Green Festival paid a beautiful and fun filled farewell to the venue where the first S.F. Green Festival was held twelve years ago, the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center. Exhibitors shared the latest and greatest in sustainable and fair trade consumer products which over 23,000 attendees had the opportunity to sample, experiment with, and enjoy! The entire weekend was brimming with energy and full of individuals teaching, learning, and sharing within a community space.
The Good Food Stage explored the intersection between activism and food with presentations including Grits and Greens: Activism at the Intersection of Food, Art, and Technology, a panel moderated by Ashara Ekundayo of Impact HUB Oakland and featuring Arno Hesse, Chef Josie Malave, and Judy Quea exploring sustainability through healthy eating, social justice, and locally grown solutions. Grits and Greens featured a set of turntables right alongside these four experts and a home grown blend of hip-hop music accompanied their panel discussion. SOS Juice – Power the People, a presentation led by Ashel Eldridge of SOS Juice also graced the Good Food Stage. SOS Juice takes the power of juicing to the people by allowing youth to earn a living through educational outreach programs focused on proper nutrition, all within a social entrepreneurship framework!
Le Dessein, 'luh deh - saN', French meaning the Endeavor or the Project, impressed the crowd that had gathered around the Main Stage on Sunday with a sophisticated fashion show. Onlookers were excited to observe the production and the models highlighted the wearable and accessible garments beautifully. In addition to creating stunning garments, Le Dessien empowers young girls in struggling and underprivileged communities around the world by contributing to their education through a collaborative relationship with 'More Than Me', a foundation with the goal of providing school tuition to the more than hundred girls they work with in West Point, a slum in Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa).
In addition to featuring the latest in eco fashion to the main stage, S.F. Green Festival also welcomed community leaders, industry experts and cultural icons to share their expertise with the greater Bay Area community. Our Main Stage was proud to feature calls to action from notable figures that fight for justice in their daily lives. "Democracy Now!" host and long-time Green Festival favorite Amy Goodman had the Main Stage audience overflowing as she called for a more inclusive and just media-- "media must give voice to the silenced (not silent) majority."
John Trudell, acclaimed poet, actor, and activist, presented the idea that 'There is no revolutionary solution, only an evolutionary solution' to the global problems we face today. He encouraged attendees to think beyond the traditional idea of a revolution, because a revolution only changes and reinvents an existing system. Trudell feels we must evolve out of our current system altogether, and embrace the societal evolution that will allow us to rebuild a better, more just world.
S.F. Green Festival was honored to present two revolutionary documentaries on the Main Stage. GMO OMG follows Director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert as he searches for answers about the possible effects Genetically Modified Organisms may have on our health and planet. As GMO’s work their way into our food system, Seifert’s journey around the world brings greater insight into the relationship people all over the world have with their food and GMOs. Bringing it Home, a documentary directed by Laura Booker, explores the past, present, and future of industrial hemp. Including interviews with business owners around the world and in the U.S. A. who are using hemp in construction, textiles, nutrition, soaps, and bio plastics this lively film educates as it entertains with animation, archival footage, and more. Green Festivals would like to extend a special thank you to Director Laura Booker for joining us in San Francisco and participating in an interactive post film discussion!
Congratulations to the 2013 S.F. Ford Community Green Grant winner Foodshift! Foodshift is working to change the fact that in the U.S.A. 40% of all produced food is wasted while 50 million Americans do not have enough to eat. Through reducing waste [of food] ---- we can create jobs, feed the hungry, conserve natural resources, combat climate change, and cultivate more sustainable communities. Food Shift is working toward these goals through education, food recovery, and business partnerships. Congratulations Foodshift!
Thanks so much to all S.F. Ford Community Green Grant finalists; your projects are truly inspiring. Thanks also to everyone who voted - your support of these local nonprofits is crucial to their ability to positively impact the community.
Green Festival is incredibly privileged to connect with the community through a number of local non profit allies! Thanks to all of these wonderful organizations for their hard work in creating a cleaner, greener, socially just and culturally rich San Francisco community. Working as a team with the dedicated efforts of a wonderful host committee and street team, the Green Festival buzz was contagious throughout San Francisco and the greater Bay Area community. Well done to all!
Thanks to all Green Festival exhibitors for showcasing your green and socially responsible businesses. Green Festival is extremely lucky to have such an innovative, diverse, environmentally-responsible and socially-just marketplace. Your continued presence at Green Festival is our greatest priority in maintaining and expanding the green economy. The Green Marketplace was hustling and bustling throughout the weekend as participants enjoyed an amazing variety of local, regional and national green and sustainable businesses. Participants were thrilled to try and take home vegan and vegetarian snacks, eco-fashion, organic body products, kids’ items, non-toxic cleaning products, green services, education and career opportunities, alternative energy means and more!
Special thanks goes out to all of the volunteers whose dedication and spirit are the backbone of every Green Festival and upon which every successful event depends. You are all extraordinary individuals and your commitment is an inspiration to the global community. Due to the diligent efforts of the volunteer Green Festival Green Team, participants were educated about different aspects of waste diversion and landfill contributions were a bare minimum!
Thank you so much to everyone who participated this weekend and shared their wonderful experiences through social media as well as those who followed along and supported Green Festival from across the country. Keep up with us at upcoming events through Facebook and Twitter by tagging @GreenFestival and using the hashtag #GreenFest.
Green Festival is gearing up for next year and cannot wait to bring world class events to New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco in 2014! Help us make the 2014 Green Festivals better than ever by keeping an eye on our website and making plans to attend a Green Festival near you! Have a happy holiday season, and see you at the show!