First Annual UNM Sustainability Expo

September 15, 2009

UNM hosts expo to support sustainability

Last updated: 09/15/09 9:16am

Students looking to buy organic produce or find a good deal on a bike might want to stop by Cornell Mall today.

In honor of Earth Day, UNM will host its Sustainability Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organizations including UNMPD, Parking and Transportation Services, Lobo Energy and the Sustainability Studies program's Lobo Growers Market will set up booths and activities for expo-goers to take part in.

Danielle Gilliam, of PATS, said the expo grew out of her department's alternative transportation fairs.

Because the community showed interest in the fairs, Gilliam decided to collaborate with other University organizations involved in sustainability efforts and practices, she said.

"This is the first time that we are taking on a more inclusive approach to sustainability," she said. "It used to be really narrowly focused on alternative transportation, but now we are taking, I guess you could say, a more holistic approach to sustainability."

This year's event will showcase about 25 displays and booths, including a Segway display, two booths from electric car companies and University displays showing how UNM is being proactive in the area of sustainability.

NMPD will participate in the event by auctioning bicycles that have been found on campus and have not been claimed. Bike owners can register their bikes at the expo and have a serial number engraved on the frame of their bike so that campus police can return the bike to its owner if it's lost.

Sustainability Studies' Lobo Growers Market will have six growers and 12 vendors with sustainable products and services, said Terry Horger, program coordinator for the Sustainability Studies program at UNM.

While this growers market will be a smaller, more condensed version of their typical markets, Horger said it will still have a lot to offer students.

"Our goal right now is to bring fresh, local organic products to campus so that students, staff and faculty have easier access to these products," she said. "We want to give people more exposure to the importance of eating more locally grown fresh organic products.. We are really excited to have the growers market back on campus because we know that based off of previous events, this is something that people look forward to and this is something we hope to be able to continue and grow over the years so that it becomes a mainstay on campus."

UNM's Physical Plant Department is co-sponsoring the event. It will showcase sustainability work done by divisions in the department, said Mary Clark of PPD.

She said the utilities division has reduced steam usage across campus over the past year by 18.5 percent, and the environmental services division has found ways to clean using a minimal amount of water and chemicals.

PATS will also have a booth to inform students about the Zipcar program, a car-sharing service brought to campus last year. Students can use the program by paying a yearly membership rate and an hourly or day rate when they use one of the four vehicles available.

"(Zipcar) is particularly ideal for students who don't have cars," Gilliam said. "It's really ideal for those students who use alternative transportation, but maybe need that flexible option to go to an appointment or that sort of thing."

Sustainability Expo

Today, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cornell Mall

Published April 22, 2009 in News