Green Festival

Mark and I went to the Green Festival today. I hadn’t been for the two years. It’s a pretty intense event – so many people, and things, and information. It can get a bit overwhelming. Plus, the hippie quotient is pretty high. I’m better at co-existing at sometimes than others. If I’m not feeling good about how I’m living, the sight of a long-haired, tie-dyed, vegan hippie, triggers even more self-loathing and guilt. It brings up all of the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. I could’ve joined a commune. I should be a vegatarian. I would’ve been a good farmer. You get the idea. But, today, it’s ok. I’ve even been actually looking forward to going to the green festival for several weeks now. Specifically, I was looking forward to being reminded that I have many good choices in the market place (most of the festival space is taken up by “green” vendors) and to seeing two of my favorite authors speak.

Mark dropped me off just in time for me to catch Paul Hawken speak. (He parked the car three blocks away and walked back in the rain.) Paul Hawken wrote The Ecology of Commerce which was a hugely influential book my freshman year of college. His book basically inspired me to create my major in Environmental Economics. The idea is that the marketplace doesn’t have to be at odds with the environment. It can be used as a positive force. I can choose to use my money in ways that don’t harm the earth – organic, reused, donations – and that if we each do that, it will make a huge difference. And it has. The number of sustainable choices we have has grown tremendously! His talk today was based on his new book Blessed Unrest, about the massive movement of social justice and environmental non-governmental organizations in the world. It’s way bigger than the Catholic church. Definetly a source of hope. We’re not as well organized as the church, but we’re just getting started.

The other speaker I was excited to hear was Lynn Twist, author of The Soul of Money. This was a hugely influential book for me in 2002, when I started fundraising at CGF. It’s a little harder to summarize her talk. The idea is that we’re trapped by money, something we created. Scarcity is a myth and there’s enough to go around. I highly recommend reading her book. I got a lot out of it.

Other things from the festival:
Shelter Books – cool books on building sustainable housing
Presidio MBA – a master’s degree in sustainable business
Honest Kids – yummy beverages, disposable containers, but organic
Seeds of Change – certified, organic chocolate – and they gave me two bars!
San Francisco Green Map – a map of school gardens, green schools, special trees, and labyrinths, among other things
Living Crafts – great new magazine that features craft projects that I actually want to make, many are kid-friendly
Renegade Lunch Lady – from the Organic Valley vendors, who make excellent chocolate milk, I got a little booklet about Chef Ann and her work in school cafeterias
The Pachamama Alliance – a group that Lynn Twist helped start, that works to protect the Amazonian Rain Forest by partnering with the local peoples. I really like their idea of the new moon program. I’ll probably incorporate something like that into my goddess gatherings. (and I have a problem with hippies?)
Green Clean – they don’t have a website, but they’re our cleaners (Yes, we have cleaners. It’s worth it. Trust me.) and they do an excellent job without all of the chemicals
And the best for last…
Save a Snowman – I LOVE THIS!

The punchline – After a day being green, nothing sounded better for dinner than some good Soul Food. So, I took Mark to Hard Knox Cafe where I had some of the best EVAH fried chicken. So good.

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