Seventh Annual `Living Local’ Sustainability Expo March 29 in Lawrence

Photo: Noemi de la Puente (l) enjoys soup served up by Mark Toto (r) at the 2013 Living Local Expo.
Photo: Noemi de la Puente (l) enjoys soup served up by Mark Toto (r) at the 2013 Living Local Expo.

The 7th annual Living Local Expo March 29 will feature more than 60 eco-friendly vendors, farms and chefs. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by a coalition of local sustainability groups. The expo will be held at the National Guard Armory on Eggerts Crossing Road from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The expo is being billed as a “zero waste” event. A zero waste event follows sustainable practices to send the least possible amount of waste to the landfill. Recycling, reusing items, and reducing waste are components of a zero waste event. Recycling Stations will be set up for  recyclable and compostable materials such as paper cups, food scraps, and plastic water bottles that are generated by the event. Information about Lawrence Township’s new food and organic waste composting program will also be on display. Visitors can also learn about the negative impacts of single-use plastic bags from the Bag It campaign.

Visitors can donate items at the expo for reuse by others. Donate old bikes to The Trenton Bike Exchange, or donate gently used medical equipment to Your Resource. Dress for Success also will be collecting clothes that are suitable for the workplace.

To promote buying local and reduce waste from packaging, the expo will feature a farmers market with local fruits, vegetables, meat, cheeses, food and food products, plants and flowers. Visitors to the expo will have the opportunity to talk with local farmers about the coming season.

Cooking demonstrations by local chefs will be offered all afternoon. Chef Chris Albrecht of Eno Terra will kick things off with a food demonstration at noon. Terhune Orchards, Yellow Bee Aviaries, Stony Brook Orchids, and 4th Street Foodworks are just a few of the local businesses that will be participating in the expo.

Organized by Sustainable Lawrence in partnership with the green teams from Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, and the Mercer County Office of Sustainable Development,  the expo will also feature sustainable local businesses, hands-on workshops, and the “Ask your Neighbor” table where visitors can hear how homeowners completed successful energy-efficient home projects.

Visitors can hear speakers discuss a variety of sustainability issues ranging from local school gardening and science projects, to the future of transportation, to recycling in Mercer County and more. Several car dealers will bring their hybrid and electric models for a mini show in the parking lot. See a converted electric truck and participate in building an electric bicycle using a simple kit.

The TEMPOraries band will be providing live rock music from noon to 2 p.m.

Local school representatives and leaders of local organizations will discuss projects like new biking paths, walking trails, and other community projects.  Visitors can enjoy a locally prepared lunch, soup, chili, bread, cider, fruit and more from more than a dozen local farms and local food businesses.