Green Festival News

Stay updated, and Help Spread the Word!

gf-sf-announceLos Angeles Green Festival is quickly approaching! The Green Festival team has been hard at work programming 12 program rich stages and pavilions. This inspiring 2-day event will feature over 125 speakers and dozens of workshops, as well as Spanish language programming. Speaker bios and stage schedules are now online, including the fun and fabulous Green Kids’ Zone. Now is the time to plan your Green Festival weekend and spread the word about LA Green Festival to your friends, family and coworkers!

Still Time to Raise the Bar - The Real Corporate Social Responsibility Report for the Hershey Company - 2011 Edition

raise-the-bar-2011Green America
Global Exchange
International Labor Rights Forum

September 2011 marks the ten-year anniversary of when major chocolate companies, including Hershey, committed to ending child and forced labor in their cocoa supply chains1. However, hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa continue to labor on cocoa farms2 that provide the key ingredient for much of the chocolate consumed in the United States and around the world. 

It has also been one year since the Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign released its first report evaluating Hershey’s corporate social responsibility policies, Time to Raise the Bar: The Real Corporate Social Responsibility Report for the Hershey Company. The report found that Hershey lagged behind its competitors in sourcing cocoa that had been independently certified to comply with international labor rights standards.

Bag Wars - Plastic Bag Giants Superbag and Advance Poly Split from Hilex Poly, Drop Out Of Lawsuit Against ChicoBag

GF_SF_Bag_MonsterHilex Poly, Standing Alone, Settles Case with ChicoBag and Agrees to Change Position on Wind-Blown Litter and Recycling Rates

Chico, CA - The ChicoBag Company, a reusable bag company, has announced today, that the lawsuit filed against it by Hilex Poly Company, LLC, Superbag Operating, LTD., and Advance Polybag, Inc.-three  of the largest domestic manufacturers of disposable single-use plastic bags-has ended.

The plastic bag giants, which have also sued municipalities over bag bans or fees, had initiated the suit against ChicoBag alleging that the company's "Learn The Facts" page, (which contains widely accepted third party statistics regarding the impact of single-use plastic bags on the environment) was false and misleading, and had resulted in 'irreparable harm' to their companies.

Building Green Festival from the Community - Working with the SF Host Committee

SFhostcommittee5The San Francisco Green Festival's host committee had a great first meeting on August 17th at The Hub in San Francisco. Over 80 people from diverse backgrounds collaborated towards making Green Festival's 10th Anniversay event on November 12-13th a great success!

Attendees heard from Kevin Danaher, co-founder of social justice nonprofit Global Exchange, and co-founder of Green Festival, about the event's rich 10 year history. Next to speak was San Francisco Green Festival Regional Director June Brashares who spoke about the diverse and exciting program in store for all who attend. Finally, San Francisco Green Festival Marketing Coordinator and Regional Volunteer Manager Bryan Ting talked about the importance of enthusiastic input from the community in making positive change and how Green Festival volunteers help make every festival a success.

Child Labor, the Not-so-Sweet Side of Chocolate

stopchildlaborElizabeth O'Connell
Green America

Monday, September 19th will mark the ten-year anniversary of the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol -- an agreement by the country's largest chocolate companies to put an end to forced child labor in the chocolate industry by 2005.

Ten years after chocolate companies made this commitment, there is still much to be done. While some companies have begun to make the switch to Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa, one company stands out as lagging far behind its peers: Hershey.

America's oldest and largest chocolate manufacturer must not be allowed to profit at the expense of children in West Africa. Instead of just sending a message to The Hershey Company, Green America asks that you send a message to your whole community, through letters to the editor, blogs and social networking, that highlights this issue in as we approach the ten-year anniversary of the Harkin-Engel Protocol.

LA Green Festival Programming - A First Look

GFaudienceThe time is near - Los Angeles Green Festival, October 29-30 at the LA Convention Center is quickly approaching! Excitement is building in the Los Angeles community, and this festival has all the makings of one of our best events yet. A wealth of knowledge awaits every attendee, from practical tips to green your everyday life, to invaluable insights into our most pressing current environmental and societal issues, and fun and enriching ways to bring your family and friends together to help your local communities. Feature topics include Community Action, Social Media, Green Building, Green Kids, Fair Trade, Organic Cooking, Sustainable Home and Garden, Green Media, Green Business and much more! Here is a preview of some of the incredible speakers that await you at Green Festival. Stay tuned as many more fantastic speakers will be added in the coming weeks!

Green America Launches 'Ask Green America'

askgreenamericaGreen America has just launched a brand new service to personally answer your green living questions. Ask Green America is a brand new, one-of-a-kind green help desk, providing answers to over 1,000 green living questions. This new resource available at your fingertips is great for your home, office, school and more!

Ask Green America has helpful answers to almost any sustainable living question you can think of, and adds more tips and advice every day, grown from Green America's 28 years of experience helping individuals and businesses go green. Ask Green America partner, Green Irene, America's Eco-Consultant (a Green-America-approved business) combines accumulated knowledge on greening your homes, lifestyles and businesses.

Organic? Vegetarian? Vegan? That is the Question

GFSFFood3We ask, “Why do you come to Green Festival?” More often than not, people answer, “the food!”

Green Festival is proud to offer local organic vegan and vegetarian faire that is easy on the wallet, healthy, delicious and good for the soul. While offering many well-known favorites such as the ever-famous falafel, vegan corn dog and garlic fries, Green Festival seeks to explore a variety of cultural approaches to flavor and nutrition that incorporate flavors from nations around the world. The fun of Green Festival cuisine exists in trying the best new local restaurants and exploring the possibilities in organic, vegan, vegetarian and raw snacks and meals – all while discovering the fun of growing and creating your own food!

The Sorry State of Airline Recycling

volunteerrecycleTodd Larson
Green America

If you have flown you have seen it: flight attendants coming down the aisle with a bag to collect trash.

The average airline passenger generates 1.3 lbs. of waste per flight. This might not seem like a large amount. But, in 2008, there were 678 million airline passenger trips in the United States alone, which generated over 881 million lbs. of waste.

Nearly 75 percent of this waste is recyclable. Unfortunately, only 20 percent is actually recycled.

Building Green Festival from the Ground Up! Working with the LA Host Committee

LA-Host-Committee-2The Los Angeles Green Festival Host Committee launch had a great turnout for its first meeting on Tuesday, June 28 at L.A. City Hall. More than 75 talented professionals gathered in the magnificent Tom Bradley Tower Room to discuss the hot topic: Green Festival coming to Los Angeles the weekend of October 29 and 30.

In addition to hearing from Green America Executive Director Alisa Gravitz, Global Exchange co-founder Dr. Kevin Danaher and Seven-Star Events President Georgia Malki, local movers and shakers in the room included:  Paula Daniels, City of Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner; Beth Jines, Director of Sustainability, City of Los Angeles, Office of the Mayor; Rafael Gonzales, City of Los Angeles Chief Service Officer, and enthusiastic local business owners, nonprofit representatives and community leaders in the green movement.

Summer Reading

GFCHI2011BookstoreEvery Green Festival is fortunate to host a number of incredible authors, leaders and visionaries. The Green Festival bookstore is one of the most popular hot spots on the festival floor for a reason, as attendees can browse titles by speakers as well as meet their favorite authors during book signings. Whether your interest lies in the political, environmental, social or scientific realm, here is some light, and not-so-light summer reading to get you in gear for another Green Festival season: