Imagine a place where many upbeat, positive and enthusiastic people gather. A place where the only food served is organic and natural. A place where hybrid vehicles, solar panels, rain barrels, and compostable toilets are not the exception but the norm. A place where everything is recycled and nothing is wasted. A place where you can learn how to green your home, diet, clothing, cosmetics and spirit all for free. Such place exists and it is called Green Festival.
Green Festival is a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America. It celebrates what’s working in our communities—for people, business and the environment. Think of it as a walk through a sustainable community. It begins with finding solutions to help make our lives healthier—socially, economically and environmentally. Individuals along with business and community leaders come together to discuss critical issues that impact us at home and abroad. Organizations and businesses showcase programs and products that restore the planet and all that inhabit it. The goal of the festival is to empower people to create positive change in the world.
Mark, his best friend Kenny and I attended the one in Washington, DC on October 10-11, 2009. It was a magnificent experience. We walked through the exhibits, ate from the organic cafeteria, attended lectures and bought a few green products, a water filtration system among them (see below). The lectures were probably the most valuable knowledge we acquired while there. I recorded and created videos of the highlights to share with you.
The first lecture we saw was by Ed Begley, Jr. on Saturday. Ed is a well-known Hollywood actor and a devoted environmentalist circa 1970s. He shared his 37-year eco-journey starting in the 1970s and all the changes he’s made over the years. He made one point that made deep impression on me. He said, “If you are not buying recycled products, you are not really recycling because you are not completing the recycling circle.” He went on to say that his favorite recycled product is his fence.
On Sunday we began the day with a fantastic all organic breakfast at Busboys & Poets, an organic restaurant and gathering place for people who believe in peace and social justice. I was so impressed with their place that I made this video review. If you are in the DC area, make sure to stop by and check it out.
The first lecture we attended was Amy Goodman’s “Standing up to the madness.” Due to her mom’s sudden passing a couple of days earlier, Amy was not there in person. A video presentation recording was shown instead. Still the impact of her words was deeply felt. Amy is the co-founder, executive producer and host of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program. She spoke about how powerful individuals, organizations and government manipulate the media, and the dire need for independent, investigative journalism today. We bough her newest book Breaking the Sound Barrier.
Dr. Alan Greene’s lecture on the surprising ways today’s food choices affect our future was next on the schedule. Dr. Greene is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, the Past President of The Organic Center and on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World. If you are a parent, you definitely want to watch the video below so you can understand how babies imprint on food and why it’s important to feed them green diet as early as possible.
The last presentation we saw was by Janet Nudelman “The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.” Janet is the director of Program & Public Policy at the Breast Cancer Fund. Nudelman currently coordinates a federal campaign to ban bisphenol A in food and efforts to secure passage of federal legislation to more strictly regulate the cosmetics industry. She spoke about all the toxins that are presently in cosmetics and stressed that only 11% of cosmetic ingredients have been tested for safety. If you want to learn more about that issue, go to http://www.safecosmetics.org/.
Hybrid vehicles were a hit at Green Festival. I took a video of two of the vehicles – Genovation Electric Car and Solar PHEV Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The first one can go up to 60 miles with a single lithium battery charge. It’s meant more for city use. The second one has solar panels installed on the roof and hood. They are not so much to substitute fuel but to supplement it in case you run out of gas and there is no gas station nearby.
The best purchase we made was out first water filtration system – Multi-Pur Aqua Dome (MPAD). This particular system was just rated Best Buy by Consumers Digest for countertop water filtration systems. Check out the full article here. It’s normally sold for $224 but we got ours for only $144. For a family of 2-4 you only need to change the filter once a year and that costs $55. The cost for water per gallon comes to 8 cents. Did I mention, we love the water?! It’s clear and sweet, no aftertaste. Finally we can say bye-bye water bottles!
There is so much more I learned at Green Festival. I plan to read the book, research the presenters and the topics, and continue to educate myself and you on how to green our lives. It’s amazing how small personal changes can affect the big biodiversity picture. If each one of us does his/her share, we can reverse global warming within a few years. Go Green!
© 2009 Zoe Vaklinova – All Rights Reserved
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