Here are just some of the sustainable topics you can explore and some of the special features you can enjoy:
Thanks to sponsors Water Street Station for free fill-ups for your reusable water bottle, and Harmony Hospice for free snow cones to the first 1,000 attendees. And be sure to stop by the Festival Welcome Table for a free sticker from Why I Love Where I Live (and tell us why you love where you live!).
Tucson Electric Vehicle Association is bringing a wide variety of electric cars for you to check out, and the owners will be there to answer questions and do their best to convince you that electric is the way to go. There’ll also be an EV at the TEP booth, so be sure to stop and talk to them also.
Solar Guild and Citizens for Solar will have a great display of solar ovens, including ones they’ll use to demonstrate how easy it is to cook with the sun.
Learn more about solar for the home from the folks from Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association -- there’s nothing like talking to the experts. And you can get up close and personal with a solar panel at both TEP and Solar Guild/Citizens for Solar.
You can see that our sustainable future is here already, as Bonnets, Stems, & Accessories shows how 3-D printing will let us print out repair parts that would otherwise be no longer available. This demo will be inside Armory Center, to have electricity. Enter from the north side of the building. (And maybe next year we’ll power 3-D printing from the sun!)
Want to up your gardening game? There are lots of opportunities for that: Curious about composting? UA’s Compost Cats and Tank’s Green Stuff will be there to answer questions. Rainwater harvesting? See Southern Arizona Rain Gutters, check in with Tucson Water, and talk to Tucson Rainwater Harvesting Co-op, a wonderful program of Community Food Bank of SAZ. Plus, be sure to check out the great selection of free classes offered by Community Food Bank and by UA’s Cooperative Extension. By the way, Cooperative Extension will be making seed balls (on their special bike) so you can get some for your own garden. Be sure to check out the cool greenhouse designs made by Nurse Tree Design. And for general gardening questions, you can visit with EcoSense Sustainable Landscapes and of course Tucson Organic Gardeners.
Everyone is encouraged to be a strong advocate for our beautiful desert environment and for addressing the climate crisis. You can get information and inspiration by talking with the folks from Sierra Club Rincon Group, Citizens Climate Lobby, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, and Sunrise Movement Tucson. Advocacy is also on the agenda of Defenders of Wildlife. A related issues is how we live with wildlife in our desert environment -- in our desert city. That doesn’t always go smoothly, but Tucson Wildlife Center can help. And while we may live in the desert, the world’s oceans are vital to us all, as the UA students from Marine Awareness and Conservation Society will be glad to discuss.
A key part of our future resilience is of course health -- our own and that of our friends and neighbors, so be sure to check out UA’s All of Us Research Program.
A theme of past Festivals has been “building resilience by building community,” and community will be crucial for a strong future. Physicians for Social Responsibility’s program, Building Resilient Neighborhoods, has a valuable approach to this issue, and it’s key to the Neighbors Care Alliance of Pima Council on Aging, as well as the work of Foundation for Senior Living. Models for bringing people together for strong communities and neighborhoods can be found with Tucson Mountains Association, Harmony and Health Foundation, and Milagro Cohousing. And of course communities need the arts to be complete, so be sure to visit with the folks from Children’s Museum Tucson and Arts for All.
Two key aspects of the communities we need going forward are a strong economy and a commercial center that’s energy- and water-efficient. Local First Arizona does exciting work to build our local (and localized) business community, and the Tucson 2030 District is bringing more and more building owners on board with a great program to reduce their energy and water use and cut emissions from transportation.
Community cohesion will be essential in our future, and Creating a Culture of Peace is working on that. But inner peace will help as well, so the Festival will feature a yoga lesson, a session with Dances of Universal Peace, and Web of Life Animist Church’s rope labyrinth, which will lead you in to receive your own (random) sustainability message from the universe.
By now we’re all aware that a key part of sustainability requires cutting waste, by reducing, reusing, and recycling -- as well as refusing from the beginning what would otherwise become waste. Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival exhibitors are here to help. Tucson’s Environmental and General Services Department will be there to answer questions about recycling in the city, and much more. Cero Tucson, Desert Refill, and I Love Glass Straws will focus on helping us move to zero waste. Gloss Studio will introduce Green Circle Salons, a program that helps hair salons cut waste in a major way through recycling and reusing.
And there’ll be a special recycling opportunity at the Festival: The Bra Recyclers from Gilbert, AZ will be at the Festival with a drop-off site, so folks should plan on bringing old or unneeded bras, as long as they’re clean and still usable. They’ll be distributed to women in need -- and you’ll be keeping them out of the landfill.