By Athena Kanaris
This year’s Green Fair had the bustling and joyful feel of a community tradition. As usual it was a blend of education (science), service projects, shopping, chatting, eating and fun for the kids–a mirror of family life in Chappaqua in fact.
Both the Chappaqua School District and the PTA, who collaborate to put on the Green Fair, have a long-term interest in promoting student health. One issue highlighted at the Fair was air quality around schools and bus stops. This can have a huge impact on children’s respiratory well-being, including incidence of asthma and frequency of asthma attacks. A 20 ft banner reminded the community to “STOP Idling.” Vivien Levy, Chair of the Green Fair Committee, explained that they wanted to make life easier for parents who felt uncomfortable asking their neighbors to turn off car engines while waiting at bus stops. The next phase of this campaign will be led by Ethan Fuirst, a Greeley sophomore, and the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board, of which he is Deputy Chair. The SAB plans to work on both anti-idling and ride-the-bus campaigns.
If healthy/gourmet food is your passion, you were in luck. The Green Fair hosted the Chappaqua Farmers Market for the first time this year. The scents and colors of fresh and sustainably grown produce, herbs, meats and cheeses, enticed parents and students in to sample new foods.
Student run work-shops at the Fair were presented by Horace Greeley Silent Earth and Horace Greeley STOP, Bell Environmental Club and Seven Bridges Green Team, with students from Grafflin, Roaring Brook and Westorchard schools participating. Everyone who volunteered at and attended the Green Fair, presumably reaped the peace of mind, and other mental health benefits of knowing that they’d done their bit to save the planet.
About VOC-FREE Paints
Vendors and exhibitors offered a wealth of healthy products. For example, Chappaqua Paint and Hardware’s Louis Bastone exhibited his line of VOC-free Benjamin Moore Natura paints. VOC (volatile organic compound) free paints are often used in schools and some parents seek them out, because VOCs can cause respiratory irritation, dizziness, headaches and nausea and are suspected carcinogens. If you suffer from asthma or respiratory or chemical allergies, these paints are recommended. Chappaqua Paint and Hardware also carries many other ‘green’ products.