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Fair's fair for environmentally friendly life
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Providing people with useful information on how to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle is the focus of a design fair featuring more than 40 businesses.

Held in a sustainable warehouse and office development near Suzhou Creek, the latest spring installment of the Eco Design Fair will put the general public in contact with providers of eco-friendly products and groups who promote everyday green lifestyle changes.

"The fair exists to advance the sustainable design movement in Shanghai, to create awareness about environmental issues, and to make it easier for everyday people to make everyday sustainable lifestyle choices," organizer Sherry Poon says.

"The fair will be the only place in the city to see and buy well-designed sustainable, organic, natural, non-toxic, recycled, ethical, energy-saving and environmentally aware products all in one place."

The first Eco Design Fair in Shanghai was held in April 2008 after Poon - the owner of Wobabybasics, an organic apparel company - discovered people were interested in green products but could not find them.

Pon says the event was not a trade fair and was aimed at the public, with a fun, relaxed atmosphere where people could engage in a range of activities while getting useful information.

The ANKEN Green redevelopment, where the fair is staged, was designed to promote grass-roots environmentally sensitive building and property management practices.

This fair is the biggest so far, with a number of businesses exhibiting products ranging from toys to building materials, from clothes to furniture.

There will also be a "Greening your Home" display that will feature a "life size" living space where people can learn simple ways to minimize their daily impact on the environment.

Other highlights include an eco-design student competition, an organic farmers' market, an eco-fashion show and a range of workshops and informative lectures.

It is the first time to have a student competition at the fair, and it is challenging entrants to come up with innovative solutions addressing the theme of "responsible consumption."

Students in China across were invited to submit innovative and creative concepts addressing consumerism which contributes positively to society and the environment.

All profits will be donated to Shanghai Roots & Shoots and their tree-planting program in Inner Mongolia. The proceeds from previous events have donated over 270 trees.

The Eco Design Fair will be held from 10am to 5pm on April 18 at ANKEN Green, 668 Huai'an Road, near Suzhouhe Road S.

Admission is free and anyone wanting more information can email Sherry Poon at nihao@ecodesignfair.cn or visit www.ecodesignfair.cn. The Website also includes a directory of environmentally friendly producers, products and businessesbased in Shanghai.

(Shanghai Daily April 8, 2009)

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