Sustainable Saratoga and Skidmore College organized the first Saratoga Sustainability Fair last Saturday, April 6. More than 300 people strolled through the Case Center at Skidmore College, where 36 exhibitors were on hand to answer questions and provide resources on a wide range of sustainability topics, including environmental protection, renewable energy, social equity, impact investing, and much more. “The success of the fair exceeded our expectations,” according to Wendy Mahaney, Sustainable Saratoga’s manager. “One of our primary goals was to connect people with resources to integrate sustainability into their lives, but seeing the community engage with one another and express their passion to make changes in our community and our world was what really made this day extraordinary.”
The partnership between Sustainable Saratoga and Skidmore College’s Sustainability Office was a natural one. Volunteers from both organizations, including many students, were involved in both the planning of the event and keeping the event running smoothly throughout the day on Saturday.
The highlight for many was the keynote address by Aaron Mair: “Democracy, Intersectionality and Building a Strong Climate Movement.” Aaron’s ability to remind us of our history and weave his own personal story into a thought-provoking, inspiring call to action for each of us to come together and make our voices heard was met with a standing ovation by the over 150 people in attendance. Aaron’s talk left a lasting impact on attendees and set the stage for a day that would encourage a broader, more inclusive view of sustainability. If you missed the talk, or would like to hear it again, you can find an audio recording here.
Nineteen workshops took place throughout the afternoon, with a large number in attendance for workshops like Backyard Composting and The Climate Reality Project. The EV car show was a hit as well, and the addition of a Ride & Drive event let people test drive a Mitsubishi Outlander or Hyundai Kona. Some attendees also joined a campus sustainability tour, which showcased student-led programs like their community garden, campus bike share, and apartment composting. The tour also covered other campus-wide efforts like the College’s solar and hydro-electric projects, and even included a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Skidmore’s geothermal energy nodes.
Art Holmberg, Chair of Sustainable Saratoga, hopes to organize another fair next year. “The overwhelmingly positive response we received clearly shows that there is a desire for this type of an event, and this is exactly the kind of educational opportunity that our organization strives to provide to the community.”
If you are interested in finding information about the event, including contact information for the exhibitors and workshop presenters, click here.