The Green Festival… this weekend was my third and probably best experience attending. I’ve read negative reviews of the Green Festival from green bloggers bemoaning that the vendor floor is so consumption-oriented and there is still so much plastic packaging and plastic products. Those comments may be valid. But you know what? The experience of The Green Festival is what you make of it. Here are some tips:
1) Meet up with your friends — the folks who create the products that you do love. I hung out with Jay from Life Without Plastic, the company that sells the airtight stainless containers I reviewed a year ago, on Friday afternoon and toured the vendor floor with him for a bit. He had just spent the previous days at the Green Business Conference and his enthusiasm was contagious.
2) Be a little outrageous. It’s the Green Festival. It’s your chance to sparkle. Walking past the ChicoBag table with Jay, I spotted a huge pile of disposable plastic grocery bags. My eyes lit up. “Is that the Bag Monster costume?” I asked. It was. So of course, I asked to try it on. Wouldn’t you?
The Bag Monster is surprisingly cozy and warm, I guess because the inside is all natural fabric rather than plastic. I should have gotten advice from ChicoBag when creating my plastic sea monster costume. Walking around all day in plastic garbage bags is not so comfortable or fun.
Jay got into the spirit and tried on the costume, too.
And then he and I had lunch with Suzanne & Madeleine from LunaPads.
3) Bring your own mug or water bottle, utensils, and reusable food container. Even though the San Francisco Green Festival has banned plastic foodware and collects and sends all the bio-based cups, plates, utensils, straws, napkins, etc. to San Francisco’s commercial compost facility, those single-use items still required materials and energy to produce. Why use disposable if you don’t have to?
4) Stop by booths of vendors who are still packaging their products in plastic and explain to them (nicely) why you can’t support them. In fact, I think next year I will print out some little flyers with information about plastic to hand to each vendor selling plastic with the heading, “Why I can’t purchase some or all of your products” and will provide information about plastic. The Green Festivals are all over for this year. But the KPFA Crafts & Music Fair is coming up. Maybe I’ll do it there. Anyone care to join me?
5) Praise those vendors who are doing it right. I have a lot of praise coming up in future posts. I’m inspired by some of the really cool plastic-free products and services I encountered this year. It seems like where plastic is concerned, more and more businesses are “getting it.”
6) Be proud of who you are! When I asked Madeleine from LunaPads to hold up the pair of organic cotton panties she had brought for me right there in the food area, she showed no hesitation.