by Alexis Lieberman, Alisa Shargorodsky and Jessica Baskin Taylor
“I’ll be bringing my plate and a cloth napkin, too,” said Ilene Burak, of West Mt. Airy. She is getting ready to attend the Mt. Airy Village Fair, which has a “zero waste” theme this year. Attendees will be able to use reusable cutlery and dishes that are being donated by community members for use at the Fair, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the intersection of Carpenter Lane and Greene Street. Or you can bring your own! All food vendors (High Point Café, Weavers Way’s grill and food trucks) will adhere to the zero-waste theme.
Some people may ask, “Why? Why should we do this? Waste is inevitable, and every living organism produces waste.”
This is true. But we need to consider the impact of all this waste on our biosphere. Our waste was produced from precious resources that we all know are not infinite. It’s important that we care for our environment responsibly and take deliberate actions to nurture this miracle of a planet.
So how can you help?
With the community’s help, we hope to have plenty of supplies on hand, but we encourage everyone attending to bring your own plates and utensils on the day of the Fair!
Also, from now up until the Fair date we will be holding a food service supplies drive. The following items will be collected at 555 Carpenter Lane (the Weavers Way office) during the Co-op’s normal operating hours: Plates, forks, knives, spoons, mugs, reusable plastic cups, cloth napkins and tablecloths.
And thanks in advance to all of you who make plates! RSVPs for the event are not necessary, but they would help the plan for resources, so please give the Studio a call if you plan to stop in.
There will be plenty to eat at the fair, with two primary public eating/seating areas for attendees to enjoy: a beer-garden-style seating area at 542 Carpenter Lane (former home of Philadelphia Salvage) and a large outdoor seating area at High Point Cafe.
The many interactive booths have also signed on to the zero-waste theme. The Henry School PTA will be teaching how to pack a zero-waste lunch bag, for example, and the Yes! And… camp will be making a large, group papier mache sculpture using recycled materials. Each of the booths will offer an interactive activity, which is one of the unique things about the Fair. Activities will include post card art, “clicker” dog training, DIY paper jewelry, a 10-minute guitar lesson and many more family-friendly activities.
The pet parade will happen as always (line up with your pets at 12:45 p.m.), but it’s hard to really have zero waste when it comes to pets! Everyone knows to bring their baggies when dogs are around! So the pet parade theme will be zero-waste-related: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Pets can be dressed up in costumes fitting the theme or are welcome without costumes.
“I would love to see greater involvement and wider assortment of pets. Last year was all dogs,” said the Fair’s long-time emcee Karen Heller, of the Washington Post. How about a parrot or an iguana or a turtle?
The festivities will take place throughout the Mt. Airy Village (at the intersection of Carpenter Lane and Greene Street). The slow ice cream eating contest will be at 1:45 p.m., and the ever-popular organic pie-eating contest will be at 2:45 p.m. Music and other performances will be ongoing all day on the three stages throughout the Fair.