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Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo set April 10

March 17, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo will bring new opportunities for people to discover how to live well and live green. The Expo will include educational workshops, food demonstrations, music performances, a kids’ carnival, an artists’ venue, a mother/daughter class on Middle Eastern dance and the local premiere of the movie No Impact Man.

A kickoff for the Saturday event will be held on Friday when Jay Truty, founder of Ecosystem Capital, LLC, will be the keynote speaker. Truty, a 1996 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, practiced environmental and natural resources law for almost 10 years before creating Ecosystem Capital in 2008, which specializes in providing assistance to landowners, corporations, financial institutions, conservation organizations and government entities to develop innovative and market-based ecosystem services. His kickoff speech, titled “Creating Ecosystems of Nature,” will be at noon in the Hansen Student Center (300 E. Beecher St., Bloomington) on Friday, April 9.

The Expo, slated for Saturday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be in the Shirk Center for Athletics and Recreation (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington) at Illinois Wesleyan University and is free and open to the public.

“This is really about people discovering resources to help improve the quality of their lives, and having a great time doing it,” said Missy Smock, director of the Illinois Wesleyan University Wellness Center, which co-sponsors the Expo along with the Ecology Action Center.

New to the Expo this year will be performances throughout the day on the main stage including blues music, acoustic rock, jazz fusion, a cappella, and demonstrations of belly dancing and tai chi. The 5th annual Ecology Action Center Affordable Fashion Challenge will return to the main stage at 2 p.m. The schedule of performances can be found at www.islwe.org.

An artists’ venue will also be included in the Expo this year. Local artists will create pieces using recycled materials, such as renowned glass artist Jason Mack, who will sculpt with recycled glass. “Matt Erickson from cometogetherstudios is helping bring in some great area artists who can turn discarded materials into something people want to buy,” said Smock.

The kid’s carnival will return to the Expo, running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and featuring free games, crafts and projects for children.

Wellness Expo 2

More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand to help visitors live well – from food demonstrations to muscle therapy techniques to environmentally friendly ways to care for your lawn. This year, exhibitors will include information on alternative energy for the home, including wind power and energy auditors, who can assess how individuals can cut energy costs in their homes. “Many of the exhibitors are not only giving ways to live green, but to live more economically as well,” explained Michael Brown, executive director of the Ecology Action Center. A list of exhibitors can be found at www.islwe.org.

Educational workshops will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Shirk classrooms, spotlighting topics such as food additives to avoid, tips on frugal and environmentally sound gardening, energy efficient ideas for your home, and ways to access financial incentives for small wind power systems. There will also be a special mother/daughter “belly dancing” lesson by local Middle Eastern dancer and instructor Sahira Zedare will be at 1 p.m. in the Shirk Practice Gym. The schedule of presenters can be found at www.islwe.org.

At 3 p.m., the Expo will screen the movie No Impact Man, a documentary of the struggles of the family of Colin Beavan to live a year a totally green life. This is the first time the movie, which was a Sundance Festival award winner, will be shown in Bloomington.  “This man and his family gave up a year of elevators, plastic cups and packaged meats to try and completely remove their carbon footprint on the earth,” said Smock. “It’s an incredible and entertaining story that has not been available here in Bloomington.” To see more about the movie, including the trailer, go to www.islwe.org.

For additional information on the Expo, contact Smock at (309) 556-3334, Brown at (309) 454-3169 or go to the Expo Web site.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960