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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peaceworks brings sustainable living ideas to the community

By Hyunji Lee

The Sustainable Living Fair at Columbia College.
A Sustainable Living Fair was held on Sept. 26 in front of the Student Commons of Columbia College. Organizations and shops from the community joined the event to showcase their organic products such as soap, food and cosmetics.

Jenifer Mantler, the president of ECO Club at Columbia College, said that the Sustainable Living Fair is a great opportunity to meet environmentally-minded individuals and learn about organizations and businesses. “It facilitates conversation and community, while providing education and consumer products that help humans better interact with the environment,” she said.

The Sustainable Living Fair sponsored by Peaceworks was an opportunity to bring together people who love the environment. Environmental experts gave lectures on how people can reduce their carbon footprints and how the sun and wind can be used to heat, cool and power homes. Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said this year's fair was more successful than last year's because many more people participated. He said Peaceworks has been working for public education on earth’s environment through various events including the Sustainable Living Fair.

Peaceworks has been in Columbia for 28 years. Their original name was Nuclear Freeze. Originally, they were a nuclear weapon freeze group that worked to stop the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Sovict Union. Today, Peaceworks is a non-profit organization that works toward a more peaceful and sustainable future. Peaceworks’ members work on projects to promote public education and advocacy. Their projects also focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and opposition to environmentally destructive technologies, such as increased reliance on fossil fuel and nuclear power.

Haim said he is worried about how the planet’s climate has changed through burning of fossil fuels, and the earth has been threatened due to use of nuclear technologies such as weapons systems. He said that he hopes his activities are helpful and his wish is that each generation meets its needs without affecting the sustainability of future generations.
Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks.

Peaceworks provides information on peace issues by having events featuring speaker’s films, peace demonstrations and circulating petitions, Haim said. In addition, he said Peaceworks offers activities to promote participation in the peace movement of Mid-Missouri.

Haim said Peaceworks has 450 to 500 individual members, and thousands of people volunteer their time for the projects of Peaceworks. They contribute money as supporters and members, and they volunteer their time and participate as they can.

According to Haim, Peaceworks conducts its mission through individual donations and the Peace Nook, which has operated since 1990. The Peace Nook is located on East Broadway. It is a non-profit shop and a volunteer-based community resource center. Zora Serfozo, a Peace Nook employee, said it offers books, music, natural foods and fair-trade products. The Peace Nook does not charge sales tax because it is an educational non-profit organization.

Mantler, an Environmental Science major, said that Peaceworks provides access to hundreds of alternative products, books and other organizations to intertwine core concepts of community, sustainability and peace.
To contribute to Peaceworks or for questions about the organization, visit

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