When it comes to saving the world, everybody seems to have an answer.
Just ask the hundreds of people and vendors who turned up at Library Square on Saturday for the fifth Downtown Sustainable Living Festival.
"Save our Canyons." "Free the Colorado." "Protect our National Forests."
Go green, or go back to your unsustainable home. Buy local, fair trade, handmade, natural and organic. Even Costco was there, selling hope in bulk.
If pollution, global warming and dependence on fossil fuels are some of the largest problems facing the planet, Adam Radford knows the solutions are "easy."
"Some people think it's unattainable," said the eighth-grader at City Academy in Salt Lake. "It's not. It's easy. Just change one thing and your life is greener forever."
Radford toiled for months to perfect Eco-Cleaner, a cleaning solution that is environmentally friendly and edible.
"I've been trying out lots of different combinations," he said.
"I'm not going to say it's the best, but it works really, really well."
Alongside a few of his classmates, Radford sold the Eco-Cleaner and plants from the school's garden to help raise enough money to buy wind power for the school.
Shea Wickelson, a chemistry teacher at City Academy, said students also make their own biodiesel out of used vegetable oil to fuel the school's bus. These "little lessons" let her students know that environmental problems are manageable, she said.
"A lot of people say, 'Let's go save the rainforest,'" Wickelson said. "That's too far away for some students. I think it's really important to figure out things that we can do."
"I'm more aware that I need to change, and I can actually make a difference," ninth-grader Ciara Day added. "Everything I do affects something."
The festival's vendors said working together is also essential for making progress. Concerned about emissions from school buses, the City Academy students have met several times with Utah Moms for Clean Air (the organization welcomes anyone, mother or not). And over at the Utah Interfaith Power and Light, no one cares where you worship, so long as you turn the lights off when you're done.
In some cases, living green will cost you. Downtown condos green buildings with community gardens, close to TRAX run about $210,000. Get 46 mpg in a hybrid, starting at $20,000; get 90 mpg on a new scooter, out the door for $3,527.65.
Other times, you just need to show up and sign here."It's so empowering," said Jessica Kendrick, of the Health Environment Alliance of Utah. The group was collecting signatures to block Italian nuclear waste from being stored in Utah. "These are the people that help us fight these battles."
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