Small Changes, Big Impact

. April 9, 2019.

EcoFest Toledo inspires the community to make sustainable environmental changes

In perhaps an unlikely partnership, Studio 13 Tattoo and the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission joined efforts to organize Toledo’s first EcoFest, an event to promote small but powerful changes people can implement to create a healthier world. Adrianna Farris, co-owner of Studio 13 Tattoo (4470 Monroe St.), says that although she’s always sought to maintain a sustainable household, she felt drawn to reach out to community members to do the same.

It’s easy being green

“We recycle, and we have a vegetable garden,” Farris says. “But how can I motivate others to do the same? I felt helpless in that sense.” She decided to join the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission and pitched EcoFest to the group. “That’s how Melissa Green Hopfer, (project manager and director of the Sustainability Commission) and I teamed up to bring the event to Toledo.”

Melissa has organized many events to encourage both kids and adults to live greener. Together, the two women organized a family friendly event with a comprehensive approach to sustainability that goes beyond recycling. Farris points out many ways individuals can help the environment— “becoming vegetarian or vegan, cutting back on meat consumption and plastic use, or working for a local organization centered around sustainability…there’s not a one size fits all approach for helping the environment. We want to highlight (what individuals can do).”

Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful will lead the morning workshops, paper making (very engaging for children) and a recycling Q&A. Hopfer explains the importance of sharing this information. “I get calls all the time about recycling,” she says. Many well-meaning people put things in the recycling bin that they shouldn’t, thinking it will just get sorted out if it’s not supposed to go in. What they don’t know is that this can contaminate the whole bin and all of it will end up in a landfill. The Q&A will be an opportunity to discuss what you think you know about recycling.

Minimal changes

The minimalism session is led by Farris’s husband, Jes, also an owner of Studio 13 Tattoo. The couple has spent many years embracing a minimalist lifestyle, reducing consumption, which leads to less waste.

“Marie Kondo is big right now, but she only scratches the surface of what minimalism can be,” says Farris. “We’re a society of mass consumption, and we get validation from buying what we want.” This workshop focuses on how to become a conscious consumer.

Farris and Hopfer aim to make the event fun for the whole family. There’s a family yoga session led by Toledo Yoga, make-and-take projects like the paper making and rain barrel workshops, food trucks, and live music by Chloe and the Steel Strings. To learn about being more eco friendly attendees will discuss how to grow your own food, how to cook tasty vegan meals, how to compost and how to landscape using native plants.

10am-7pm | Saturday, April 13
Handmade Toledo, 1717 Adams St | 419-213-4530
To learn more about EcoFest and register for the rain barrel make and take workshop, visit The event is free, but donations are welcome.