Get ‘triple bottom line’ smart at this year’s Sustainable Living Fair

Sustainable Living Fair Icon

BY DAVID J. HILL republished from UB Now 

Published September 17, 2018

“Sustainability should be everyone’s concern. The planet needs us all to participate.”
Don Erb, senior sustainability associate, senior sustainability associate

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Sustainable Living Fair Flyer

Scratching your head for ways to incorporate sustainability in your home or at work? Plenty of advice — and free samples — will be available at the 2018 Sustainable Living Fair sponsored by the Professional Staff Senate’s Sustainable Living Committee and Campus Dining and Shops.

This year’s fair will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Student Union. In conjunction with the fair, Campus Dining and Shops will be featuring the Pride of New York, a program that showcases locally grown and made products. That will take place just outside the Student Union.

“The Sustainable Living Fair is an opportunity for the Professional Staff Senate to provide the UB community with resources and ideas to assist them in living a life that considers all aspects of the sustainability triple bottom line, which encompasses social, economic and environmental impacts,” says Don Erb, senior sustainability associate at UB and a member of the steering committee that organizes the annual event.

The fair features a variety of campus and community exhibitors, including Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, the Greater Buffalo Recycling Alliance, FeelRite Markets, Association for Wild Animal Rehabilitation and Education (AWARE), BlueRock Solar, UB Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Weavers Guild of Buffalo. AWARE will bring some of its bird rescues, while Therapy Dogs of WNY will have a few four-legged friends hanging around.

As evidenced by the diversity of exhibitors that will be tabling, the fair affords visitors the chance to learn how to take sustainability beyond the environmental component.

“They can drop by, talk to our exhibitors and begin to understand how social and economic aspects of sustainability impact the environment,” Erb says. “In order to impact the planet’s environment, we need to begin by impacting our own community positively, and then scale it up regionally, nationally and internationally.

“For instance, if we can’t articulate the need for wellness and provide resources locally for wellness, how do we have the credibility or the methodology to do it for the planet?” he asks. “Balancing the wellness playing field for people around the planet gives them the capacity to be more concerned about their environment than being concerned about their health.”

Toward that end, colleagues from UB Wellness Education Services will be tabling to talk about wellness in the community.

The fair requires months of preparation from a committed group of UB staff, including members of the PSS Sustainable Living Committee, Campus Dining and Shops, and the Student Union.

Fair organizers hope attendees walk away with a few goodies in their bag, and some knowledge they didn’t have before.

“Sustainability should be everyone’s concern. The planet needs us all to participate,” Erb says. “The Sustainable Living Fair could be your avenue to find out how you can ramp up your personal efforts to provide a more sustainable world today and for tomorrow.”

global goals

Sustainable Development Goals:

11. Sustainable cities & communities: Developing safe, resilient and sustainable places to live

12. Responsible consumption & production: Developing sustainable methods of product invention and consumer spending