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Shift Happens at EcoFair Marin

Author: Susan Deluxe
September, 2012 Issue
Known as the birthplace of mountain biking, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Dipsea and the Grateful Dead, it’s only natural Marin County is at the forefront of what’s hip, trendy and green. EcoFair Marin, a community-based celebration of healthy choices and sustainable living, delivers local leaders from business, government, education and nonprofit sectors who are bringing the community together to build a sustainable future. In a county graced by such sylvan beauty, the September 9 festival honors Marin’s rich heritage of environmental stewardship and eco-innovation.

Inspired by San Rafael’s Climate Change Action Plan and presented in partnership with Green Festival promoters Seven-Star, Inc., the second annual EcoFair Marin will educate, motivate and entertain while reminding us that every choice we make matters. The day-long event features local eco-friendly products and services and is organized into five main themes: iDwell, iPlay, iLearn, iWork and iLive. Each category includes panels and presentations from businesses, policymakers and nonprofits that are leading by example and teaching us how to live smarter and leave the smallest footprint possible.

Meet local innovators and stewards

More than 80 exhibitors will showcase innovative and cutting-edge ecoliving habits, from organic beauty products, rainwater catchment supplies, plant-based dog food and biodegradable urns and caskets to solar technology, ecovillages, sustainable construction materials and green cleaning services. Longtime local stewards of the environment, such as the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marine Mammal Center, will also be in attendance.

Throughout the day, eco-goods and services from each of the fair’s five categories will be raffled off, with proceeds to be used by EcoFair Marin to benefit our community.

Van Jones to speak

Highlighting the event will be keynote speaker Van Jones, human rights and environmental leader and green jobs adviser to the Obama White House. Author of two New York Times best sellers, The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream, Jones will be joined on the main stage by Andres Edwards, award-winning sustainability educator, consultant and author of Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resilient Society and The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift; Lori Grace, owner of the Sunrise Center, who will be speaking about genetically modified foods; and Joey Shepp, social entrepreneur, sustainability expert and sustainable programs director of Dominican University.

Demos, entertainment, food and drink

DIY demos on green cleaning, water conservation, furniture making without power tools, healthy cooking, tai chi, backyard beekeeping, chicken raising and mushroom growing, as well as a reading by Mill Valley educator and storyteller Susan Katz, author of My Mama Earth, and a high school student sustainability panel, round out the many family-oriented events planned throughout the day.

A Trashion Fashion Show will feature models wearing ocean-diverted plastic waste couture on the catwalk. Tesla, Volt and Fisker electric cars will be on display. In the Art in Nature area, you’ll be able to experience participatory art in a natural setting. And there’ll be plenty of hands-on activities to keep little environmentalists busy in the UrbanSitter Kids Zone, plus storytelling and face painting.

This year’s EcoFair offers a broad spectrum of live music, including Congo-born Ricardo Lemvo, known for his fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms; edgy rock singer-songwriter Megan Slankard; eclectic acoustic guitarist-singer-songwriter Mike Gibbons; folksy singer-songwriter Sofi Rox; and world music composer Laura Inserra.

At 9 a.m., the day starts with a community organic pancake breakfast ($8). You’ll also find fabulous organic food, beer and wine during the day from Lydia’s Organics, Whipper Snapper restaurant, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Frey Vineyards, Kasa Indian Truck, Laloos Goat Ice Cream, Weaver Coffee and Clif Bar. Fairgoers are encouraged to bring their own utensils and water bottles (there will be a complimentary water station) to help achieve the event’s zero waste goal. Marin Sanitary Service and the Conservation Corps North Bay will be providing waste diversion services.

The Marin Bicycle Coalition will be sponsoring a bike valet, and entry is free for cyclists. To map your bicycle route, view bus maps and schedules or to find information about ridesharing or other public transportation options, visit

Thanks for the support

Special thanks to EcoFair Marin sponsors and partners: Eco Leader: Solar City; Eco Partners: Marin Sanitary Service, Central Marin Sanitation Agency, Dominican University Green MBA Program, Whole Foods; Eco-Allies: Clif Bar, Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation Authority, Pacific Sun, UrbanSitter; Eco Friends: Clover Stornetta Farms, The Woolman Semester School, U.S. Pure Water; Greening Sponsors: Conservation Corps North Bay, Marin Sanitary Service; and Partners: City of San Rafael, MarinLink, Marin County, Sustainable Fairfax, Marin Bicycle Coalition, The Bright Studio, Seven-Star Events, The Nature of Art Festival; Ranch 7 Creative.
Susan Deluxe is guardian angel/owner of Tiburon-based Earth Angels Green Cleaning ( Contact her at (415) 435-4283, or

EcoFair Marin ( takes place Sunday, September 9 at the Marin County Fairgrounds Lagoon Park, San Rafael. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and general admission is $5. Children 17 and under get in free. You can purchase tickets at the door.


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