To start my wrap-up of the Seattle Green Festival, check out my video introduction to the Green Festival as my first-ever foray into the world of an on-camera "Media Volunteer Host":
I attended both days of the Green Festival and just had a complete blast, and learned a lot too. Read all about my experience (and my personal product picks here):
I signed up to volunteer and thought I would be staffing the Green Festival Booth or maybe the Store (which I did for about 4 hours) but actually, I had a chance to try out my chops as an on-air correspondent when I was thrust, completely unprepared, but completely game for the experience, into the role of a media volunteer. Highlighting the power of Twitter as a real connectivity tool (naysayers and non-twitterers listen up!), I linked up with Jack Olmsted, a technology journalist and video blogger here in Seattle after he sent me a Direct Message on Twitter following one of my tweets in which I stated I'd be volunteering this weekend for the GreenFest. He asked me if I would be photographing the event as a media volunteer, and I replied, no, not officially, but would be interested in generally capturing the event in as many forms as possible for my blog. He then suggested I contact him as the Media Corps was looking for on-air interviewers. The next thing I knew, I was introducing the festival, before going on to interview NYTimes bestselling author and award winning host of the grassroots national radio/TV show Democracy Now, Amy Goodman, meeting one of America's most influential chefs, Alice Waters, recognized as starting the local organic food revolution that she initiated in Berkeley, CA in 1971, and speaking with the charismatic and environmentally passionate co-founder of Global Exchange and the Green Festivals, Kevin Danaher.
I also interviewed the Green Festivals Web Director, Ann Bennington, as she manned the "live-blogging" zone and talked about the importance of social networking technology in generating a buzz around this year's festival and educating people about important issues. As we spoke about it, the twitter feed for the Seattle Green Festival was constantly updating with user-submitted posts behind us on a screen for all to see (see below). For all of the related posts, check out the Twitter Feed specific to the GreenFest on the Media page of Greenfestivals.org: (www.greenfestivals.org/twitter).
The festival was a huge success with over 125 speakers and something like 350 booths and vendors, with over 40,000 in attendance. Some of my favorite vendors were:
* Pangea Organics (www.pangeaorganics.com): One of my favorite skincare/bath products companies anyway, so I was so excited to do a promo spot on air for them where I had to describe what I "Always" and "Never" do for the environment ("Always Recycle! Even if it means carrying bottles and cans around in my purse all day until I get back home/Never will drive a car if I don't have to - I haven't owned one for 15 years!") and got a really awesome t-shirt and a bunch of yummy skincare products as thanks.
* Electric Bikes: I didn't even know these existed! They are something of a cross between a motorcycle and a bicycle, except there is a removable battery that is charged by pedaling or plugging it in, and takes over when you just get too tired to pedal any longer, there's a daunting hill and you're not Lance Armstrong, or you want to solve the problem of riding your bike to work for health and environmental reasons but don't want to get your suit sweaty (these run between $1400-$2700 and are just arriving in the US from the UK - sold initially through REI).
* Spun (www.choosespun.com): An organic eco-fashion clothing line based here in Seattle, owned by designer and new Twitter friend Sara Suemae
* Conscious Choice Magazine (www.consciouschoice.com): This freely distributed, beautifully designed magazine dedicated to healthy, conscious living will be folding in print format as of its April (Earth Day-focused issue, how ironic). Until now, the magazine has been gracing local coffeeshops and green markets in only three cities: Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The magazine will be transitioning, like so many other print media, to a purely online format. I spoke with the editors staffing the booth about submitting pieces as a contributing writer to their new online magazine. I'm so excited about the possibility to contribute content to one of my favorite magazines that has pointed me towards local hidden treasures like Dinette (one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle), the Life In Balance Ayurvedic Center (where I received the best massage and Sirodhara treatment of my life), local reiki and massage therapists and many thought-provoking articles worthy of scanning and saving.
* Clif Bar: What would my 10-12 hour hikes be like without Clif Bars? Probably about half that length and then I'd be stranded on top of some mountain. I didn't really know they used all organic ingredients and beyond that, are extremely proactive about protecting the environment and reducing their ecological footprint. I was most impressed by their "Wrapper Brigade" program, in which Clif Bar has teamed up with TerraCycle to reduce the number of energy bar wrappers ending up in the landfill, and to educate people about the benefits of reusing waste materials. The Wrapper Brigade program allows schools, offices, community organizations, and even individuals to earn money for charity by collecting used wrappers and sending them in (shipping is free). For every wrapper the Brigade receives, they will donate 2 cents to a nonprofit of the collector’s choice. The wrappers then will be woven into strong material, and made into eco-chic products. See Terracycle(www.terracycle.net) for more info and to sign up.