if there were only some way to have every single day be a green festival day,
my soul might finally quiet
my conscience may finally be free of the guilt of being a human consumption machine
i might actually wake up and be happy to be a part of humanity...
but the green festival does not happen every day,
it only comes but one weekend each November,
and this year it came this past weekend to San Francisco.
Thankfully,and not a moment too soon, it came...
with all the bells and whistles of last year's event:
great speakers, hundreds of freebies handed out from socially & environmentally conscious companies, too numerous to mention, so many ways to spend your money for a good cause, fill your belly with uber healthy and fine foods, and give your mind and body the boost it needs to make it through yet another ugly consumer holiday season.
Everyone, and their grandparents, children, friends, and dogs(um, scratch that, no dogs, unless you are blind) should all make it a point to not miss out on next year's event... and to show up early, preferably Friday or Saturday, before the place becomes uncomfortably mob-scenish, yet another quality of our sometimes trying society.
The following are s few of my favorites from this year's event:
Care2.com - they gave out tons of free all natural lip balm, tote bags, and healthy green solutions for cleansing your body and home. Check them out online!
Trees for the Future; PLANT-TREES.ORG - Helping to reinstate trees in clearcut communities, underprivalged nations.
Planet Green _ A spinoff of the discovery channel who gave out so many green totes to every passerby. The number one question i got was where they handed out those neat green bags. Look for this channel on cable next year.
Brighterplanet.com - They are bringing out a green credit card to help offset carbon with your buying power.
Farm Fresh to You; farmfreshtoyou.com - I knew about these people before, but decided to finally go for it: Organic produce delivered in various box sizes directly from the farm where it is grown and harvested! A small box is about $20, and comes with seasonal goodness at your chosen timespan. All the volunteers for them were amazingly sweet and happy, an obvious side effect of working naturally with the land.
Mynaturals.com - An online source for thousands of natural and organic products, healthy living resources, green credits earning, with a distributor and cooperative program. They gave away online discount vouchers and a handful of fun samples. Thanks guys!
Green City Calendar; planetdrum.org - A website to find green events and volunteer opportunities in the city.
Eco Citizen; ecocitizenonline.com - Local made and organic clothing right here in SF.
mrelliepooh.com - A maker of elephant dung paper as a way to stop deforestation and use available resources that also embrace yet another use for the majestic elephant.
Regenerative Design Institute; regenerativedesign.org - This is a "non-profit educational organization that envisions a world where people, inspired by nature, create and maintain healthy livelihoods to enhance fertility and biodiversity on the planet." I will make this happen next year... i will go to this institute.. someway, somehow.
Reware; rewarestore.com - A solar powered bag in various styles to charge any device anywhere in the world. They also have a strap on solar charger that can be put on other bags you already have. Very smart technology... still a bit pricey at $100-200+
Solio - Another solar charging device that is hand held, folds to the size of a large cell phone, and can charge anything as well. This is a smaller cheaper alternative, at $95, and is a bit more compact. I am curious to see how it works for Ambi & Fabi, my friends who bought one for their very own. I am not yet convinced.
Villagegreen.com - Pay these people a small amount to convert where your particular energy comes from. I am now about to get a certificate stating where i get my power, and the bill still comes from PG&E, cuz it is their lines, but the power is all alternative.
Manos De Madres, Manosdemadres.org - The woman of Honduras collect used bags and wrappers to craft wonderfully bright and sturdy little pouches and bags distributed by Manos de Madres, it is administered by Cofeacoma in Comayagua. These a great support to the woman and families there, as well as a feel good product.
World of Good; .org or .com - A fair Trade resource having their once a year warehouse sale on 12/01 & 12/02 @ 6315 Doyle St in Emeryville. CHeck them out online too!
Jennyhurth.com - Jenny gets used trade show banners and other vinyl marketing which would otherwise end up in landfill, and creates cool bags, folders, and hampers. There were others like her, but i didn't get much of their info to give out. Bravo for ingenuity and design!!
For the other companies who are still my favorites, which i found last year and some of who remained this year as well, check out my archived blog "Greener Than This" from Green Fest 2006 in SF. I didn't get to hear as many speakers as i wanted to this year, but did break down to tears when i listened to Amy Goodman's passionate speach about what is so wrong right now, big oil, bad men, and the poor state of our democracy, but felt empowered when she reminded us yet again of the power in numbers.
I did, however, have the priviledge of volunteering this year, and enjoyed an evening handing back coats to an inspirational throng of green-goers on Saturday night. For Sunday i decided to stay behind with the green team to sort our many bins of compostables for any waylaid garbage or recycling that didn't belong there. It was yucky and stinky, but felt oh so fullfilling.
There is humbling at the green festival.
There is therapy.
There is renewal.
There is hope.
There is even the sound of so many hearts beating to one primal rythmic drum, which can never be taken from within us, can never be quieted.