Las Vegas resident Caroline Devano brought her two young sons to GREENFest in Downtown Summerlin on Saturday with the hope they’d learn something about science or nature.
“They really love science and different projects,” the 46-year-old nurse said about her two sons, Isaac, 6, and Bryant, 8.
Her oldest son piped up. “I love learning about the Earth. I love the Earth!” Bryant said.
They were among the thousands expected to take part throughout the day at the 10th annual GREENFest, hosted by the GREEN Alliance in celebration of Earth Day.
And given the more than 100 exhibitors, interactive displays, and live music at the fest, few would doubt that Bryant and Isaac would learn something by the end of their visit.
GREENFest’s goal is to bring Las Vegas’ sustainable community together, and to educate and inform the public, said Annette Bubak, co-founder of the GREEN Alliance. The event was founded in 2010 after Bubak and the GREEN Alliance team realized it was important to inform the public about going green. The group partnered with Republic Services and hosted the first GREENFest with 3,000 in attendance. Now 10 years later, the event hosts thousands more, she said.
Different zones were designated throughout the fest, representing sustainability areas including smart energy and tech, green homes and buildings, water conservation, gardening, nature, clean energy driving, a play area, and a kid-friendly treasure hunt.
Las Vegas resident Julie Ishtiwi, 36, a finance worker, said she brought her 3-year-old daughter Kamilah to the fest to have fun and to teach her about the importance of sustainability.
A self-proclaimed, “hippie at heart,” Ishtiwi said her friends and family know she’s serious about sustainability.
“Whenever people come to my house, they know to recycle, they don’t question it,” she said.
Ishtiwi prides herself on teaching her daughter similar values because “we need to live on the planet longer,” she said.
“I’m doing my best to teach her not to be wasteful, to avoid plastics and to recycle,” she added.
Many local organizations, businesses and nonprofits helped make Saturday’s fest happen through their sponsorships, Bubak said. Among them were Bombard Renewable Energy, powershift by NV Energy, Wynn Las Vegas, Summerlin, The Howard Hughes Corporation, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and many others
“We are very proud to have the support of the community and sponsors in different areas. This is a true representation of the sustainable community,” Bubak said.
Bubak credits the group’s marketing and social media efforts in getting the word out. “It’s become very well-known that this is what you do for Earth Day in Las Vegas,” she said.