electric drive (EV) as part of an ongoing class project.

The Eco-Fair was a huge success and a great opportunity for sustainability-minded groups to come together to not only educate the U.Va community on local initiatives, but also to learn from each other.  I very sincere thank you goes out to all the groups that participated in the Eco-Fair, including:
Sorry if I left your group off - there were so many great groups I may not have remembered to list them all!  Looking forward to Earth 2012!