SanDiego350 Attends Earth Fair

By Amy Van Schijndel, SanDiego350

On Sunday, April 23rd, 2017, San Diego’s 28th annual Earth Fair was held in Balboa Park, and it drew more than 60,000 visitors. It is the largest free Earth Day-related event of its kind. The event included environmental issues such as lowering our carbon footprint, climate change, and what to do with our recycled “trash.” Along with Earth-friendly education, the fair provided live entertainment, parades, and plenty of shopping. SanDiego350 hosted three booths that were scattered across the park. Our intent at the fair was to promote not only climate action but the People’s Climate March, which will be held on April 29th.

SD350 Volunteers

Volunteers at one of the three SanDiego350 booths.

One new area to visit this year was Cannabis Village. Hemp can help reduce our carbon footprint. It can be made into many different items including clothes, medicine and building materials. FlippySocks creates a gym sock with a wallet (Sock Wallets™) made out of organic hemp, bamboo and recycled cotton. Elixinol sells Edibites for pets made of hemp oil for health and wellness. Hemptique creates shoes, beanies and a variety of merchandise from hemp made in Romania.

Another section in the park was the Reuse and Repair Area. Malia Designs fights human trafficking by selling purses and wallets made in Cambodia from recycled Cement bags. EarthWell Refill, in North Park, takes clean, empty containers and turns them into refillable bottles of soaps, body care and household cleaners. Habitat for Humanity Restores sells…”new, used, discontinued and surplus building materials and home furnishings…to help build new Habitat homes and divert…materials from landfills.” San Diego Earthworks teaches how and what to recycle which is beneficial since Earth Fair pledged to reuse and recycle all trash thrown away Sunday (termed Zero Waste).

Ready for the PCM

A young supporter, ready for the People’s Climate March.

The Climate Science Alliance Area offered an “interactive activity area with 20 local organizations involved in climate change and ocean research and education.” At the San Diego Coast Keeper table, visitors learned how volunteers measure water levels for toxins. The Pala Environmental Department educated children on the effects of plastic on sea life. The Center for Western Water Extremes displayed a surface meteorological station that performs tasks for measuring barometric pressure, air temperature and humidity, and gauges rain. It is used to detect water drought for conservation.

Parade Puppets

Two of the puppets created by Puppet Insurgency.

Another advantage to attending this year’s fair was the volunteer and membership opportunities. Individuals interested in getting involved had a wide variety of options. Harvest Crops and Feeding San Diego seeks residents to help feed the homeless via fruit picked in the backyard of local residents or via donated food. San Diego Beekeeping Society, Last Chance for Animals, PETA, Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity focus on adding new members to protect animal rights. Amnesty International Group, National Organization for Women (NOW), The Mankind Project, San Diego Veteran’s for Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace welcome those wanting to create a better life for all humanity.

Earth Fair 2017 was a huge success, bringing thousands of visitors together to celebrate our planet. Guests left with a more enlightened view of our environment and how to protect it. With a pledge of Zero Waste at the fair, the road to a better world began at the park.

Amy Van Schijndel is dedicated to saving the planet and fighting climate change. She spends her free time working with various environmental organizations, including 350.org. She has been a strong supporter of animal and human rights for over 20 years.

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