Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo Set for 10th Annual Event

Wellness Expo
Vendors share information with attendees at the 2014 Expo.

March 31, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Central Illinois’ premier green event will return on Saturday, April 11. Sponsored by the Illinois Wesleyan University Wellness Program and the Ecology Action Center, the Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo is free to the public.

Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center, the expo showcases dozens of exhibitors, multiple educational workshops and activities for children to provide information on healthy and sustainable living. Thanks to the help of Midwest Fiber, it is also the largest Zero Waste event in central Illinois.

A recent favorite of the expo is the display of electric vehicles. Five different cars will be on display this year, including the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, a 1975 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar, and Tesla Model S. Also on display will be an ELF, a tricycle with an electric-assist motor and hard outer shell to protect riders from the elements.

The popular Renewable Fashion Challenge will also return this year. Hosted by the Ecology Action Center and Home Sweet Home Ministries (HSHM), the event challenges participants to transform and repurpose materials found at the HSHM Mission Mart thrift store by recreating a celebrity look. The expo will also feature a Freecycle Free-for-All, in which expo attendees can bring in household items, clothing and toys to trade in as a “free rummage sale.”

Multiple workshops and a panel discussion will be offered centered on the growth of the local food system in Bloomington/Normal. Panelists include Terra Brockman, a local food activist and James Beard Foundation-nominated author of The Seasons on Henry's Farm; Erin Meyer, executive director of the Spence Farm Foundation; Katie Novak, outreach manager for Green Top Grocery; Chef Ken Myszka of Epiphany Farms; Andrew Cochran, store director of the new Bloomington Hy-Vee; and Bill Davison, University of Illinois Extension educator.

Expo highlights include:

  • 9 a.m.
    Breakfast with Bell's Gourmet Food Truck in the Shirk Center parking lot
    Tai Chi Demonstration
  • 9:15 a.m.
    Free fitness classes, through 2:15 p.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.
    Renewable Fashion Challenge Show
  • 10 a.m.
    Workshop with Bill Davison on sustainable agriculture
    Free bicycle tune-up from the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, through 1 p.m.
    Live music by acoustic guitarist and vocalist David Bertchold
  • 11 a.m.
    Professional storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis
    Workshop with Chris Trimble of HSHM on HSHRenew textile recycling
    Workshop with Terra Brockman on sustainable farming
    Lunch with Healthy in a Hurry Food Truck in the Shirk Center parking lot
    Cooking demonstration with Chefs Ken Myszka and Stu Hummel of Epiphany Farms and Anju Above
  • 12 p.m.
    Workshop with Chef Ken Myszka on the story of Epiphany Farms
    Workshop with Michael Brown of the Ecology Action Center on recycling
  • 12:15 p.m.
    Live music by Eric Gordon
  • 1 p.m.
    Presentation of the McLean County Green Awards
    Workshop with Erin Meyer on “For the Love of Food”
    Cooking demonstration with Chefs Ken Myszka and Stu Hummel
  • 2 p.m.
    Workshop with Katie Novak on the co-op grocery revolution
  • 2:15 p.m.
    Live music by Old Men Boys
    Panel Discussion on the Local Food System

By Tia Patsavas ’16