2008 Charleston Green Fair

The first annual Charleston Green Fair was held this weekend in Marion Square. With over 75 exhibitors ranging from sustainable food vendors to green building companies this free all-day event had something for everybody. The event promoted local businesses, local restaurants, local organizations, and local music (all “green” of course!). One business in particular, Wine Awhile, caught our attention by displaying their clever slogan on the back of their t-shirts, “Conserve Water, Drink Wine.” We at Charleston Waterkeeper want to thank Wine Awhile for their continued efforts to save our water! With hundreds of opportunities for attendees to take part in and learn about the concept of being green, this event marked the City of Charleston’s commitment to the green movement.

For many, the green movement might seem to be a relatively new concept; however, it’s as old as the earth itself. Senator Phil Leventis spoke of the value of being green in this day and age, but also alluded to the early steps taken in years past towards this environmental movement. He specifically noted the importance Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring” played in introducing environmental issues to the American people and to the United States Government. John Ramsburgh, SC Director of the Sierra Club, spoke about, “A Green Energy Future for South Carolina.”

Ian Sanchez, Executive Director of South Carolina Lowcountry Environmental Education Program (SC LEEP), talked about the need to reconnect with nature. In his speach, “Taking Lessons from the Natural World,” Ian talked about his experiences with kids around the Charleston area who did not have a connection with the natural world around them. Some local school kids in fact revealed to Ian that they had never seen the ocean. He noted with statistics and data that children who have a connection with nature are healthier, have higher self-esteems, and make better grades. Ian discussed the importance of using the world around us as a classroom, “looking around in the Lowcountry here, you have this incredible learning environment.” LEEP is a non-profit organization who’s mission, “is to provide opportunities for students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to explore South Carolina’s natural environment through experiential learning.” By exploring the connections between us and nature we all gain a hightened appreciation for the world around us.

Ian has just completed a short documentary entitled, “Web of Water,” that documents him kayaking from the mountains of South Carolina all the way down to the ocean here in Charleston. On his way from the mountain to the coastline, Ian met with many school kids showing them that all of life is connected by a web of water. Ian also invited Cyrus Buffum on stage to introduce Charleston Waterkeeper to the audience. Watch the video below to see Ian and Cyrus talk about issues regarding our water quality in Charleston and in South Carolina…

The first annual Charleston Green Fair came to an end as local band, Sol Driven Train, played to an enormous crowd under a Charleston sunset. Watch below as Sol Driven Train performs “Lighthouse,” a song off their new album…

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