EarthFair '96 report

by Chris Klein
an Diego Earth Day believes that an active, informed public is the key ingredient to creating a clean, healthy, prosperous future. Each year, our EarthFair in Balboa Park brings together tens of thousands of San Diegans with hundreds of organizations with environmental causes, products and services. This year's event was no exception. Here are a few facts and figures:

Visitors. The number of people attending EarthFair is always hard to judge. Despite some optimistic media estimates of 70,000, based on previous years we believe that approximately 55,000 attended EarthFair this year.

Exhibitors. This year's Earthfair hosted 251 exhibitors: 147 non-profit organizations, 82 for-profits and 22 government agencies and institutions. Almost half - 118 - previously exhibited in '95, 22 returned from prior years ('90 - '94), and 111 were first time exhibitors.

Fund Raising. A total of 70 exhibitors sold products at EarthFair. Our rules require that all profits on sales be donated to a non-profit organization. The 30 exhibitors who have reported so far list a total of $5,477 in donations to non-profits.

Volunteers. As always, the EarthFair was organized and staffed by volunteers (plus, of course, our one staff person, Kari Gray). This year, a total of 343 volunteers of all ages took part. Eighty percent of these volunteers has never assisted before! This is an increase over previous years, where typically about half are first-timers.

Operations. Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and sponsors, we have been able to keep the costs of producing the EarthFair surprisingly low. This allows us to make space available for small organizations that generally could not afford exhibitions of this size. For example, a non-profit pays as little as $45 for an exhibit space; small for-profit organizations pay as little as $95. Large organizations pay substantially more for exhibit space, which also helps defray costs.
Special thanks to this year's sponsors: The City of San Diego, KUPR 95.7, California Department of Conservation, Miramar College, SDG&E, Citizens for Clean Air Polity, Urban Corps, KBEST 95, Solar Electric Inc., Cloud 9 Shuttle, Q106, JAZZ FM98, ROCK MIX 103.7, GTE MobilNET, Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet, EDCO Disposal Corp. and Steven Morris Design.