Earth Day festival encourages eco-friendly living

The afternoon heat did not keep Loganites from descending upon 100 South next to Ellen Eccles Theatre and down to the Thatcher-Young Mansion. Sunshades lined the sidewalks to keep occupants cool as they sold their wares and shared their messages of environmental awareness at the Earth Day 2012 Downtown Street Festival.

In the middle of the street, there was a stage where groups such as Sassafras and the Dry Lake Band serenaded audiences with bluegrass tunes. Behind them was an e-waste drop off, where attendees could drop off old or unused electronics to be recycled. The Logan River could be heard in the background, and the water was clear and shallow.

Evelyn Rust sat behind her showcase, displaying her homemade soaps, lotions, lip balms and insect repellents. She also sold rock art etched in sandstone, featuring custom photographs and Native American artwork. Her business, Sunshea Products and Swell Art, is run out of her Providence home.

“Everything here is made from scratch,” she said. “The sandstone comes from the San Rafael Swell, and my inspiration for the art comes from the Native American rock art in the area.”

Next to her booth there was a woman selling pottery and jewelry. However, she was busy with the other part of her setup, helping customers make their own terrariums with soil and gravel. Terrariums can be used to house plants or small animals such as insects or amphibians.

Across the street a booth hosted by Global Village Gifts featured products made of recycled materials, such as newspapers and old fabric, crafted in a shop on 146 N. and 100 East. Global Village’s products are made by artisans from more than 35 developing nations in Asia, Africa and South America.

“It’s all about promoting free trade,” said one of the booth’s representatives to potential customers.

USU was represented at the festival by the Sustainability Council and USU Recycling. Students Paige Gardner and Brooke Evans sat in the spring heat at the Sustainability Council’s booth, selling reusable metal water bottles for $8.

“Our message is, simply, ‘Why?’” Evans said, as she pointed at strings of empty plastic water bottles that were hanging from her table. “Why use so many plastic water bottles when you can buy one and keep using it? Cache Valley has very clean tap water to drink.”

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