Today was my first Metro volunteer tabling event. I helped out with the Healthy Homes & Composting booth at the Portland Home & Garden show out at the Expo Center. The last time I remember being out there was back when Oregon Zoo was called Washington Park Zoo, and one of their yearly fundraisers was The Great Northwest Chili Cook-off (holler if you remember!).
I’d wanted to get out there a little early anyway, but especially today as it was a snow day. As in, bunches of snow had fallen during the night and early morning, but it stopped as soon as I left my house. I took a bus and MAX out so I didn’t have to worry about driving – or about anyone else’s driving on the road. Our booth was in about the farthest spot from the main door, in the darker, humid room with all the plant sales. One of the other booths in the hall had soothing guitar music playing the whole time we were there. It made for quite the relaxing atmosphere.
Besides me, staffing the booth was another Master Recycler volunteer and an employee of Metro. We spent our time talking with passers-by about greener cleaners, composting resources, and why one might want to use native plants and integrated pest management in one’s yard. I had a great time showing off the little worm bin to a very small show attendee. I also had a good time talking with the lady who is just starting to garden and compost. For the first time in her life. She sounded so excited, and so overwhelmed! I hope I managed to help a little and not just overwhelm her more! Between it being a weekday and a snow day, we had a slow but steady trickle during our 3 ½ hour shift – between the three of us, we talked with about 100 people.
The Home & Garden show runs through Feb 27. If you decide to go, check out the Metro Healthy Homes booth and the mobile garden trailer. They’ve got all sorts of good info and freebies to check out. And pet the worms for me!