Students and community members will come together at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Oct. 28 to learn about sustainability during the third-annual sustainability fair.
The fair is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center. The event is part of a national celebration of sustainability in higher education.
Free and open to the public, the fair will feature nearly 30 exhibitors from area businesses, farms, organizations and student groups that seek to benefit society through sustainable practices.
Elizabeth Corbin, student special events coordinator for the office, said one of the goals for this year’s fair is to engage people in learning about current initiatives.
“We want to let people know this city is working toward being sustainable,” Corbin said. “There are still a lot of people who don’t know what it even means to be sustainable or what that really looks like in their everyday life.”
Students for Sustainability is one student organization exhibiting at the fair, and club officers said they’re looking forward to the opportunity for outreach, networking and sharing information about their efforts to help make UWSP a fair-trade campus.
Abbie Carlson, junior communications major and public relations officer for Students for Sustainability, said the fair is an important meeting place for a wide array of professionals.
“One of the main benefits of attending the fair is that it is an excellent networking opportunity,” Carlson said. “I like talking to the other exhibitors because there is always a wide variety of people with interesting backgrounds.”
Carlson represented the club during last year’s fair and acknowledged the benefits of the fair’s unique and casual atmosphere.
“I think it is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to receive such a plethora of information about different forms of sustainability in one central location,” Carlson said. “Another advantage to this type of setting is that a student is at their own discretion to how much they want to explore and learn at the fair.”
The last fair drew around 300 people and 24 exhibitors. Coordinators are hoping to build on that success by creating a more engaging atmosphere for a wide range of people.
“We’re trying to create an environment with a little more glue,” said Dave Barbier, UWSP sustainability coordinator. “We want to get a nice cross section of both students and community members.”
A number of sustainability-focused films will be shown throughout the day and tables will be set up for eating soup and sandwiches sold by the CPS Café. The Theatre and Dance Department is also expected to sell used Halloween costumes during the event to complement the theme of reducing waste.
Corbin is looking forward to celebrating the community’s accomplishments. She said there is a strong culture surrounding sustainability on campus and in the community that continues to grow.
“There are a lot of things we can still improve and work on,” Corbin said. “Sometimes you don’t think about some things that we do and how sustainable they are.”