Enviro Fair aims to educate and inform

By Laura Petersen

Concerned about global warming and want to help the environment, but don’t know where to start? Already installed energy efficient light bulbs and drive a hybrid, but want to know more?

The Enviro Fair returns to the San Diego County Fair Sat., July 5 with a full day of vendors, organizations and speakers ready to help answer those questions.

“It all seems exciting and necessary, at the same time very big and daunting,” said keynote speaker Sara Snow, host of Get Fresh with Sara Snow on the Discovery Channel. “There are still lots of people stuck at the starting blocks, I want to reach those people, inspire them to take those first steps.”

Snow will share tips and insights about organic cooking and natural cleaning at 1 p.m. and ways to green the home at 3:30 p.m.

Organic cooking is something Snow grew up with, and encourages others to learn about their locally grown and organic food options.

“Food is something we all encounter multiple times a day,” she said. “To be educated about the food you buy, cook and eat is a really important step.”

She said consumers should also know what sort of chemicals in cleaning products should be avoided and replaced with natural ingredients, because “just as important as the food you put in your body is the environment we put our bodies in.”

Snow said she is looking forward to visiting Del Mar to share her passion for living green with likeminded folks (though she is always up for a sparring match with non-believers). Besides introducing the people to green living, she said she also enjoys helping those already toting the cloth grocery bags find next steps.

“I like to hear some of the challenges and successes people have,” Snow said.

Throughout the day, fair-goers will be able to check out local vendors offering a variety of eco-friendly products and services.

Local nonprofit organizations will also educate the public about solar energy, watershed conservation and other ways to go green.

For example, the San Diego Zoo will be educating the public about its habitat conservation mission and will have some favorite animal ambassadors on hand to meet the public.

“Our whole philosophy is connecting people to wildlife, and in doing so, helping them care more about the world around them,” said Sunni Robertson, an education guide.

The Zoo staff is excited to reach a broad audience at the fair, and hope to provide folks with a few, small tips to try at home.

“If everyone makes a small change, it makes a huge difference,” Robertson said.

The key is to make it fun, Robertson said, so people do not walk away thinking the world will end, but that positive progress is being made.

Another highlight of the Enviro Fair is the Eco Fashion Show, featuring apparel and accessories made from recycled or organic materials by local designers. This will be the largest fashion show yet, with a wide variety of designs and styles for men, women and children.

Everything from hand bags and belts, to jeans, swim suits and formal wear are made with such organic materials as hemp and bamboo. Some pieces recycle old clothes or even a couch into something new and trendy.

“And you would never guess it,” said show coordinator Michelle Portuguez.

This is the ninth annual Enviro Fair. The event has not always been held during the San Diego County Fair, but on America Recycling Day in the fall. The Enviro Fair was moved to the fair to gain more exposure.

The Enviro Fair runs from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show. For more information, go to