The Rider Lawrenceville Eco-Reps attended Sustainable Lawrence’s seventh annual Living Local Expo at the National Guard Armory in Lawrence Township on March 29th.
Jillian Spratt, senior Eco-Rep, was very overwhelmed with the multiple sustainable businesses and organizations that were so close in proximity to Rider.
“It’s great that students in the area have an opportunity like this to find local organizations that they can get involved with,” she said. “It’s helpful to know what is going on in your immediate area. I wish my hometown had an event like this.”
Spratt was honored to represent and inform the local community about Rider’s sustainable initiatives.
“We got a really positive response from the community,” she said. “People were impressed with all of the bigger initiatives we have, like the solar field and converting our food waste to compost. We had multiple Rider alumni stop by and they were very pleased to see how far Rider has come.”
According to Tahirih Smith, board member of Sustainable Lawrence, the green fair was a collaboration between green teams from Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, Princeton and the Mercer County Office of Sustainable Development.
“This event expanded much over the years from the basic idea of being green to living local,” Smith said. “We need more people to take in the local economy and promote sustainable practice.”
The event had multiple activities for adults and children to participate in. Along with a cooking and electric bike demonstration, there were presentations by multiple organizations such as PSEG on insurance and Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey on organic food. A scavenger hunt kept multiple kids busy and involved, while parents and adults could enjoy other programs such as bird watching or learning about water conservation.
Erica Litmanov, ’13, and Michelle Glauberzon, ’15, from Hopewell were both having a great time doing the scavenger hunt.
“The event is awesome, there are so many different things I didn’t know before,” said Glauberzon. “I learned that the chemical tetrachloroethene (PERC) is a bad chemical used to dry-clean clothes.”
The triple bottom line: people, planet and profit played a huge role at the event. According to Pam Mount, owner of Terhune Orchards in Princeton and former mayor of Lawrence Township, there were approximately 82 vendors and around 1,000 residents that showed up to the green fair.
“This year was a great turnout; it’s getting bigger and better each year,” she said. “Last year it was at the Lawrence High school and we had about 60 vendors.”
Mount believes that living local will be the key to future generations.
“We are in a critical tipping point in the world and we need to learn how to live with the increasing population,” she said. “This event benefits the locals and residences by showing them the opportunities and commodities that local businesses and organizations have available to them. They are learnings things to make a difference.”
Lawrence Township Councilman David Maffei was extremely pleased with the event.
“The organizations are fantastic and there are so many different things here,” he said. “It’s great to see so many people involved. This has been Lawrence Township’s largest event so far.”
For Helen Tai, Ewing resident, this will be the third time she has attended the expo.
“I like the location compared to last year,” she said. “It’s fun, educational and local.”
Senior journalism & environmental science major