|The South Carolina Green Fair is supported by a committee of passionate individuals, who believe that by educating both consumers and businesses through the Green Fair Events it is possible to make South Carolina an even finer place to live! Our purpose is to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services and technologies available to the residents of South Carolina using an environmentally responsible forum of education and entertainment.|
With the help of Sonoco Recycling and Alcoa, our Resource & Recovery stations got a makeover, helping to educate attendees with color-coded sorting bins. These efforts kept our waste diversion numbers in Charleston over 95% and Columbia was not far behind with nearly 93% of the waste in Finlay Park diverted from the Columbia landfills. This was just one of the improvements to the 4th annual Charleston Green Fair. Jim Martin was the self anointed Compost King and we couldn’t deny him the title with his over the top orange and hot pink get up complete with crown and scepter. The Parks Conservancy really got our concept of making the Green Fair not just educational, but light and fun!
The day was jam-packed with activities for the whole family. The always popular Eco-Carnival was as crowded as ever and Kid-Zone organizer, Stacey Rafalowski from Earth Force, said that this year was the busiest in her four year’s of participation. Also, back for the second year in Charleston was the New Belgium Bike Parade, which also made it’s debut in Columbia. After completing the parade cyclists parked their bikes at the always popular Bike Valet sponsored by Trek in Charleston and Summit Cycles in Columbia. For those looking for four wheel transportation, Subaru made an appearance as the official auto of the Carolina Green Fair. Also cruising through Marion Square were the Lightning Bugz LSV’s and Segway of Charleston. The Art Magazine Art Walk in Marion Square continued to attract those looking for creative recycled gifts of art and jewelry and Art Mag presented a unique exhibit of collages by artist Olan Quattro.
New attractions in 2011 included the New Belgium Beer Lounge, which a big hit with the beer connoisseurs in both cities. Three sold out beer tastings gave a little something extra for those looking for more than just a satisfying cup of Fat Tire. Many of those same beer lovers wandered from the New Belgium tent over to the ITSC & Charleston City Paper Solar Sunday Tent featuring five flat screens showing Direct TV’s NFL Ticket. Solar panels were provided by Blue Marble Solar and the sun (after a quick shower) was provided by Charleston’s unpredictable weather.
Probably this year’s biggest new attraction was the Re-Trends Green Style Market. Featuring fashions from local consignment stores, furniture and accessories from Habitat Re-Store and purses made from recycled materials by Happy Bags, the Style Market was packed with fashion lovers all day. Ensemble’s, Kristen Armstrong put together an amazing fashion show, representing all of the businesses featured in the tent. Beautiful Robin Lee models strolled the runway to live tunes from Return of the Mac, while the crowd cheered on the hip and trendy fashions from Groove Girls, Ensemble, Consign Charleston, Ocha Baby and more! The Style Market had it’s own specialty bar, flanked by the gorgeous American Harvest Girls. Guests could enjoy American Harvest cocktails like Basil Lemonade or our favorite wine, Bota Box. Thanks to the hard work of Lindsey Smith and Re-Trends, not to mention Kristen Armstrong, the Style Market proved that green can also be fashion forward! The Style Market also made it’s way to Columbia. Sponsored by Revente and The ShopTart, it brought recycled fashions for the whole family to Finlay Park. Also making their debut in Columbia were our Earthspun Apparel volunteer t-shirts made from x-ray film and recycled bottles. They were super soft, great looking and a huge hit with the volunteers!
While attendees noshed on delicious food from sponsor Triangle Char & Bar, Roti Rolls, Fiery Ron’s Hometeam Barbeque, Pot Kettle Black and Blackbean Company in Charleston, bands like The Blue Dogs, Uncle Mingo and The 3 Dudes rocked the Coastal Conservation League Main Stage. As the day got hotter, King of Pops refreshed with their delicious homemade popsicles. Over in Columbia’s Finlay Park, Uncle Mingo and The Blue Dogs made a repeat appearance on the Fishco Main Stage and on the Kid Stage, sponsored by KD’s Tree House, families were entertained by a recycling puppet show, Lunch Money and The 3 Dudes. Food options in Columbia included LowCo BBQ and The Good Life Cafe who offered vegan fare. Local Farmers offered free tastes of some of their offerings over in the Local Agriculture tents and Lowcountry Local First promoted the BUY LOCAL movement in Charleston, while SC Certified waved the buy local flag in Columbia.
As always education and information covering all areas of being green was abundant at the Green Fair. Non-Profit educations tents featuring topis such as energy conservation, clean water, wildlife conservation, green building and recycling (among others) did their version of interactive show and tell, offering a wealth of information to Fair goers. Special thanks to our friends at Coastal Conservation League, Sustainable Midlands, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium, Green Haven Preserve, The City of Columbia, City Roots and The Charleston Green Business Challenge for sponsoring the education and programs at the Green Fair.
Our goal at the Green Fair is to make being green an inclusive movement, easy for all types of people. Jacel Egan at the Charleston City Paper said it perfectly: “Ultimately, the Green Fair proved to patrons that sustainability is not only accessible, but it’s fun. Just ask the Compost King.”
Special thanks to the support of our media sponsors Charleston City Paper and The Columbia Free Times, who helped spread the word and put together our amazing event guides.