Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Fourth annual Sustainability Fair offers tips and tricks.

Southwest neighbors looking to go green will find a host of sustainable solutions at the fourth-annual Garden Home Community Sustainability Fair.

The fair was first conceived and organized three years ago by Garden Home Community Library Adult Service Programmer Heather Waisanen.

“It’s my baby,” Waisanen says. “The first Sustainability Fair we hosted was in 2010. Washington County Recycling had given out bags made from recycled plastic bottles to give out to people. I am personally interested in green and sustainability issues, so I thought the best way to give these out was to host an information fair.”

At least 20 firms will be participating in the 2013 fair, 15 of them new this year.

“Each year I invite the previous year’s participants, but I also want to keep it fresh, so I’m always on the lookout for new participants, who I cold-call or cold-email or get an introduction from someone who knows someone at the business or organization,” Waisanen explains.

The fair has been increasingly popular — so much so that, she says, “This year I’ve even had people calling me asking to participate after seeing it on green websites.”

What exactly does a sustainability fair look like? “Every booth is different,” Waisanen says. “New Seasons Markets always does a popular booth where they are cooking up something fresh and sampling. This year, we’ll have another sampler, Missionary Chocolates, which makes gluten-free and vegan chocolate.”

Of course, not all fare on display at the fair will be edible.

“Other booths have spiffy, professional, shiny, tradeshow-like informational displays,” Waisanen adds. “We’ve had hard displays; one year Portland Purple Water brought in and set up an example of their rain barrel system. Some are … simple, with examples or pictures and someone to chat with.”

All fair participants will have one thing in common: “Each booth has someone there to answer questions,” Waisanen says. “Some even have giveaways or takeaways.”

The fair will not be all brick and mortar, however.

“This year, Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District will be here and they will … have their Naturemobile,” Waisanen says, adding that she is “also hoping that I will have an electric vehicle or two. Those obviously will be in our parking lot!”

The Sustainability Fair continues to be a success year after year largely because of the organizer’s palpable passion for the cause.

“Clean water, clean soil, and clean air are important to our quality of life. We cannot trash things or use things up and expect our standard of living to remain high,” Waisanen says. “What we do in our own homes … affects everyone else, even beyond Portland, and for many years past our personal lifetimes.”

All in all, she says, “The goal is to leave the world a better place for our children, their children and onward.”

WHEN: 4 to 6 p.m. April 30.

WHERE: In the Garden Home Community Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Road.

WHAT: Free and open to the public. Peruse booths on various sustainable topics and businesses from gardening to recycling to water.

Participants include:

• Greensavers

• Earthwise Loan

• Sunlight Solar Energy

• Indow Windows

• Mercer Windows

• Regional Green Building Hotline

• Master Gardeners

• Missionary Chocolates

• New Seasons Raleigh Hills

• Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District Nature Park

• Oregon League of Conservation Voters


• Tualatin River Watershed Council

• Friends of Trees


• Tualatin Valley Water District

• Ludemans Farm & Garden Center

• Green Living Journal

• OPB Earthfix – Share your thoughts at a Community Story Booth

• Redirect Guide

• Ecobinary

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