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N.C. State Fair continues 'green' push

Posted October 19, 2009 6:32 a.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2009 12:01 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina State Fair is a celebration of agriculture, and organizers want to make the event an occasion to give back to Mother Earth.

Last year, the State Fair advertised its efforts to be more environmentally friendly: Biodiesel fueled the midway. Organizers collected used cooking oil from vendors to make more biodiesel.

Future projects include using livestock manure to generate energy and using solar power.

"We were definitely trying to increase the effort and step it up last year," fair spokeswoman Natalie Alford said.

Vistors, too, could take part in the green effort. For the first time in 10 years, recycling bins were set out.

"People did their part. They kept the trash out of the recycling containers, and we collected almost 1 ton of material," Alford said.

This year, a new state ban on plastic bottles in landfills make recycling more important. Fair organizers asked visitors to help by taking a few extra moments to sort their trash before throwing it away.

"If you're going to be using plastic bottles or buying plastic bottles out here at the Fair, be sure to recycle them," Alford said.

"Put it in the right container. Put your plastic bottles and aluminum cans in those recycling containers. Put your trash in the trash container. Just help us out," she continued.

Behind the scenes, fair organizers are trying to help vendors go green, as well.

"We will give vendors a roll car to collect ketchup bottles, steel cans, whatever they have, just to try and collect more of that material," Alford said

The Green N.C. exhibit across the Kerr Scott Building gives ideas about how to make other environmentally friendly choices. Visitors can see a biodiesel classroom and admire art made from recycled materials.

Organizers said these educational exhibits are crucial to making the fair as green as possible.

"We're just trying to continue the effort and continue to do our part," Alford said.