After getting canceled late last year, the Living Green Expo
is back on,
thanks to its many fans and supporters. The free event, taking place May 1 and 2 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, is now sponsored
by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership
, a coalition of more than 80
environmental and conservation organizations who have come together to
bring back the beloved, eco-minded weekend event.
When Living Green Expo was canceled last year due to serious cuts in state funding, green lovers went into a panic. Not only was this an event to showcase the latest and greatest in environmental initiatives, Living Green Expo has helped to cultivate a growing community of green-minded folks all over Minnesota. It's where people creating green products meet green builders; where educators can demonstrate green practices; where green ideas germinate and spread.
"When it got canceled, it really threw a bunch of people into a tizzy," says Steve Morse, executive director for Minnesota Environmental Partnership. "Everyone was really disappointed. So we made a decision just before the holidays to do the show this year, and we've been going nonstop ever since."
In just a handful of weeks and working entirely from scratch, the folks at MEP have lined up sponsors, created a web site, organized programs, mapped out the space, and gathered green exhibitors, which now outnumber 270.
Along with green-focused exhibits, demonstrations, and seminars on green building products and practices, the Expo this year will feature more green artists, educators, and sustainable foods and demonstrations than in years past.
"We will have quite an expanded food section, with some booths outside and some inside," Morse says. "And we will have a local food stage with local chefs doing demonstrations through out both days."
In fact, Morse says, this year's Living Green Expo will be organized into areas that cover all areas of green living: greening the home; transit; eating healthy and sustainably; growing and gardening green; saving energy and money; and investing in the green revolution.
And along with the networking and education Living Green offers, you can feel extra good about attending the event knowing you're already working to reduce your carbon footprint: The two-day event will be near-zero waste-free, thanks to the folks at Eureka Recycling, who will compost as much waste as possible. Morse says Living Green Expo will be the largest waste-free event the state has seen so far.
As an added bonus: It's an election year, folks. Which means gubernatorial candidates will be out there on May 2 at 1pm to talk about clean energy, clean water, and Minnesota's environmental future.
"We think about green living as incremental steps," says Morse. "All of the topic areas explore this. We understand people are busy and money is tight. But we think of green living as something that can be done in incremental steps. And as we think about this continuum of action and changes for people, we think it's also important to have a major gubernatorial forum. And we hope that people see the event as a whole continuum that is at its core about helping people take actions to make their lives a little greener."