NEW YORK, 9 MARCH 2008
Dear EarthTalk: I've been reading about various green festivals
going on around the country and I want to attend some and get
up to speed on environmental issues and products. What are some
good ones and how do I stay on top of all the wheres and whens?
Alex, Chicago, IL
Whether you're a consumer in search of green products and
healthy organic foods, an environmental advocate looking to
network, or a businessperson who wants to "green up"
operations, there is an environmental event out there for you.
One of the best is the Green Festivals series, which appears in
an increasing number of U.S. cities every year and is growing
in leaps and bounds in attendance. Co-sponsored by two leading
national nonprofits, Global Exchange and Co-Op America, these
so-called "parties with a purpose" bring together businesses,
environmental groups and community organizations working toward
the collective goal of "forging a just, sustainable, inclusive
economy-a green economy."
Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life have
participated in these festivals over the last decade to peruse
aisles packed with exhibits, hear speakers, make connections
with like-minded folks and indulge in green-themed music, art,
culture and food. In 2008, events
will take place in Seattle (April 12-13), Chicago (May 17-18),
Washington, DC (November 8-9) and San Francisco (November
Another event geared toward the green-leaning general public
is EcoFest, held every September for the last two decades in
New York City. This free event also features myriad commercial
and nonprofit exhibits and celebrity speakers and performers.
Attendees at EcoFest's 2008 event will
get to check out prototypes of alternative energy vehicles,
watch a green-themed fashion show and participate in
environmental education workshops, among other events.
One very educational event is the yearly DC Environmental Film
Festival, which takes place March 11 - 22 this year in
Washington. The festival features 115 documentary, feature,
animated, archival, experimental and children's films, shown at
various locations around Washington, including museums,
libraries, embassies, universities and theatres. Most are free
and many include discussions with the filmmakers and/or
scientists and environmental leaders.
Many environmental festivals are broad with regard to topics
covered, but several issue-specific and business-to-business
events take place throughout the year as well. To key in to
these events, go to the Green Fairs and Festivals page at the
EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory. Examples include
Texas's Renewable Energy Roundup, Colorado's Rocky Mountain
Sustainable Living Fair, Georgia's GreenBuild Expo, Vermont's
SolarFest, and Croton-on-Hudson, New York's Great Hudson River
Revival, which has been raising funds to protect New York's
Hudson River since the late 1970s.
Green events take place all year long, but a large number
happen in the spring to coincide with Earth Day (April 22).
Many school and community environmental groups hold Earth Day
events every year. To find an Earth Day event near you this
coming spring, consult Earth Day Network's free online
CONTACTS: Green Festivals, www.greenfestivals.org;
EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory, www.ecobusinesslinks.com;
Earth Day Network, www.earthday.net.
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