New products, brands, celebrity speakers and leaders in green living garnered the attention of thousands at the tenth annual D.C. Green Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. With online ticket pre-sales exceeding last year by 93 percent, it was evident that Washingtonians and the local community were expecting an event that would deliver the latest and greatest in sustainability, green brands and fair trade products. Attendees were delighted to find a wide range of exhibitors as they shopped, tasted and learned from innovative green companies and leading sustainability experts.
Green Festival presented a significant number of new and expanded offerings at the Washington, D.C. event, due in part to its new partnership with Messe Stuttgart, a leading international tradeshow organizer producing Europe’s largest consumer show on sustainability. The D.C. show featured more than 270 exhibitors, sponsors, partners and nonprofit allies – the most in the ten-year history of the Green Festival in the nation’s capital.
Attendees took part in test-drives of Ford’s fuel-efficient vehicles, signed-up for car-sharing accounts with Zipcar’s hybrid fleet, rode the new ELF solar tricycle from Organic Transit and explored Tesla’s Model S featured by Green Tomato Cars, the greater Washington area’s greenest sedan service. Attendees arriving by bicycle were given free entrance to the festival through Clif® Bar’s bicycle valet, and more than 600 local volunteers helped Green Festival divert tons of waste from landfills, making Green Festival a near-zero-waste event. In addition, the program line-up featured pioneering thinkers in the sustainability and green living sector, such as Amy Goodman, Founder and Executive Producer of Democracy Now!; Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate and Former Green Party Candidate for President; Brendon Shane, Chief of the Office of Policy and Sustainability in the District Department of the Environment; and Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen.
This year, Green Festival teamed up with the Washington Humane Society (WHS) to launch the Green Festival-Saves-Lives Campaign. For the first time ever, attendees had the opportunity to save lives by adopting homeless pets onsite at the “Adopt Force One” mobile adoption center. The homeless cats and dogs captured the attention and the hearts of attendees, exhibitors, volunteers and staff. For some people, the connection to their new best friend was instantaneous and half of all the animals seemed to have found homes. Saundra, a one-year-old terrier mix was the first pup to find a home and WHS was thrilled that two cats, Cal Ripkitten, a long-term resident, and Perry have been adopted into new, loving homes. In addition, three dogs and one cat have adoptions pending at this time. Please visit the Green Festival website and social media outlets throughout the year for updates on the adoptive pets and their new families.
Green Festival was pleased to announce the winners of its new Green Festival Brand Award and Community Award, who were unveiled during a special presentation on Sunday, followed by a keynote address by Ralph Nader. “There are many companies and organizations working to achieve social change through green solutions, and we are very pleased to announce the winners of the Green Festival Award Series in Washington, D.C.,” said Dr. Corinna Basler, President of Green Festivals, Inc.
“The Green Festival Brand Award winner, Charm School Chocolate, offers an excellent dairy-free product for consumers with allergies and at the same time, proves that an environmentally sustainable and responsible product does not have to compromise on taste.” The Maryland-based confectionery, producing hand-crafted, dairy-free, vegan chocolates was started by chef Josh Rosen with the prize money he earned as the winner of the Food Network’s Sweet Challenge. “We are incredibly excited about the Green Festival Brand Award,” said Josh Rosen, chef and owner of Charm School Chocolate. “I am so grateful that we get a chance to be here and to share what great dairy-free chocolate can taste like.”
Dr. Basler added, “We are so pleased that the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture will be the recipient of the Green Festival Community Award and know their work will have a significant impact on residents across the greater Washington area.” The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture plans to use the financial award to double the amount of fresh food residents in low-food access neighborhoods can buy on food stamps and help them to introduce health, fresh food into their diets.
“This $5,000 grant really means $10,000 of fresh, healthy, locally and sustainably grown food in Washington D.C.’s food desert,” said Pamela Hess, Executive Director of the Arcadia Center, a Mobile Market that makes multiple weekly stops in low-food access neighborhoods in D.C., Virginia and Maryland, which do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Green Festivals is committed to inspiring and empowering consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green and is currently gearing up for their fall events to be held in Los Angeles (Sept 12,13,14) Chicago (Oct 24,25,26) and San Francisco (Nov 14,15,16).