12th Annual Back To Basics Expo Teaches Minnesotans About Sustainable Living
The Back To Basics expo in Pine River has been giving Minnesotans tips on living a more sustainable life for more than a decade now. Attendees were sure to bring their notebooks and pens, ready to take notes about everything they learned at the 12th annual event.
“It’s kind of your one stop shop for sustainable living,” says Quinn Swanson, who is the sustainability and stewardship program coordinator for “Happy Dancing Turtle”, the non-profit that plans the event.
This year, Back to Basics had more than 50 vendors and 45 hands-on workshops.
Swanson says, “I sort of like to say that this is almost like DIY live. Folks go to YouTube and different resources on the Internet to learn about different sustainable living topics, and here they can come and learn from local experts. Maybe it’s their neighbor, maybe it’s the gentlemen from the Twin Cities who are here.”
This year’s Back To Basics expo covered a variety of different things. The workshops taught people how to live a better life, while the vendors sold things like homemade jam, homemade clothes and even a homemade bike.
“We have jewelry and information. There is, gosh, anything that you might want, essentially! There’s folks talking about the insulation in your house!” says Swanson.
Two keynote speakers opened the expo with a PowerPoint and a few songs. They sang about aquatic invasive species and climate change and how we can help here in Minnesota.
“Things like how we use energy through energy efficient light bulbs and how we do vehicles. Do we ride-share or do we buy high efficiency vehicles? So these things are very tangible things we can do,” says Mike Duval, the district manager of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Phil Hunsicker, Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Planner of the MN DNR, adds, “In Minnesota, we have three laws: clean, drain, dispose. So clean, you have to clean off all aquatic plants and animals off of your boats and trailers before you transport down the road. Before you drop it into a lake, after you pull it out of a lake, you ought to be cleaning all that stuff off as well.”
Happy Dancing Turtle says this year’s expo raised the bar. They’re hoping to add even more in the future.
“Every year we get bigger, we offer more workshops and have more vendors. This year we had our biggest vendor area yet and folks still on the waiting list, so it’s great to see,” says Swanson.
For updates about next year’s Back To Basics expo, you can visit the Happy Dancing Turtle website here.