As the sun beat down on the tents at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in St. Clair Shores, Saturday, August 22, 2011, interested members of the community hurried across the busy street to attend the second annual “Green Fair in the Park”, hosted by the City of St. Clair Shores’ Parks and Recreation Department and media sponsor GreeningDetroit.com.
With this event spotlighting the importance of living a healthier, greener lifestyle, the lined-up booths revolved around cleansing the earth of toxins and chemicals, taking care of the human body with natural products and preserving our environment. Products ranged from organic foods, solar energy products, green batteries, natural lighting, green cleaning products and all-natural skin care, one of which was Mirror Lake Organics owned by Paul Weideman.
“We make organic soaps, lotions, body butter, lip balms, we’re working on organic deodorizers and toothpastes, and all of our ingredients are certified organic, they’re fair trade, they’re kosher and certified cruelty free,” Weideman said. “People eat organic vegetables that go into their body, but the largest organ in the body is the skin, and they don’t think about their hair care, skin care, their toothpaste which, if you read the back of the toothpaste tube, it’s poison, it says ‘Do not swallow, if you do call poison control’ . . . That’s why we’re into organics; it’s good for the earth, good for the body, and it’s the absence of pesticides and chemicals that go into the plant oils that we use . . . The more we promote this, the more that the people buy this stuff, the less chance there will be herbicides and pesticides used in vegetables and plant oils and anywhere in the world.”
Another participant, Richard Rubin, owner of Maxi Container, a 100 year old family business started by his grandfather, decided to focus on the importance of reuse. “Two years ago, we came across a truckload of plastic barrels that had held pickles and olives that were going to be landfilled and cut up and shipped to China to make other plastic products, and then shipped back, which is a huge carbon footprint. We decided that we wanted to get involved in the community, and advocate reuse. Reuse, or repurposing, is better than recycling because recycling takes energy. So we developed the rain barrel, which we sell at these events, and compost tumblers out of these plastic barrels.”
Many organizations were represented at the green fair, including Shaklee, a supplier of green cleaning and health products, Arbonne, a company devoted to skin and body care, Earthworks Urban Farm, the MSU Extension, that teaches the Master Gardener and Master Compost programs, Great Lakes Battery, Dental Care of the Future, CVS Pharmacy, and PETfection to name a few.
State Representative Anthony Forlini for District 24 spent the day providing information on legislation supporting green efforts in the State of Michigan. Suzanne Sikkelee, PR Director for Representative Forlini said “Anthony Forlini is a very green guy; he is very ecological and a very big protector of the Great Lakes … he attended this event because he believes going green is very important, both for the business community, as well as individuals.”
Along with the importance of keeping the earth clean, the fair spread awareness of how manufactured goods can have negative effects on human beings, as well, because of the chemicals and toxins they carry into the body.
“We used to be very natural before chemicals and manufacturing plants came around,” Sheena Henderson, owner of PETfection, said. “I think green products are bringing people back to their roots.”
Although this event was a first time for many of the companies, the consensus of the group was that the green fair was a success and important to continue.
Story & Photos by: Amber Snyder, representing GreeningDetroit.com