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SHU prepares to volunteer in Maplewood's Green Day Fair

Maplewood will be holding the third annual Maplewood Green Day Fair, an event dedicated to educating citizens on how to incorporate sustainable thinking into everyday lives, on Oct. 10 at Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since the fair's beginning, Seton Hall university has been actively involved, as well as a sponsor of the fair.

According to Kristy Ranieri, a local volunteer on the event committee, a number of student volunteers from on-campus organizations participate, such as the Ecology Club and Village Liaisons.

Ranieri said that these students are a large part of making the event a success.
"The student volunteers make the event possible by helping with the logistics and running the kids' events." Ranieri said. "The kid's really love the Seton Hall activities and seeing the college students run them."

Judith Stark, director of environmental studies at Seton Hall, stressed the importance of Seton Hall's connection with Maplewood.

"It is important for the university, because we're right here, to have a connection with the local communities of South Orange and Maplewood," she said.

The fair will feature a number of activities including a sampling of organic food, live music and over 100 green vendors and organizations.

Other events include a rock climbing wall, a kid's corral with green games and solar s'mores, and test drives in hybrid and clean-diesel cars.

There are also a number of workshops on environmentally sound topics.

Some of these workshops are green building, energy efficiency at home, how to make an office sustainable, regional food systems and backyard composting.

New to the event this year are movie screenings. The movies "Fresh" and "Who Killed the Electric Car" are the scheduled screenings.

A post-movie discussion, "Separating Fact from Fiction" is planned with David Turock, entrepreneur, and Anne Marie Treger, an environmental activist.

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The closing ceremony will include the dedication of an eight-foot tall Maple tree.
The tree will be decorated with "wish leaves" that children will create throughout the day.

Jacie Jones, co-president of the Ecology club and chair of Village Liasons, will be volunteering at her second Maplewood Green Day this year.

She has been on the planning committee for the past two years.

"I hope that people at Seton Hall, even if they don't want to volunteer, will attend," Jones said. According to Jones, Seton Hall students could benefit from learning about ways to "go green" in their everyday lives.

Maplewood is known for its environmental policies.

Recent awards include the 2007 Climate Champion of the Year award from Clean Air-Cool Planet, the 2008 Environmental Quality award from the Environmental Protection Agency and the 2009 Greens award at Global Renewable Energy Green Summit Expo.

"The town seems to understand the need to make changes for a more sustainable future and the benefits that these changes bring to the town, as many of them save resources and money," Rainieri said.

Rainieri said she believes that Maplewood Green Day is a by-product of this heightened environmental awareness and a willingness to make changes.

Over 4,000 people are expected to attend from Maplewood, South Orange and the surrounding area.

"Maplewood Green Day is a lot of fun," Stark said. "Students should go to learn and to meet people if for nothing else."

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at


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