Healing our Planet, Healing Ourselves

EcoFairfield and Dharma Foundation present
“Healing our Planet, Healing ourselves’:

Learn how our tropical rainforests, the ‘lungs of our planet’ are being destroyed at the alarming rate of 6 soccer fields a minute and the impact that is having on Mother Earth.

You will hear ways you can be more ecologically conscious that can make a difference in the quality of your life and the lives of your loved ones. Learn how you can help affect climate conditions, the preservation of thousands of species of plants and animals, as well as the Indigenous people who have untold ancient wisdom yet to be shared with us.

Shipibo Children

Come hear Maryann speak at the Fairfield Arts and Conventions Center’s meeting room number 2 next Saturday, April 21st, from 10-11am. She is also hosting a workshop titled “Plant Wisdom holds the Key to Radiant Vitality at any age” in the same meeting room from 2-3pm later the same day. Admission is free!

About the workshop, imagine plants growing in pristine virgin soil deep in the heart of the Rainforest.  Plants store information within them just as humans do.  Imagine the vast amount of information these whole wild botanicals contain.  Theirs is a message of ecological harmony and balance going back for generations.

Scientists now confirm that new discoveries in Rainforest plants hold the keys to reversing degenerative disease and accelerating health and vitality for us and future generations.

Maryann is an Amazon herb independent distributor

Attend and learn some of the secrets the medicine men and women have known for
centuries that make it possible to experience a high quality of lifelong, radiant vitality. This program will include a tasting of some delicious “guilt free” healthy chocolate, sustainably harvested and obtained in a ‘more than fair trade’ way.

Maryann Hesse, a rainforest ambassador who has traveled to South America and
communed with Indigenous tribes, will share heartwarming stories and first hand accounts of these amazing healing botanicals in her workshop; and heartbreaking stories of happenings that affect us individually, and greatly affect the health of our planet during her presentation.

Maryann with a village elder

9 more days till Earth-Day weekend. We can hardly wait.
EcoFairfield 2012 Team
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Green Cornucopia!

Green Vendors Sale- over 50 booths- EcoFairfield Trade Fair Sat. April 21
All Green, All Natural. Admission is free.

Bring the family to Dharma Foundation’s first-ever Green Vendor Sale of eco-friendly products, gifts, toys and services on Saturday April 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Expo Hall. It’s part of EcoFairfield’s Sustainable Living Celebration for Earth Day 2012 and you’ll discover an overflowing cornucopia of goodies to enjoy!

You’ll find a vast variety of delightful offerings from over 50 local and regional craftspeople, artisans, importers, performers and artists — and you can feel good that a portion of the proceeds goes to the Dharma Scholarship Fund to help students attend the Maharishi School.  You can also feast on a delicious buffet lunch from India Café.
You’ll find jewelry, scarves, toys, gourmet delicacies and organic cosmetics, ayurvedic aromatherapy products, organic chocolates and organic clothing and literally hundreds of other items.  It’s the ideal place to shop for unique gifts for upcoming birthdays of your family members or friends, or find the perfect natural water filter or hand-crafted kitchen goods for your home.
“We have a wonderful eco-oriented community and you’ll find an abundance of quality gifts that are exotic and unique, so it’s a great shopping opportunity” explains Donna Cingre of  the Dharma Foundation. It’s also an important fundraiser to help students attend Maharishi School, the first consciousness-based school in the world.”

For a list of Green Vendors that is being updated regularly,  go to tinyurl.com/Dharma21

In addition to the Dharma Foundation’s Green Vendor Sale, you can participate in other exciting events during EcoFairfield’s Sustainable Living Celebration.  RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/409948079031068/

Rosalie D’Anne Borg
Event Coordinator
Dharma Foundation
EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Community Tree Planting: Dig In, Fairfield!

Happy Spring!
During the winter months we have been busy planning a big tree planting project.  This will be a collaborative project and the entire community is invited to take part; we are looking for 250+ volunteers over several days!!  The Tree Planting initiative serves as the kick off for a series of educational events focused on energy savings sponsored by Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards.  It also happens to be Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world and celebrates the work that young people are doing to improve communities.  And don’t forget, Sunday the 22nd is Earth Day…this is a great way to be involved in a meaningful project by working together with fellow residents to make a difference here in Fairfield.  There are volunteer needs leading up to the big tree planting as well as actually digging in the dirt and getting the trees in the ground.  Here are some opportunities:

Saturday, April 14th: 10 volunteers per ward, to hang doorhangers and posters

Sunday, April 15th:  10 volunteers per ward, to hang doorhangers and posters
Friday, April 20th: 15 volunteers to prep the orchard site, deliver materials and possibly dig holes at school planting sites
Saturday, April 21st: 15 volunteers to prep the orchard site, deliver materials (volunteer needs on these two days will vary based upon the weather that week and final needs so some flexibility is needed here)


Sunday, April 22nd (EARTH DAY): 90 volunteers to plant the orchard, 30 in each of three time slots:
                9:00 am – 11am
                11:30am – 1:30pm
                2:00pm – 4:00pm

Sunday, April 22: 10 volunteers to help with clean up efforts after the picnic dinner

Volunteers should sign up ahead of time for their preferred time slot so that we can plan accordingly.  Bring your friends and family and share this email far and wide!

Plan to wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty, consider a pair of gloves and bring along some drinking water or snacks.


Volunteers are encouraged to bring shovels. Parking is at the entrance to Chautauqua Park and then walk down to the trail entrance.  Map of the planting site to come.


All volunteers are encouraged to attend the tree planting workshop on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:15pm at the old St. Mary’s building, N. 3rd and Grimes.  All volunteers will receive a free Dig In, Fairfield t-shirt or bandana.

At the end of Sunday, we will be hosting a picnic dinner in celebration of the tree planting efforts and to kick off the entire Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards Grant and the series of events and educational efforts that will follow.  A Dinner (catered by Hy-Vee, including vegetarian options) and Entertainment (Jefferson County Green Band) will follow from 4:30-8:00.

Dig In, Fairfield Partners: Trees Forever, Alliant Energy Hometown Rewards, City of Fairfield, Iowa State University Extension, Fairfield Volunteer Center, Fairfield Parks and Rec, Fairfield Trails Council, Fairfield Schools, Maharishi School, Singing Cedars School, EcoFairfield

Hometown Reward Program Partners: Alliant Energy, City of Fairfield, Iowa State University Extension, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Volunteer Center, Fairfield residents

Hometown Reward Program Sponsors: Ideal Energy

Please RSVP with your availability via phone at 641.209.9045 or email fairfieldvolunteers@gmail.com by April 6.  If you are a student contact James
at jaschlepp@gmail.com.


Molly Reiff
Executive Director
Fairfield Volunteer Center, Inc.
EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

The ‘Transcending Sustainability’ Conference

Invitation to the Transcending Sustainability conference
by Lonnie Gamble.

Lonnie is curriculum director and founding faculty member in the Sustainable Living Program at Maharishi University of Management. He’s a member of the organizing team for the Transcending Sustainability conference in Fairfield, Iowa May 31 – June 3 2012.

From Lonnie’s fb page:
The Transcending Sustainability conference is a project of the New Academy for Sustainability. Sponsors include Centerpoint Financial, the St Mary’s/ Bonnell Project, the City of Fairfield Sustainability Office, The Sustainable Living Department at Maharishi University of Management, the Sustainable Living Coalition, and the kind generosity of many other institutions and individuals.

Why should you consider attending the Transcending Sustainability
Conference? Why should you invest $95 ($50 if you’re a student) and four days of your life in stimulating conversations with like-minded people in Fairfield, Iowa this summer?
In general, the Summer Institute will give you an opportunity to help take sustainability to the “next level” — including in your own professional and personal life. There are no “gurus” of sustainability; the movement emerged from concerns of people from all walks of life and is being driven forward by people from all walks of life. No one is more important or more essential to its success than is anyone else. The sustainability movement is the co-creation of an otherwise diverse, dispersed groups of like-minded people. Our ultimate success depends of everyone doing their part. Participating in the Summer Institute may well give you an opportunity to do your part in taking the movement to the “next level.”

Here are a few more specific reasons for attending the Summer Institute:
To gain a deeper and fuller understanding of “authentic” sustainability as distinct from sustainability initiatives of most corporations and public institutions
To finally cut through the confusion, intentional and unintentional, regarding definitions of sustainability
To understand and be able to explain the differences between economic, social, and ethical values and understand why social and ethical values are essential for sustainability.
To cultivate the art and science of thinking within a worldview of the economy as a part of society and society as a part of nature
To come to the realization that for those of us in the developed world the “economic problem” has been solved so now we can turn to the permanent problem of learning to live “wisely, agreeably, and well.

The setting for the summer institute will be our very own vibrant small town in the American Midwest: Fairfield, IA. Fairfield exemplifies progressive communities that are confronting the challenges of sustainability and realizing the opportunities beyond.

Here’s what Lonnie has to say about EcoFairfield: “This year’s ecofair looks better than ever, and will take place all over town rather than only at MUM. Congrats to all the student organizers.”  Thank you! The Transcending Sustainability Conference looks rockin’ as well.

Like their  fb page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Transcending-Sustainability-Conference/166299076823206. RSVP to the event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/366801820019439/.


EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Fairfield, you are invited!

“What is the next greatest version of your life, your community, the region and the nation?” asks keynote 2012 EcoFairfield speaker Seth Braun.  That’s what last year’s EcoFair organizers asked ourselves last year.  We learned from our local workshop presenters that there is a wealth of expertise, passion, and practical home-based sustainability in Fairfield and regionally. We learned from the Fairfield Volunteer Center’s weatherization projects and Interact’s Sunnybrook garden project that community service is fun, meaningful, bridges generations, and generates friendships.  At the Growing Food and Justice Conference in Wisconsin we discovered that community building and sustainability education can be seamlessly merged, and that culture, art, agriculture, and food are all integral.  We knew that community meant connecting diverse perspectives, because if the “choir is preaching to the choir,” the choir is missing out on learning, growth, and new relationships.  With so many fantastic organizations, projects, and people here, it seemed like the best route was to come together and get to know our neighbors.

by Werner Elmker

You’re invited this April 20th-22nd to Fairfield, Iowa for “EcoFairfield”. Bring your shovel, your business card, your story and most importantly your passion and vision! EcoFairfield is a new idea: a community organized, community-supported, and community-wide event themed to “Serve, Connect, Inspire.” It is a cross-organizational project that includes the Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Volunteer Center, Fairfield Rotaract, myLocal Cooperative, City of Fairfield, Dharma Foundation, Bonnell Building Project, and Iowa State Extension with more partnerships developing.

“One of the many partnerships that have come together for Ecofairfield is a group to plant in upwards of 300 6-foot trees around the community,” explains James Schleppenbach. The project is funded through an energy grant from Alliant Energy.  Shade trees as well as fruit and nut trees for community orchards will be planted. James’ initial “Day of Service” concept focused on bringing together students from Fairfield Public Schools, Maharishi School, and MUM for an afternoon of community volunteering, but it quickly evolved into a coalition working with the City’s tree planting and several other events. RSVP here http://www.facebook.com/events/350672824976142/.

Green Vendor's Fair 2011
Green Vendor's Fair 2011

Saturday we invite you to enjoy the abundance of Fairfield.  Your weekly Indoor Farmers Market is 8am-2pm at the Senior Center.  9am-4pm, the Green Vendors’ Sale (http://www.facebook.com/events/409948079031068/) and Green Career Jobs Fair (http://www.facebook.com/events/406619692688100/)  will fill Fairfield Convention Center Expo Hall and meeting rooms. Discover eco-friendly goods, local cottage industry expertise, and global connections.  Explore green jobs, internships, business opportunities, and local non-profits dedicated to education and service.

Green Jobs Fair 2011
Green Jobs Fair 2011

Workshops, presentations, and documentaries all day Saturday and on Sunday afternoon will offer a broad range of knowledge and experience you can apply to day-to-day sustainability.  Enjoy walking or biking the Spring streets as you visit the Fairfield Convention Center, Fairfield Public Library, the old St. Mary’s schoolhouse, and MUM campus, where you can tour the new Sustainable Living Center.

Local or regional speakers and workshop hosts include Fred Kirschenmann from the Leopold Center; Stuart Valentine, green asset management; Christian Renaud from StartupCity 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; Scott Morris, Founder of myLocal Cooperative; and Nick Campney from One-Hundred Trees.  Most presentations will be free; a few workshops may require $2-10 donations to help cover costs of materials.  A schedule including costs will be here online the first week of April.

EcoJam 2011
EcoJam Fashion Show 2011

Saturday night culminates in the annual ECOjam Fashion Show at 7pm in St. Mary’s School House. Twelve designers will each present a line consisting of recycled, vintage, or organically and sustainably manufactured materials. Local artists are also invited to showcase their art! (Artists contact: gracehartnett@gmail.com) Tickets go on sale at April’s Art Walk in front of the Beauty Shop and at the ECOjam door. For more information click here: http://www.facebook.com/events/312749835455771/.

Sunday morning is reserved for appreciating the spirit of rest, worship, and family. The early afternoon features a Community Swap, Kidz Corner, Food Drive, and workshops before the event’s grand finale at Chataqua park, where the Hometown Rewards BBQ and tree planting will be complemented by Seth Braun facilitating a community conversation on envisioning the next best version of Fairfield.

Revelations Bookstore and Cafe
by Werner Elmker

Stay up to date and help us get the word around by visiting our blog and subscribing for updates at ecofairfield.wordpress.com, or like us at facebook.com/ecofairfield. Please direct questions, suggestions, and volunteer interest to Minca Borg: borgs108@gmail.com
Or come join us for an evening of Green Drinks, networking, and fun this Friday evening at Revelations http://www.facebook.com/events/389870794357499/.

EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Kony 2012: Yay or nay?

Hi all,
By now you have probably seen this poster around:

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should. It is about stopping the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, by the end of this year.

As you can see, the Invisible Children organization has onehelluva mighty-powerful social-media campaign going on.  Why is this relevant to EcoFairfield, you say? Because it’s about human rights and an unsustainable system that brakes people, because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and, among other reasons, because its chosen “launch” date is April 20th, 2012. The EcoFairfield event also begins on Friday, April 20th.
The video tells the heart-wrenching tale of how Joseph Kony abducts children from villages: boys so they can fight and torture as soldiers in his army, girls so they can be sex slaves.  Props to Invisible Children for opening my eyes and inspiring me to focus my attention.  While I knew of the terrors of child soldiers and war, devastation and artificial scarcity in Africa, Invisible Children clued me into the issue in northern Uganda. However,  the little voice inside my head was buzzing while watching the Kony short-film.  The little voice doesn’t trust anyone, it is a tad-bit cynical, and it doesn’t like people willfully pulling at the heart-strings. I love my little voice because it’s like an internal compass for critical thinking. It makes me review something and then arrive at stronger, better informed conclusions. Since it was up to me to further inform myself and discern an appropriate path of action, looking for more information I bumped onto two blogs. Blogs, while not the best sources of information, can be pretty interesting, specially if written by people with well informed opinions.

Musa Okwonga, whose family is from Northen Uganda, urges us to: Stop Kony, yes. But don’t stop asking questions. He goes on to say “I understand the anger and resentment at Invisible Children’s approach, which with its paternalism has unpleasant echoes of colonialism.  I will admit to being perturbed by its apparent top-down prescriptiveness, when so much diligent work is already being done at Northern Uganda’s grassroots.” And I agree with him wholeheartedly; I felt the third-world-needs-western-world-to-save-us  vibe. I heard the white man’s burden on the video narrator’s voice. I was disturbed by strict divisions of “good” and “evil”.
“On the other hand,” he continues, “I am very happy – relieved, more than anything – that Invisible Children have raised worldwide awareness of this issue.  Murderers and torturers tend to prefer anonymity, and if not that then respectability: that way, they can go about their work largely unhindered.” Oh and famous will Kony become! It’s hard being famous! It takes its toll on people’s lives. Lives after fame are never the same.

“For too many years, the subject of this trending topic on Twitter was only something that I heard about in my grandparents’ living room, as relatives and family friends gathered for fruitless and frustrated hours of discussion. Watching the video, though, I was concerned at the simplicity of the approach that Invisible Children seemed to have taken.” The short-film put together by Invisible Children targets a young audience. If bound to go viral, like they hoped, their message had to be simple. A successful story is a simple story that is easy to remember and spread. The story they chose to tell was Jason Russel, Jason’s son, and Jacob’s story. Any film-maker knows not everything will be included and a lot of important details will be left out. Editing is a pain.

The other blog I found was too a well-written and well-informed account, this time by Grant Oyston. Grant (http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/)  is strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign because he thinks spreading awareness about Kony 2012 supports the Invisible Children organization directly.  From his blog “As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.”  Does he not understand film production nor what Invisible Children does? Invisible Children says on their website: “We are story tellers. We use the power of media to inspire young people to help end the longest-running armed conflict in Africa. We make documentaries, tour them around the world, and lobby our nation’s leaders to make ending this conflict a priority.” Quality film production is expensive, advertising and social media is expensive; people need living wages. (Trust me, we can’t all be starving volunteers).

Grant’s undermining of the power of social media is evident. “Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping.”  Media is powerful, social media specially. Did he not hear of the influence of social media during the Arab Spring?  or of Komen’s reversal of their decision to discontinue funding of breast-cancer-screening by Planned Parenthood? Where has this guy been for the last decade or so?

He continues on to say “Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.” And here is where I disagree with him completely. How many of you shared KONY 2012 images or the video “just because”? Is he assuming people behave like sheep? Does he fancy he’s got a monopoly on critical thinking?

Liberals jump at each other’s throat. We have not yet learned that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and that many of them are complementary. I agree that bickering is beneficial and helps refine our approach but it’s also counter-productive in the sense that it divides us as we belittle each other’s efforts. We forget that each of us holds but one piece of the puzzle and that to tackle greatly complex problems we need to collaborate, to work together despite our differences. Or at the very least not shoot each other down.
Indeed, something isn’t always better than nothing, but when it comes to human rights, action is ALWAYS better than inertia. Even if mistakes occur, that’s how progress is made, that’s how people learn. Humanity wasn’t born knowing how to tackle it’s problems. (All of them, anyway).

And because ideas are most valuable when in action, let’s talk ACTION STEPS. Kony 2012’s youtube description includes tips on how to help: Donate to Invisible Children: https://www.stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?eid=14711, Purchase KONY 2012 products: http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/, Sign the Pledge: http://www.causes.com/causes/227-invisible-children”. And these are fine and dandy, or not, depending on your view and support of Invisible Children.
However, I believe it is not possible to bring down a system without first building an alternative one to replace it with. It is better, in my opinion, to support Ugandan grassroots organizations, in Musa Okwonga’s opinion, to seek diplomatic pressure on President Museveni’s administration, or as Invisible Children suggests, to write to your representatives.
Here’s a list of some organizations listed by ugandaonline.net:

  • Uganda Debt Network – Uganda  Debt  Network is an advocacy and  lobbying coalition of NGOs, Institutions and  individuals formed in 1996.

  • Rhino Fund Uganda -Two species of Rhinos once roamed the savannahs and woodlands of Uganda. Today, the Rhino is gone from Uganda,

  • Gulu Walk  – Every night, up to 40,000 children living in rural northern Uganda walk into urban centers to sleep in relative safety and to escape the rebel army.

  • Computers for Uganda – Computers for Uganda is a not  for profit organization which is part of Emerald City Rotary’s Computers for the World organization.

  • Ceewa Uganda – Council for Economic Empowerment for Women of Africa chapter Uganda is a non-partisan and non profit organization working to promote the economic empowerment of women in the development process.

  • Slum Aid Project – SAP’s vision is “To see that  people of Uganda in slum communities live and enjoy fair and dignified lives
  • United Nations Development Programme – UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

  • ACODE – ACODE is an independent public policy research, analysis and advocacy think tank.

  • Aids Information Centre – AIC exists to prevent the spread of HIV and mitigate its impact by being a model of excellence in the provision and expansion of voluntary counseling and testing, information and education, and the promotion of care and support.

  • DENIVA – Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations(DENIVA) is a registered, indigenous, non-profit making network of Ugandan Non-Governmental and Community Based Organisations (NGOs/CBOs).

  • Kulika Charitable Trust – Kulika is a charitable organisation based in the United Kingdom and Uganda, providing educational scholarships and grants to Ugandan students and also ‘on the ground’ sustainable agriculture training to farmers in Uganda.

  • AidChild – Aidchild provides Homes, Pschological support & Innovative medical care to Orphans affected with HIV/AIDS.

  • BROSDI – Busoga Rural Open Source & Development Initiative is a not for profit organization that works with government and the civil society in improving rural livelihoods among others with the help of ICTs.

  • Hospice Africa – Uganda  – Committed to providing & supporting the provision, of palliative care to cancer and HIV/AIDS patients in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Nature Uganda – NatureUganda is the operational name of the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) in Uganda.  EANHS is the oldest conservation NGO in E.Africa.

  • Network of Ugandan Researchers & research Users – NURRU has three core programs, each of which is strategically conceived not only to feed into one another but also to ensure efficient achievement of the individual program goals, thereby achieving in sum the overall organizational objectives

  • Uganda Rural Development & Training Programme – URDT is an ideologically and philosophically independent learning institution, dynamically remolding the thinking and behavior of the people in rural areas regarding women, the girl child, and their own participation in, and control of those forces that influence their lives in the Kibaale and adjacent districts of western Uganda.

  • Ugabytes Initiative – UgaByTES initiative is Not-for-profit organization with a vision of promoting the integration of Information and Communication Technologies in the development plans of Uganda.

  • Isis-WICCE – Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange.

And lastly, (another thing Invisible Children got right),  keep on spreading the word!
KONY 2012.

Volunteers wanted to post things around town and in near-by towns, after EcoFairfield’s Key-note speaker, Seth Braun, is done with his speech around 9:30pm. Ninja attire encouraged but not required. Please RSVP for the self-organized event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/374491262574643/.

Instead of being swallowed by the tsunami, EcoFairfield is gonna ride this wave.
It’s a win, win, win.

EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

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.


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!

Community Tree Planting

Earth Day weekend this year is promising to be one to remember in Fairfield, as the ECOFAIRFIELD planning team is establishing partnerships for events in the community, one partnership has come together to plant upwards of 300 6-foot trees around the community. The funding for this project is available through a grant from Alliant Energy, which awarded the City of Fairfield $7,500 to plant trees for energy efficiency. The trees will be a mix of fruiting and edible varieties as well as non-edibles.

Serve. Connect. Inspire.

Planting sites include:
• Portion of trail near Chataqua Park (confirmed)
• Maharishi School (confirmed)
• Singing Cedars School (confirmed)

In negotiation:
• Fairfield public schools
• Portion of trail near Sky Factory
• Hospital
• Parking lot on Broadway ave.
• Wastewater treatment plant

A group of 15 people (myself included) met at the Library recently to discuss planning details and discern our plan of action. Representatives in the group included people from the local schools, the “Trees Forever” organization, the city’s sustainability coordinator Scott Tim, Sierra Club representatives, and others.
My personal involvement stems from my original initiative to organize a “Day of Service” in the community on the afternoon of 4/20, the official start-day of ECOFAIRFIELD. My vision was to invite Fairfield Public Schools  students, MSAE students, and MUM students to volunteer together around the community on Friday afternoon. It looks like that will happen, and the energy will go toward planting trees! But now, instead of 1 afternoon on Friday, tree-planting volunteers will be needed throughout the weekend. The final site selections, timing and other details are TBA.

We are looking for people familiar with ecology or tree planting to serve as group leaders at various sites. If you are interested in participating in any part of this weekend-long event and you are a student please contact me, James, at jaschlepp@gmail.com. If you are not a student and you are interested, please contact the Fairfield Volunteer Center: Phone number:           641-209-9045 Email address: fairfieldvolunteers@gmail.com.

United in Service,
James Schleppenbach
EcoFairfield 2012 team
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!

Green Drinks Event

The EcoFairfield team invites all interested in environmental issues to an evening of green drinks, good food, good people, and hopefully a good tune or two.
Green Drinks events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.
Green Drinks have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It’s a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.

We hope you can accompany us for fun and networking this Friday, February 24, at Arandas’ Mexican Restaurant. Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm
Please RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/348191771877938/

The Code:

Green Drinks are Open

* Green Drinks is mostly for people working on environmental issues, but anyone can come — people from environment groups, business, government, academia and as individuals. There is no ‘us and them’.
* Organisers and all attendees actively welcome newcomers and introduce them to others in the group.
* All attendees commit to meeting new people at every session and not just sticking with people they already know.

Green Drinks are Freeform

* There is generally no agenda or theme, Green Drinkers mingle and share insights and provoke and exasparate and inspire and delight each other. There are moments of serendipity and a lot of ‘oh, you if are interested in X then I must introduce you to that person over there who knows all about it’ …
* All kinds of people come to Green Drinks and this is what makes for the interesting interactions.

Read the rest here: http://www.greendrinks.org/Start 

See you Friday!

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.
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?
EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!
Fabiola Domenique
WordPress off
Further Reading
 UN International Year of Cooperatives http://www.2012.coop/
And if you are curious here are the contest guidelines: