Fair promotes green lifestyle

The UB Sustainable Living Fair allows UB students, faculty, and staff to learn more about campus and community sustainability efforts.

Published June 19, 2014

“The Sustainable Living Fair is a snapshot of the work that the campus and the community is doing to reduce our footprint on the future.”
James Simon, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
Office of Sustainability

The name has changed, but the goal remains the same.

The UB Sustainable Living Fair—formerly known as Green Shade of Blue & You Day—encourages members of the UB community to practice sustainability at home, as well as on campus.

The university’s fourth annual environmental expo took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 18 in the Student Union, North Campus. It was sponsored by the UB Office of Sustainability, the Professional Staff Senate and Campus Dining and Shops.

Why the name change?

“Greener Shade of Blue & You Day was a riff off of a focused semester on sustainability in 2007 that saw leaders like Al Gore and the late Wangari Maathai visiting and speaking on campus,” says event co-chair Jim Simon, sustainability engagement coordinator with the Office of Sustainability. “Since then, our take on sustainability has expanded to include not only the environment, but people and economic efficiency.

“We look at all of this through the lens of teaching sustainability through our curriculum, discovering the next big idea through our research, reducing our environmental footprint in our own operations and reaching others far and wide through community engagement,” Simon explains. “Changing the name to the UB Sustainable Living Fair helps capture this focus and also makes it clear what we are actually doing on Sept. 18.”

The fair, he points out, is a “snapshot of the work that the campus and the community is doing to reduce our footprint on the future.”

“Coming together every fall for this event is always inspiring,” he says.

The environmental fair featured demonstrations, door prizes and nearly 20 local and national business and nonprofit organizations offering information about maintaining a sustainable home and reducing one’s environmental footprint.

Goodwill had a truck at the event to collect donated items.

In conjunction with the fair, Campus Dining and Shops again hosted the Pride of New York Showcase featuring organic and local produce, dairy products and fresh baked goods from Western New York farms, fields and kitchens. The showcase featured many vendors that partner with UB.

Janiece Jankowski, circulation manager for the Arts & Sciences Libraries and event co-chair, notes that vendors were selected for this year’s fair in keeping with the new focus of the event: to help attendees support sustainable living.

Jankowski also says that organizers strive to make the event “as green as possible.” For example, this year there was less use of paper to advertise the fair in favor of such things as signs and email.

“We continue to promote it as a university-wide event; everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend,” she says.