Green Fest: Event at Domes teaches greener lifestyle

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The seventh annual Green Living Festival at Mitchell Park Domes was held Saturday, April 26th to show people unique ways to help mother nature.

Earth Day may be over, but the principles of living a greener lifestyle continue each and every day.

"You may be doing it for yourself to feel good about what you're doing.  You may be doing it for your community because you care about where you live.  You want it to be clean, litter free," said Emily Brown, from the Wehr Nature Center.

Brown is a naturalist with the Wehr Nature Center. The group is a co-sponsor of the Green Living Festival.

The festival is a chance for local, environmentally friendly vendors to gather in the same place with a common goal.

"Simple, green strategies to adjust our lifestyle just a little bit," said Brown.

But the festival goes beyond the three "R's" of reduce, reuse, and recycle.

"So this piece is all fabric that was going to be thrown out at a thrift store that was closing down," said Timothy Westbrook, fashion designer.

Westbrook, from Milwaukee, is a former contestant on Project Runway, and is showing how mother earth can be fashion-forward. He incorporates sustainable materials and practices into each of his pieces.

"When I'm working in the studio, I don't have any lights on. I have non-electrical equipment that I use. My sewing machine is a turn of the century - 20th century - device," said Westbrook.

There's also Rick Hosken, with River Valley Kitchens from Burlington.

"'After the mushrooms are grown, the stuff that's left over - the compost - that goes into the gardens. People buy that for their own gardens," said Hosken.

Little things that cut down on waste and chemicals, that can end up making a huge difference.

"I do understand how people say, `How can I make a difference?` If we keep saying that, and we keep pushing it off to the future, then it's never going to change," said Brown.

Organizers of the festival are working on putting together an online directory of all local businesses that are environmentally friendly. They hope to have the site launched this fall.