Novermber 23, 2023

Second Annual Environmental Fair held at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre

On September 30, the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre hosted the Second Annual Environment Fair organized by the Ottawa Cluster Environmental Group, a social action initiative of Bahá’ís and their friends from across the city of Ottawa.

“We were very happy to welcome new participants and exhibitors this year,” said Sherri Kelly, one of the event’s organizers.

About 85 visitors and exhibitors took part. It was great to welcome new exhibitors this year, such as CAFES Ottawa, Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability, which advocates for biodiversity, healthy forests and tree canopy, climate action, and supporting the City of Ottawa’s transition to sustainable waste management. The Ottawa Wildflower Seeds Library distributed free native seeds and provided advice on planting and care. The Rotary Club of Ottawa South shared information on its service projects including its Environmental Service. There was also a Kids’ Zone where children could play the recycling game, colour and look at picture books with an environmental theme.

A number of popular exhibits from last year returned, including a tree seedling give-away, information on community gardens, attracting pollinators, and CSAs (community supported agriculture) that offer weekly vegetable baskets to subscribers. Greening Sacred Spaces, an organization providing information and assistance to faith communities on green initiatives. Several electric cars owned by Ottawa Bahá’ís were a hit once again and one of Ottawa’s carsharing Communauto vehicles was an interesting addition. Ottawa’s Carbon Capture Day Event team also returned. They distributed a paper on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and capturing and sequestering carbon through green spaces.

Literature on Bahá’í principles and quotations from the Bahá’í writings on nature and the environment were available. One Planet, One Habitation: A Bahá’í Perspective on Recasting Humanity’s Relationship with the Natural World, an attractive statement by the Bahá’í International Community, was distributed to all exhibitors.

The Environmental Fair provided opportunities to local community members and not-for-profit organizations to engage in discourse about protecting the environment and to learn, collaborate, and engage. Attendees seeking specific information, solutions, or guidance were delighted with being able to talk to local volunteers, who shared their knowledge and hands-on experience. Given the enthusiastic response of participants and the urgent need for society to transform its actions for the community's sustainability and wellbeing, the Ottawa Cluster Environment Group is looking forward to providing this service to the community again next year – stay tuned for news about the 3rd Annual Environmental Fair in 2024.

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