Gloucester Township’s second annual Arts Market and Green Fair on Sunday offers local vendors the opportunity to showcase arts, crafts, woodworking and more while learning how to create a “greener” municipality.
Michelle Gentek-Mayer, Camden County’s surrogate and chair of the township’s sustainability program, said the fair will be a good chance for local artists to showcase their skills.
“Everything for the arts market had a judge select vendors,” she said. “The main criteria was that everything needed to be handmade. We have candlemakers, woodwork – we have a plant specialist, one-of-a-kind graphic tees, soap and body care, 2D and 3D art.
“It’s a nice way for artisans in our town to display their art,” added Gentek-Mayer.
The festival and fair will also focus heavily on reducing the environmental impact in Gloucester Township. Attendees are encouraged to carpool, ride bikes or walk to the festival to limit unnecessary emissions.
“We’re trying to keep everything in Gloucester Township sustainable; lowering our gas emissions for that day would be a great thing,” Gentek-Mayer noted. “The great thing about Gloucester Township is that we have been silver certified through the state three different times, so we’re doing well with our sustainability.”
As the township does with all festivals and markets, vendors are not only encouraged but expected to “think green,” meaning that plastic bags, single-use tablecloths, Styrofoam containers and plastic straws are prohibited. No balloons, cigarettes or alcoholic beverages are permitted on site and all vendors are asked to exemplify environmentally sensitive operational standards, resource efficiency and recycling.
“It’s important that we don’t just speak it,” said Gentek-Mayer, who pushed the township to apply for certifications with Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit dedicated to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. “We [want our] actions to show it. [We] really are trying to keep good practices and responsibility.
“What [we] do is submit these actions, like green fairs, to Sustainable Jersey, and we are awarded points,” she added. “These green points involve everything … They [Sustainable Jersey] hold you accountable.”
Anyone interested in learning how to reduce environmental impact can visit the township website, or contact the Camden County Office of Sustainability.
The Arts Market and Green Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the township library, 15 S Black Horse Pike. Admission is free.