Green Fair Educates Residents For A “Zero-Waste Future”

Ella, from Midstreams Green Team, displayed how plastics affect our oceans. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  BRICK – The cloudy conditions didn’t hold back Brick Township residents from learning about environmental advocacy at the annual Green Fair.

   The 12th Green Fair was once again held outdoors at the at the Bob Anstett Cultural Arts Center located on Herbertsville Road. The event featured several presentations and vendors as well as some new exhibitions.

  Every year, the Fair has a soft theme that many of the vendors follow. This year, the theme was “Cradle to Cradle.” Vin Palmieri, Brick Township Environmental Commission Secretary, explained the term is defined as “a design or products that can truly be recycled.”

  “Lifecycle is the emphasis of this year’s Green Fair. More specifically a coined sustainability term called ‘Cradle to Cradle’ is the overall theme,” Palmieri said. “The goal of ‘Cradle to Cradle’ is to create a closed-loop system where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and environmental impact is reduced, ultimately leading to a more sustainable way of producing and consuming goods. Essentially, it encompasses the idea of a ‘zero-waste future’ by creating products and systems that can be fully repurposed, recycled, or completely biodegraded at the end of their life cycles.”

Students hand out sunflower seeds. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  Some local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that participated in this year’s Green Fair included the Brick MUA, Brick Township Shade Tree Commission, Save Barnegat Bay and more. The event housed nearly 40 vendors, a new one being Waves & Woods Designs – a locally sourced upcycling company that makes trash into treasure.

  A major part of the Green Fair is the involvement of students from Brick Schools. A total of 10 schools participated this year: Veterans Memorial Middle Sustainable Energy Club, Drum Point Elementary, Osbornville Elementary, Veterans Memorial Elementary, Emma Havens Elementary, Lake Riviera Middle, Brick Township High School Green Team, Brick Memorial Green Team, Lanes Mill Elementary, and Midstreams Elementary.

  Teachers and students from Brick Memorial High School showcased their commitment to sustainability and community involvement. At their tent, students distributing their Project Pothos plant with the goal to ensure residents to have a greener home.

  Additionally, the Brick Memorial High School tent featured students from the AP Environmental Science class who demonstrated to use of aquaponics and how they used the method to sustainably grow lettuce.

Photo by Alyssa Riccardi

  Students from the Art Club painted bird houses for the pollinator garden to support biodiversity within the community.

  Other student organizations handed out seeds, made a game of “Power Save Trivia,” as well as shared green facts with residents.

  “The Green Fair is a Brick community staple every spring. Our committees, schools, and volunteers work tirelessly every year to make this happen,” Palmieri said. “The Brick Green Fair is a pleasant reminder to our community why it’s important to be environmentally conscious. Everything we own comes from somewhere, and (people) take that for granted. Natural resources, water supply, energy, and open space are just a few examples.”

Students from Brick Memorial Art Club paint bird houses for the pollinator garden. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  “The Brick Green Fair also serves as an educational piece to the public about the local environment and what they can do to help make a difference. Of course, this truly wouldn’t be possible without Keith Rella. His consistent dedication and passion for this event are instrumental in its success. It wouldn’t be what it is today without him,” Palmieri added.