Press Release on The Review

EcoFairfield recently featured on an article at The Review. Here it is word for word, pictures added by us.

Annual Eco-Fair, Rebranded EcoFairfield, Coming April 20–22

With a greater emphasis on local experts and a focus on service to the community, the 12th annual Eco-Fair this year is entitled EcoFairfield.

Coinciding with Earth Day, the event will feature workshops, local vendors and businesses, and community sustainability projects. The goal is to create a movement to serve, connect, and inspire the citizens of Fairfield.

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Organizers have planned a “day of service” on Friday, April 20, that will entail working on local projects to benefit the community and provide a hands-on learning experience. Major tree planting efforts are planned for the entire weekend in collaboration with the Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards Program.

The keynote speaker, Seth Braun, will focus on shaping a collective vision for the future of Fairfield. Based in Fairfield, Mr. Braun is an author, speaker, personal coach, entrepreneur, musician, and founder of Indestructible Success. He has offered keynote speeches, seminars, and training to a wide range of organizations and individuals around the country.

Other local or regional speakers and workshop hosts who had confirmed as of mid-February include Fred Kirschenmann from the Leopold Center; Christian Renaud from StartupCity in Des Moines; Michael Cook, a former organizer of the Village Building Convergence in Portland, Oregon; Francis Thicke, author, sustainable agriculture expert, and founder of Radiance Dairy; Maryan Hesse, an Amazon forest ambassador; and Nick Campney from One-Hundred Trees.

EcoFairfield 2012's Keynote Speaker
Seth Braun

While EcoFairfield will feature a day of service, organizers see this event as spearheading ongoing service projects in Fairfield related to sustainability and have created a Facebook page that lists local opportunities to volunteer.

EcoFairfield 2012 will also include the annual Eco Jam Fashion Show on Saturday evening, April 21, complete with catwalk and models. Designers are hard at work combining sustainability with art by creating garments that are made of recycled, vintage, or organically and sustainably manufactured materials.

EcoFairfield is a collaboration of the city of Fairfield, the Fairfield Public Library, Iowa State Extension, Fairfield Volunteer Center, MUM, MyLocal Cooperative, the Dharma Foundation, the Bonnell Building Project, and Fairfield Rotaract, with additional collaborators expected to be joining the effort.

myLocal Cooperative
myLocal Cooperative

“We hope EcoFairfield will be Fairfield’s event of the year,” said Fabiola Domenique, who together with Vinayak Narayana is codirector of marketing for the event.

To participate or for information, email domenique.love@gmail.com.

See also https://ecofairfield.wordpress.com and http://www.facebook.com/EcoFairfield.

Follow our blog and join in our excitement!
EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Meet the team Part 1

The EcoFairfield team has a varied background, but the most important common denominator across the team is our passion for sustainability and our love for the Fairfield community. We are all happy volunteers that enjoy meeting weekly, sharing ideas, collaborating, working hard, and even arguing, to bring you the best possible Earth-Day weekend event. Get to know some of us here:
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The Planter

Meet James Schleppenbach. He is a transfer-student from Christopher Newport University in Virginia, born and raised in Dunellen, New Jersey, currently in his 3rd semester at MUM studying Sustainable Living with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture. He first got involved with EcoFairfield last summer after being elected Sustainable Council President for MUM’s Global Student Council. No longer President, he is still involved with EcoFairfield as student representative coordinating Day of Service and a tree planting project as part of the Hometown Rewards Program for the City of Fairfield. He enjoys making great food, making great compost, and spending time with people who appreciate life.
E-mail: jaschlepp@gmail.com
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Minca Borg
The Connector

Minca Borg is a Sustainable Living student originally from California, though she considers Fairfield, IA, to be her hometown. She is coordinator, and most of times meeting-facilitator, for EcoFairfield: Serve, Connect, Inspire; Student Council representative; and Resident Adviser at MUM.  In her words:  “My first year at MUM, I asked a senior how to get things done.  She said, ‘Be a Connector.’  So I am.  It seems to be an effective strategy for every aspect of my life.  I am here to help you connect with you interests, passions, goals and community.”   Minca’s interests include: Human, Organizational, and Social Development; Community Building; Gardening; Writing; Nature walks in all-weather; Math; Community Service; Why & How. She watches House when she can and likes to listen to Cat Stevens.
E-mail: mborg@mum.edu
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David Fisher
The Overseer

David Fisher is primarily a botanist. He received a B.S. in Biology from North Carolina State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin. He then served as a research scientist at the USDA Forest Experiment Station in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and was a Humboldt fellow at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Prior to joining MUM faculty, he was a professor and researcher in leaf structure-function relationships for six years at the University of Hawaii. His research at MUM on breeding potatoes for resistance to the Colorado potato beetle has been supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Leopold Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. He is the founder and Director of the Sustainable Living program at MUM and has been the primary advocate for the design and construction of the new Sustainable Living Center. Otherwise, his pursuits are reading, playing basketball, vegetable gardening, tree climbing, and bicycling around the Fairfield Loop Trail.
Email:dfisher@mum.edu
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More profiles coming soon. Have a great week and thanks for reading!
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EcoFairfield 2012 team
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Green economy: does it include you?

In honor of World Environment Day, in honor of EcoFairfield, and in hopes of winning a trip to Brazil this summer (yay!) for the annual WED conference organized by the United Nations Environment Programme since 1972, today I blog about the theme of the conference this year: Green Economy. Does it include you?
World Environment Day -June 5th-The Green Economy is a fuzzy and complex concept. My definition of it includes triple-bottom-line businesses, cooperatives, private industries, non-profits, and charities; political reform (revolution?), fair-trade and global markets; as well as timebanks, volunteerism, barter, and gifting circles; women’s empowerment, agroecological practices, and renewable energy technologies.

EcoFairfield 2012

But more than these elements, vital to a green economy is a shift in thinking and understanding how things influence one another within a dynamic whole, and then prioritizing accordingly. The Green Economy is not a one-size fits all solution but many different solutions applied appropriately. The Green Economy is not one ideology but the healthy balance of many.
To paraphrase Michelle Long, instead of a global village, a Green Economy is a globe of strong, healthy interconnected villages.
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What we have today is a global village in which a country’s Gross Domestic Product is considered
by most to be the only indicator of standard of living. GDP’s focus is Market Value a.k.a. Money. It ignores income disparities and depletion and degradation of natural resources. It counts your parent’s divorce, hurricane Katrina, and the alarming rate at which we are losing our soils as “gains”.

Contrast this scenario with a globe in which nations strive to boost Gross National Happiness which measures factors conducive to happiness. Here, in this world, you are guaranteed care when you fall ill, and proper education, here mothers won’t die from childbirth if preventable, and you won’t go hungry. GNH is even a useful comparative indicator; research supports the notion that markers of individual and social well-being are remarkably trans-cultural. Pinker likes to say that because we are all relatives, it’s not all relative.

And though I celebrate globalism, I acknowledge unchecked globalization is seriously un-sexy. Ignoring labor rights, human rights, and damages to the environment in international agreements leads to a world of corporate hegemony. A tricky balance needs to be resolved between globalism and localism. Imo more localization is needed. Localizing efforts lead to diverse, harder, better, faster, stronger villages and communities.
As Fairfieldians would say: there is unity in diversity.
So does the green economy include you?
Only you can say and somehow you already have the answer. Are you interested in seeing your town flourish in every way imaginable? More specifically, do you want to see more and better movies offered at the local movie theatre? Top that how about watching locally directed and produced media? Have you ever wanted to be an actor? Are you a videographer? photographer? screen writer? Think about all the new gigs that would be available, now multiply that to include every industry!
Also, what is that small business idea that whispers to you while you try to sleep? And to speak about food, aren’t the veggies and fruits from the farmer’s market just oh so ripe and delicious!? Ever thought about growing your own? Wouldn’t it be fun to manage a community garden along with your neighbors? And exchange seeds? And have potluck parties?
The questions are endless. But the main one still is: Does it include you? You with your valid worries and problems; ambitions, needs and responsibilities; and a set way of doing things: Does this so-called Green Economy include you?
I bet the better question ought to be:
Do you want to be left out?
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EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!
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Fabiola Domenique
WordPress off
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Further Reading
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 UN International Year of Cooperatives http://www.2012.coop/
And if you are curious here are the contest guidelines: