EcoLoo Fair draws crowds interested in sustainability

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Curious students came together in the SLC to explore a variety of exhibits featuring different ecological subjects including conservation, sustainability, and taxonomy Oct. 25.

Between booths describing the benefits of using diva cups and protesting the Line 9 pipeline, visitors could nibble on sandwiches and baked goods — provided their trash was properly sorted and composted.

One booth that drew a number of interested students was the display presented by the Sustainable Market, a local online farmer’s market. People were intrigued by the company’s guarantee of no minimum orders, no membership fees, and zero food waste. “Zero food waste means that if we have orders for only four cabbages in a week, our farmer is only picking four cabbages,” explained owner Raine Okum. “We visit the farms and dairies we get our products from. They’re all from the region and we make sure all the animals are treated well.”

“We’re a great option for busy students who want to eat healthier, more local or both,” said Sustainable Market team member Jennifer Cutting. “You can place your order between Monday and Wednesday and then come pick it up from our location at Erb St. on Friday. What’s easier than that?”

Campus Compost had a display where students could play a matching game to see whether their composting knowledge was up to par. Co-leader of Campus Compost, Isha Mistry, said the short term goal of their display was to raise awareness on campus.

“The program started two years ago and we’ve just kept expanding, both our location and our capacity to manage waste. We use all the compost from campus facilities to help the ecology lab in their naturalized gardens,” explained Mistry.

Many students were both attracted to — and a little spooked by — an incredible display put on by the Ecology lab featuring their best Canadian wildlife skull specimens. Visitors were invited to read a brief description of how one can use teeth shape to figure out which skull was which. After the quick lesson, guests were allowed to handle and examine the skulls up closeand see the detail in each item. Students were fascinated by the giant deer skull and intrigued by the weasel skull featuring minuscule razor sharp teeth. For the Ecoloo Fair, the Ecology lab even brought out the big guns so to speak and revealed one skull was that of a lynx, Canada’s little seen big cat.

Whether students had an interest in animals or plants or taking care of the Earth in general, everyone found a booth of interest at the Ecoloo Fair. The fair achieved its ultimate goal of highlighting the incredible nature that surrounds students on campus and reminding them how to protect it, with visitors leaving some cool new facts and tips about how to improve their impact on the environment.

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