I attended the Fort Collins Sustainable Living Fair with my husband this past Saturday. All I can say is (to quote a customer who also attended) 'I'm ready to go live in a yurt and raise goats!'
The fair gave us the much-needed reassurance that we are not alone in our concern for the environment, and our search for alternative ways of living. And did they ever have choices for those other ways! We passed booths dealing with every conceivable aspect of the green/sustainable lifestyle - many of them issues that we had never thought of! From the solar oven (knew about that) to the necessity for all eight sugars in a balanced diet (??? never knew that) and everything in between. The best part was the relative lack of structure. We moved from a display on alternative building materials to a booth with free meat samples (we'd just had brunch, more's the pity, because that steak smelled good!) There was no feeling of 'now we're in the energy section, now we're in the clothing section, etc' but of a wonderful holistic jumble! Just like the reality of a sustainable lifestyle, the fair offerings looked at the integrated whole.
Of course, being the bibliophile that I am, my attention was grabbed by any booth with books on display. While I was a good girl and resisted the temptation (merely noted the titles for later purchasing) my husband, surprisingly enough, found one book that he had to have, Superbia! 31 Ways to Create Sustainable Neighborhoods by Dan Chiras ($19.95, New Society Publishers). I definitely got some leverage out of his succumbing to temptation while I stood firm! So I used my high ground to justify my ordering of the three books that I wanted - I know, three to one hardly seems reasonable, but I've never denied that I'm an addict! So, in a few days I should have Everything I Want to Do is Illegal by Joel Salatin ($23.95, Polyface) A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity by William Coperthwaite ($25, Chelsea Green Publishing Company) and Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn ($26.95, Shelter Publications). I can't wait!
While our time at the fair was unfortunately limited - only two and a half hours to see all that we could - we had enough time to realize that our Northern Colorado Community has a strong group dedicated to finding ways to live in harmony with nature. Even driving past the parasitical mall at Centerra afterwards couldn't entirely erase our sense of hope. Of course, now we have to decide how we will apply ourselves to meeting these challenges. My husband votes for the Green Party in Ireland and watches for any new research about organic farming, genetically modified foods, and oil alternatives. I, of course, tend to be a little more (over)enthusiastic. So, I'm ready to go handbuild a completely green shelter with all alternative energy, a complete water recycling system and a biofuel converter, grow organic foods for our own consumption, make all of our clothing, outlaw TV, and banish consumerism. Oh, and raise goats, of course.