April 2, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A "free for all" and a statewide panel will highlight the fourth annual Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo from April 16-18 at Illinois Wesleyan University.
"People often say to me, "I know I should be living better, but I'm not sure how to do it,'" said Missy Smock, director of the Wellness Center at Illinois Wesleyan, which is co-sponsoring the Expo with the Ecology Action Center in Bloomington. "The expo does more than show people the problems, it offers them solutions to improve their quality of life."
This year's expo, with the theme "Clean Water: The Ripple Effect," will kick off Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Young Main Lounge (104 E. University St., Bloomington) with a panel discussing the relationship between food and drinking water. "It's an irony that the food we eat affects the water we drink, and the water affects the choices we have for food," said Michael Brown, executive director of the Ecology Action Center. The panel titled "Clean Water, Healthy Food: Your Choices Matter" will include members of the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Center, the McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Illinois State Water Survey, as well as professors from Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State University.
The events on Saturday and Sunday will take place in the Shirk Center (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington) and include more than 100 exhibitors, 20 demonstrations, as well as a new event – the "Free for All," which Smock calls a new way to reuse items. Expo sponsors are collecting "gently" used items, which will be offered for free to anyone attending the event. "This is a way to show people that instead of adding more items to our overcrowded landfills, nice items and toys can find good homes with other people who might need them," said Smock.
The Expo will include workshops covering topics from rain barrels to energy efficiency. "There is one workshop called 'Are We Finally Escaping Affluenza?'" said Smock. "It's the idea that we may have hit our limit when it comes to affluence." A complete list of workshops can be found at www.islwe.org. Two Expo favorites will return with the Kid's Eco-Carnival and the Affordable Fashion Show. A special showing of the documentary FLOW will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Shirk Center.
Hours for the weekend are Friday, April 17, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. For a complete listing of times and exhibitors, go to www.islwe.org, or call more information, contact Smock at (309)556-3334, or Brown at (309)454-3169.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960