Non-Profit News: Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair

Organizers of the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair want to attract more than just the greenest of green to the event in Fort Collins this weekend. Even if people have had only one passing thought about recycling, there’s still something for them at the fair.

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“We want to open a conversation with people who are interested in even the slightest way,” says assistant fair director Christa Carlman. “It’s not just for people who are really well versed in environmental issues. It’s for everybody.”

Carlman says sustainable living goes beyond just environmental practices, and the diversity of the keynote speakers reflects that. Fair goers can hear filmmaker and biodiesel guru Joshua Tickell speak as well as “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman. Other keynote speakers are author and economist Michael Shuman, Mother Magazine publisher Peggy O’Mara and Colorado photographer and preservationist John Fielder.

This is the eighth year the non-profit Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association (RMSLA) has held a fair, and Carlman expects it be the biggest so far.

“Last year we had people from 29 states,” Carlman says, “And we do get people from all over the state.”

The estimated 9,000 attendees will participate in workshops, explore the “Zen Zone,” and enjoy beers from the local O’Dell’s and New Belgium breweries, as well as mead (honey wine) from Boulder’s Redstone Meadery.

The fair will also feature Planet Youth, where children can learn about yoga and recycling.

The mission of the RMSLA is to “educate people and communities in the Rocky Mountain region to make healthy sustainable choices.” Holding the annual fair is a key way the organization tries to get residents motivated.

“It’s a place where people come and hang out all day,” Carlman says. “We really do act as a medium for connection-building and networking to happen.”