Celebrate Earth Day at the Ultimate Marketplace.
In a couple of days, I’ll be attending NYC’s 14th annual Green Festival Expo as a member of the media! I got approved as a blogger last year, but unfortunately some pesky health issues prevented me from traveling to Pier 94. This year, I’ll be heading to the Javits Center with my mom and dad for an afternoon of green bonding.
If you’ll be attending as a vendor, fellow blogger, or member of the general public, look for me in my bold and bright vintage emerald green specs! And keep reading for some information about the event, as well as a preview of some booths that I’ll be targeting.
Disclosure: As a member of the media, I am able to attend the Green Festival Expo free of charge in exchange for exposure via my blog and social media channels. However, all shared opinions and experiences are my own. Links are NOT affiliated. All logos and images appearing in this post are used courtesy of the Green Festival, EcoHabitude, Bee’s Wrap, Michele’s Granola, Mujus, and Canopy Verde.
About the Green Festival.
Green Festival, established back in 2002 by Green America and Global Exchange, is America’s largest and longest running sustainability and green living event. Scheduled to extend the celebration of Earth Day, the NYC gathering generally attracts over 21,000 people interested in learning about innovative green products and services. The festival gives conscious consumers the opportunity to discover easy ways to live healthier, more sustainable lives by connecting with brands, businesses, and thinkers in the field.
- Showcasing the best and latest green products and services
- Making green practical, viable, and accessible by promoting sustainability in every day choices and actions
- Providing the ultimate marketplace for green brands and consumers who want to integrate sustainability into their lives
- Striving to be a zero-waste marketplace where consumers can connect with companies committed to environmental sustainability
- Representing a diverse, sustainable community that is socially and environmentally responsible
- Encouraging companies to adopt green and fair trade principles through Green America’s certification process
- Supporting diets that are focused on organic, non-GMO, and local artisanal foods
- Serving as a launch pad for Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and consumer programs in sustainability
There truly is something for everyone—from food, fashion, and health to energy, construction, and design. Green Festival strives to inspire and empower attendees, whether they be consumers, communities, or businesses, to “work green, play green, and live green.”
Operating on Clean Energy.
Dr. Corinna Basler, president of Green Festivals, Inc. is pleased that the festival will be coming back to New York City for 2015 and has announced some exciting news:
This year we are honored to not only be offering a wider selection of green and sustainable products and services, but we are happy to announce that our expo will be operating on clean energy through our new partnership with Arcadia Power.
Arcadia Power, whose mission is to provide the choice of clean energy to every individual and small business, has plans to purchase clean energy on the grid to match Green Festival’s usage. This happens through power purchase agreements, ensuring that an equal amount of energy is produced at pollution-free renewable facilities through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
If you aren’t interested in my layman’s attempt at explaining what this means, you can feel free to skip to the next section ;)
But if you, like me, didn’t quite understand all those words about clean energy, grids, and power purchase agreements, I’ll try to break it down for you. Note that there is a chance that I may confuse you further, so for more info, definitely check out the FAQ section on Arcadia Power’s website.
First, think about the energy you use to power your home. You pay for what can be called “dirty energy” each month by way of your utility bill. In the US, the production of electricity is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution. Gallons upon gallons of water are used and pounds on top of pounds of CO2 are produced. With clean, renewable energy, not one gallon of water is used and not one pound of CO2 is released.
Now, you may not be able to control what utility base provides energy to your house, since, let’s face it, the laws of physics don’t allow us to push “clean” electrons wherever we want. But, what Arcadia Power does is send your home’s carbon impact to Z-E-R-O by purchasing clean energy in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on your behalf. By buying RECs to match your home’s energy usage, you are actually consuming clean energy, offsetting your carbon footprint, and joining the sustainability community.
By supporting clean energy via these RECs, you are directly investing in renewable projects and increasing the purchasing power that companies like Arcadia have. And it is this influence on the energy market that will, in the long-term, make renewables more attractive for developers and push sustainability efforts further for future generations.
Preview to the 2015 Green Festival Expo.
So, by now I think it is quite clear that 1) as a green beauty blogger, i’m excited to attend my first event of this kind and 2) it is ridiculously hard to explain clean energy!
I hope to discover some fabulous new brands and initiatives at this year’s event. I’m specifically interested in the fashion and home spaces, as well as learning more about clean energy. Also, I plan to visit with a few companies that I currently buy from or am familiar with. For now, I will introduce some brands I’ll be targeting and then after the event, I’ll share some sort of haul to show you guys what my parents and I brought home!
So, without further adieu, here are 5 companies on my radar:
Founded by Kristen Drapesa, EcoHabitude is a peer-to-peer marketplace designed to bring socially conscious apparel, accessories, beauty products, housewares, and other ethically created products directly to consumers. The website serves as a platform where shoppers can discover (and connect with) artists who are committed to selling high quality, ethical, and socially responsible goods. For lack of a better comparison, I’d say that EcoHabitude most resembles Etsy. However, whereas Etsy has been around for quite some time, has a ton of features, and spans all different price ranges, EcoHabitude is the younger sibling with more expensive tastes who is still trying to figure things out. I think this company has a bright future and I love that everything sold in the marketplace is pretty much guaranteed to be eco-friendly. The site uses an ecotagging system so that sellers can label their goods and consumers can search based on particular eco-friendly filters. Products can be marked biodegradabe, conflict free, cruelty free, fairly traded, fibershed, handmade, low carbon footprint, made in USA, natural materials, non-toxic, organic, profit sharing, recycled, sweatshop free, upcycled, vintage, or wild harvested. Of course, consumers should still read ingredients and ask questions, but EcoHabitude has some really wonderful products and I’m looking forward to seeing some of these things in person. I’ve been in touch with Andrea via e-mail and it will be nice to meet her (and the rest of the team) in person at Green Festival!
Sarah Kaeck’s family life often revolves around the garden and the kitchen. But, due to the growing concerns surrounding the safety of plastics, Sarah wanted to find a new viable storage option for her food. Instead of finding one, she created one, and so Bee’s Wrap was born! By infusing organic cotton muslin with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin, Sarah was able to make the perfect alternative to plastic wrap. Bee’s Wrap helps to keep food fresh and the products are reusable, biodegradable, and compostable, all supporting the company’s mission of conservation and sustainability. Ever since I saw this product reviewed on Shauna’s blog, Natural Beauty Junkie, I have wanted to get my hands on some. I’m sure my parents are tired of me cursing our plastic wrap and exclaiming, “We need to get Bee’s Wrap!” I’m super excited that the company will be at Green Festival so my parents and I can see it in action. And you can be sure I’ll be buying some!
Michele’s Granola was born out of a love of granola bars from a local Maryland bakery. After devouring countless numbers of bars every morning, Michele Thornett, a self-taught baker, spent countless hours blending and baking natural and organic ingredients until she discovered the perfect crunchy bite. After great feedback from friends and family who said her granola was THE BEST they’d ever tasted, Michele and co-founder Tony Sowa made their business official! In early 2006, Michele’s Granola was a one-woman farmers market show, but has grown over the past 9 years into a thriving business with a full blown granola-making team. This team prepares almost 8,000 pounds of granola per week, distributing to over 250 natural foods retailers, grocery stores, specialty markets, and food service facilities. Now, I am very excited to meet the granola team because I am one of those people who agree that this granola is indeed THE BEST! When I was first diagnosed with food allergies, Michele’s Ginger Hemp granola became the one and only breakfast cereal I could eat! I’m hoping to stop by, say hi, thank the company for making a product that I enjoy, and maybe get my hands on some of their new granola bars.
After working for years on Wall Street, Paola Delgado wanted to do something more fulfilling and philanthropic. So, she packed up her bags and traveled to Peru in search of inspiration, discovering communities who use Amazonian seeds to make beautiful jewelry. She studied with these artisans and in 2011, founded Mujus, meaning “seed” in Quechua, the ancient language of Peru. Delgado uses only sustainable, raw materials in her designs in an effort to preserve an increasingly vulnerable environment. She also gives back by providing educational opportunities, healthcare benefits, and fair trade wages to her artists in Peru, as well as collaborating with the ALS Association in the USA to design special collections to raise money for the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease. You all know by now that I am a big lover of jewelry and an even bigger supporter of those who work with nonprofit organizations, so Mujus is one of those companies that certainly deserves some of my time at the festival.
Linda Wong started Canopy Verde, a collection of handbags made of organic cotton, chrome-free leather, and AZO-free embroidery in 2007. Because she doesn’t like to own a ton of “stuff,” she set out to create a line of well-designed, timeless, and practical pieces. By working with another woman-owned business in a part of the world that is near and dear to her heart—Hong Kong—Linda is able to choose methods and processes that not only cut down on waste, but also reuse materials whenever possible. Canopy Verde mixes a love of mid-century Danish design, elements of the Brooklyn neighborhood where Linda’s family lives, and the philosophy of making something in the most earth friendly way possible. The idea behind this company is fabulous and I love the wood details, the pop of color that appears in each design, and of course the fact that these bags are made to last. I’m looking forward to checking them out in person and talking with the owner/designer! The bags actually have more of a classic style than I usually carry, but I’m not only going to the Green Festival to find things I like, I’m going to find things that I can share with all of you!
Date: April 24, 25, & 26, 2015
Time: 12 pm to 6 pm (Friday), 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday), and 10 am to 5 pm (Sunday)
Location: Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001 (best subway stop is the 34th St, Penn Station stop)
Pricing (all tickets provide access to exhibit floor, workshops, speakers, and films):
- $12 for any single day—Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
- $22 for Saturday and Sunday Weekend Pass
- $32 for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 3-Day Special
- Youth 16 and Under are Free
- Cyclists who use the Green Festival Cono Sur Bike Valet are granted free admission
- $5 Onsite Registration Discounts for Seniors (62+), Students, and Veterans
Visit greenfestivals.org for more info!
Other 2015 Green Festival Events
Washington, DC: June 5 to June 7
Los Angeles, CA: September 25 to September 27
San Francisco, CA: November 13 to November 15
Portland, OR: December 11 to December 13
Which NYC Green Festival Exhibitors are you most interested in learning more about? Let me know in the comments below!