Published on October 5th, 2008 | by Autumn Wiggins6
The Sort-of-Sustainable Craft Show: Food For Thought
As many of you know, I’ve been on hiatus planning Strange Folk, which took place this past weekend in O’Fallon, IL. We had amazing weather and an estimated turn-out of 10,000 people. On a shoestring budget, I set out not only to lessen this event’s impact on the planet, but also to wisen the public to the ways of upcycling.
The first part of this equation poses many obstacles. For instance, enough cash to order all the marketing materials I need printed on recycled cardstock with soy based ink from a company across the country (because no one does that locally) and offsetting the carbon emissions it takes to ship them to me. But that’s just the beginning. I’m truly starting to understand the woes of the organizers of this year’s Democratic National Convention, even if they had $70 million to work with. Pfft… pocket change in terms of going uber-green.
We are all aware of the myriad of personal commitments one can make to minimize their environmental footprint, but translating those to a mass gathering serves to highlight the true complexity of our problems. Even to the point of this “granola girl” questioning, at fleeting moments, the validity of throwing such an extravaganza in the first place. Is the pursuit of craftiness worth its weight in greenhouse gases? I feel the answer is emphatically “Yes.”
In a series of upcoming posts, I’ll tell you all about the good, the bad, and the green of putting on a large craft show. To whet your palette, we will start with a peek at one of my favorite projects for Strange Folk, our “Eco-Craft Exhibits.” Throughout the park, there were simple examples of how to re-use what is sitting around your house or headed for a landfill anyways. Our first table, “Food for Thought” showcased a variety of uses for glass jars (storing dry goods, drinking glasses) along with simple instructions for removing labels (soak in a sink full of hot water and 1/2 cup vinegar). Also, I made some pizza box solar ovens that you can use to make s’mores, or even bake cookies in!