You don't need to buy a hybrid car to be green. You don't need to buy reusable bamboo cutlery; the silverware you already have will do just fine. You don't need to install solar panels on your house. And for the love of God, you don't have to replace your flush toilet with a compost one.
Being green is quite simple. It's about using the products we already have, not buying a whole mess of new ones and sending the old ones to the landfill. It's about refurbishing old houses, not building new ones. It's about growing your own vegetables, not buying organic. It's about hitting up yard sales and thrift stores for your clothes. Being green is reusing what's already been made. And that's what we urge you to do.
That's not to say that when your hot water heater goes out that you shouldn't buy a tankless one; you should. And it's not to say that you shouldn't buy Energy Star appliances. Nope. It's that you should wait until those products kick the bucket and then purchase the eco-friendly stuff. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and yours. And that's where the Charleston Green Fair comes in. It's all about educating you to be the best earth citizen you can be.
Of course, what would a fair be without a little bit of fun? Well, it sure as heck wouldn't be a fair. That's why you'll find plenty of activities for the kids, food and beverages for the adults, and an afternoon of music for the masses. Enjoy.
Tickets and times
The Charleston Green Fair begins at noon Sunday, Sept. 25, in Marion Square. Tickets are available at the door (the “door” being, um, Marion Square) for $5. Kids 12 and younger get in free and can participate in KidZone activities for free as well. Volunteers also get in free; forms are available at charlestongreenfair.com.
Redefining large-scale manufacturing with an environmental twist, the recently constructed Boeing 787 Dreamliner plant in North Charleston aims to deliver unrivaled, sustainable commercial aircrafts to customers throughout the world and, in turn, taper off the company's carbon footprint. — Jacob Flannick
The traditional Charleston home was built to efficiently cool itself. The side porches and narrow, tall structures were designed to allow breezes to flow directly through the house. Unfortunately, a home designed to be drafty isn't a model of energy conservation in the days of central A/C. — Stratton Lawrence
When Mary Gatch first moved to Charleston, she started getting sick. Sinus infections, frequent colds, and irregular breathing plagued Gatch and her children, so much so that she began to get suspicious. The family was living in a rental at the beach while their new home was under construction. "I knew the house was causing our sicknesses," she says. Using mold-testing kits, her suspicions were confirmed. "The mattresses screamed mold," she says. — Amy Stockwell Mercer
Every year, the Green Fair hosts an eclectic mix of acts, and this year is no exception. Veteran roots-rock band the Blue Dogs co-headline the Coastal Conservation League Main Stage alongside funk-rockers Uncle Mingo. Some of the other acts include Stained Glass Wall, Dream Merchants, the 3 Dudes, Nathan Calhoun, Introducing Fish Taco, and members of Shrimp Records. — T. Ballard Lesemann
Adopting an eco-conscious wardrobe doesn't have to mean turning into a hemp-wearing earth mama. Shopping secondhand is another way to lighten your environmental footprint — and save money to boot. Whether you're thrifting, swapping, or shopping and selling consignment, you're recycling goods that might otherwise find their way into a landfill. With that in mind, the Green Fair is introducing a fashion-focused event to encourage secondhand shopping. The Green Style Market, hosted by Re-Trend, will include a fashion show, a clothing swap, and goods from local vendors. — Erica Jackson Curran
It's hard to find a window at Crisis Ministries' current building on Meeting Street, but that's all about to change for this 27-year-old nonprofit. On Oct. 18, Crisis Ministries will break ground on a new energy-effecient facility. — Stratton Lawrence
It is no secret that the Great Recession has made ghost towns of partially finished suburban housing developments, with unoccupied McMansions dotting the landscape like hulking prophets bearing witness to a singular message: Never buy more house than you can afford. — Paul Bowers