The Green Festival is in the bag
I’ll have much more in the coming weeks on particular people and ideas I encountered there, but for now I’ll just say that overall, it was a fascinating event.
Why? Well, the concept of a huge conference (with 300+ exhibitors) and that of living easy on the land are usually somewhat in conflict. The organizers of this event, Global Exchange and Co op (soon to become Green) America, have worked and planned quite a bit to make the Green Festival “walk the walk” in terms of its carbon footprint and non polluting ethos. Some aspects of this are pretty much symbolic window dressing those arriving at the conference via bicycle get a discount on admission and “valet parking” of their bike but others were more down to earth.
Most notable was the biggest bugaboo of huge festivals, the amount of trash generated. The trash stations were plentiful and well marked, and, as is already the norm for such events, had different containers for plastics, organic waste, recyclable paper and “landfill.” But the kicker was having multiple Green Festival volunteers stationed permanently alongside the bins to assure that clueless festivalgoers (most of us) could get whatever it was thrown away in the right bin.
And one reason we were sometimes surprised by the answer is that all the “plastic” eating utensils were able to be thrown away in the “compost” bin along with their food marc jacobs scraps. As the Festival’s literature says, “Every plate, fork spoon, knife, cup, bowl, napkin, coffee stirrer and sample cup is 100% biodegradable.” And as long as we’re talking about food, your Earth to Philly correspondent is happy to report that all the food served was, appropriately, organic vegetarian.
This was all in addition to more obvious greenery such as recycled materials for signs, carbon offsets for electricity use and a filtered water tap rather than plastic bottles.
The exhibitors ran the gamut from high tech innovators to fair trade mom and pops as well as earnest cause advocates of many stripes. There were plenty of little knicknacks, snacks and gewgaws to sample, but the most successful item was probably the carrying bag proffered by about ten different companies. Of course they sported prominent company logos, but unlike typical plastic conference bags, they were reusable canvas style grocery bags, creating a win win win for those of us who were finding their tiny, odd size samples and voluminous literature becoming unwieldy but still wanted to keep reducing, reusing, recycling.
All in all, the Green Festival pulled off the routine of getting a large number of people together for a cluster of overlapping initiatives, but they also impressed with their commitment to putting ideals into action something that might be, for the teeming masses of attendees, the best takeaway of all.
Ea marc jacobs rth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the “green” aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork.
Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.
Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here and now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.
Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever growing e mailbag to pass along the latest travel marc jacobs deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.
Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco conscious eating, public transportation and fuel efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your ‘green’ news.
Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12 year old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was.
Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green related legislation or policy. And we’ll pass along some of the opeds on the subject tha marc jacobs t people send us.
Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He’ll spotlight green conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.
Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.
In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia’s original “green” community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You’ll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.