Alternative-fuel cars to energize Sustainability Fair on April 13

Alternative-fuel vehicles will help power the Sustainability Fair on Wednesday, April 13, at SUNY Oswego, as fairgoers learn about everything under the sun—and wind—to make their lives and homes greener.

General Motors will provide a 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric car for test rides while fairgoers—homeowners, students and others from the campus and communities around the region—learn about sustainable features of the college’s $118 million, under-construction sciences complex, see offerings of more than 50 vendors of green products and services, and qualify for a discounted meal at the “Carrot Mob” winning restaurant.

The Sustainability Fair will run 4 to 8 p.m. in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center arena. It is free and open to the public, and parking is free for those attending the event.

As in the inaugural year last April, the fair immediately follows the college’s Quest, a daylong celebration of faculty and student research, scholarship and creativity that also is open to the public.

Kestas Bendinskas, associate professor of chemistry at the college and contact for the Coalition of Responsible Citizens, said providing an opportunity for students to understand what constitutes sustainable and green is at the core of the Sustainability Fair.

“This year, we really want students to make the link between the Quest symposium earlier in the day, and what constitutes sustainability and ‘green,’” Bendinskas said, “and to create an event that will be a focal point for sustainability discussions for all residents of the Central New York region.”

Variety of attractions

Thad Mantaro, SUNY Oswego’s civic engagement coordinator and a member of the fair’s organizing committee, said this year’s event would provide an even wider range of opportunities for fairgoers.

“This year, the Sustainability Fair at SUNY Oswego is even better, with an increasing diversity of vendors and attractions,” Mantaro said. “This has truly become a premier event of interest to students, homeowners and community members, and with the inclusion of the Quest Sustainability Symposium’s keynote speaker, Josh Tickell, director of the award-winning film ‘Fuel,’ the link between the college’s commitment to research and sustainable solutions is fully realized.”

Among the features:

* Dozens of vendors will display, demonstrate and discuss sustainable products and services for home and business.

* General Motors will display the Volt and a fuel-cell vehicle, and will offer rides throughout the day. A GM spokesperson will make a presentation on
alternative-fuel technologies. Honda and Toyota hybrids also will be on hand, along with other alternative-fuel vehicles.

* Jeff Wagner of the state Public Service Commission will provide energy efficiency information, and details on green appliances and other sustainable home solutions.

More exhibits

“We’ve recruited a range of service providers to talk about wind, solar and related alternative technologies, to educate students and community members,” said Dick Drosse, event organizer and member of the county Environmental Management Council.

Canale’s Restaurant, winner of last spring’s Carrot Mob—a form of competition to show which business will make the biggest change to improve the world—has offered a discounted meal at the restaurant to anyone who attends the Sustainability Fair.

Earlier in the day, at Quest’s Sustainability Symposium, Tickell will make a presentation titled “The Current State of the Energy Crisis” at 1 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium, and will screen his film “Fuel,” 2008 winner of the Sundance Film Festival Best Documentary, at 2 p.m. in Room 201 of the Campus Center.

For more information, visit http://www.oswego.edu/sustainabilityfair. The fair’s committee of community residents and SUNY Oswego faculty, staff and students continues to solicit vendors and participants. For information, contact Mantaro at 315-312-3677 or civic@oswego.edu.

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(Posted: Mar 24, 2011)

Tags: sustainability