Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo

2012 Illinois Sustainable Living & Wellness Expo.
Wellness Expo 2012

April 1, 2013          

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The annual Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Illinois Wesleyan Shirk Center for Athletics and Recreation (302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington). The expo will feature approximately 100 exhibits promoting personal health and environmentally sustainable living.   There will also be informative sessions and workshops focused on spreading environmental awareness.   

The event, which is co-sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University and the Ecology Action Center, in their eighth year of collaboration, is free and open to the public.

One of several topics that will be addressed this year is fracking, short for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, a “water intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid—typically a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas.”

At 1:00 p.m., in the Shirk Center’s North Classroom, William Rau, professor emeritus of industrial sociology at Illinois State University, will deliver a speech titled “To Frack or Not to Frack: Is There Even a Question?” He will examine the issue of fracking in Illinois and its implications for the environment and community health.  He will also display video clips and graphics, which will explain potential ramifications of proposed legislation.

Another highlight of the expo will be the popular Renewable Fashion Challenge, challenging people’s creativity to transform and repurpose used materials into stylish clothing or home décor.  Hosted by the Ecology Action Center and the Home Sweet Home Mission Mart, participants in the challenge have to select a “celebrity look” and recreate it using only reused clothing items.    

Senior Jennifer Twiddy with a T-shirt bag.
Jennifer Twiddy and Purse

With this focus on textile recycling, IWU environmental studies major Jennifer Twiddy, who conducted her senior seminar in textile recycling, will demonstrate how to creatively turn T-shirts into handbags.  Home Sweet Home Mission Mart will also donate numerous T-shirts for expo attendees to make their own bags.            

The expo will also host a Mega Recycling event where everything from residential electronics, CFLs, batteries, plastic pots to textiles, shoes and confidential paper shredding can be brought in to be recycled, all in one place.  For more information about what can and cannot be donated, call IWU Wellness at (309) 556-3334 or the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169.      

The event will also revisit successful venues from past years, such as the McLean County Freecycle “Free-For-All.” This program facilitates the exchange of unwanted material that is still in useable condition by collecting household items and gently used children’s clothing and toys.

Also, story teller and award-winning author of children’s books Brian Fox Ellis will take the main stage at 11:00 a.m. to tell stories of environmental sustainability from around the world. And, throughout the day, there will be three electric cars on display: The Nissan Leaf, The Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The i-MiEV will be available for test driving.

The following is a schedule including some of the additional sessions and attractions that will be available:

--At 10:00 a.m., “Yoga For Wellness” will take place in the North Classroom and a session on “Non-surgical Scoliosis Correction” will take place in the South Classroom.

--At 11:00 a.m., “Workshops Investing With Your Values” and “Suburban/Urban Permaculture,” will take place in North and South Classrooms, respectively.

--At 12:00 p.m., in the North Classroom there will be a session titled, “What is a Food Co-Op, and Why Should I Care?” and in the South Classroom there will be a workshop on “Movement, Stretching and Massage for Wellness and Pain Management.”

--At 1:00 p.m., “To Frack or Not to Frack” will be presented in the North Classroom and “Using Essential Oils for Pain Relief,” will be presented in the South Classroom.

--At 2:00 p.m., there will be a presentation on “Green Building Materials” in the North Classroom and another presentation in the South Classroom, titled “Homegrown and Handmade.”

For a complete list of activities, and additional information, go to

For additional information or questions, contact Missy Smock, director of IWU’s Wellness Program at (309) 556-3334 or Michael Brown, executive director for the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169.

Contact: Mallika Kavadi’15 (309) 556-3181,