Seven local churches will host their third annual Green Living Fair March 16 at the Libertyville Civic Center, where guests can drop off recyclables, get free CFL bulbs and learn about how to help the environment.
About 30 exhibitors are expected at the event, said co-organizer Katey Aynilian. Planned educational topics include sustainable living, composting, gardening, reycling/reducing waste, green cleaning and green shopping guidelines. There will also be activities for children.
"It's definitely a community event," said Aynilian. "It seems like it has a high energy level."
Aynilian said the Green Living Fair first started as an Earth Day Fair at a local church in 2009. The Earth Day Fair, and now the Green Living Fair, are organized by United Methodist Church of Libertyville, St. Joseph Church, St. Lawrence Episcopal, First Presbyterian, Grace Lutheran, Holy Cross Lutheran and Prairie Circle Unitarian.
"We have kind of a two-prong purpose for this event," said Aynilian. "One is to engage and educate the local community in regard to things they can do, habits they can change, that sort of thing."
Last year, the Green Living Fair exhibitors included a beekeeper and a vermiculturist. Working Bikes from Chicago was also at last year's fair. The group collects old bikes and bike parts and sends them to places like Africa, where the bikes and parts are used to create machines that can do things like pump water out of a well.
"They were kind of our 'wow' factor last year," said Aynilian. At last year's fair, representatives from Working Bikes had a machine that kids could pedal to light up light bulbs. "It was a lot of fun for the kids."
The other goal of the Green Living Fair is to offer a lot of recycling opportunities, including things that aren't usually accepted curbside. Items that will be collected include electronics (no televisions), plastic bags, styrofoam blocks, inkjet cartridges, gym shoes, glasses, hearing aids, cell phones, wine corks (no plastic), bicycles, children's books, crayons and plastic tape dispensers.
"I look at it like this. You can be overwhelmed because there are so many problems with the environment and the world. But I can't sit around and do nothing. I have to do something, even if it's really small," said Aynilian.
The Green Living Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Libertyville Civic Center, 135 W. Church St. Admission is free.