Green Festival News

Fun for the Whole Family in the Green Kids' Zone

gf-chicago-child-turtleGreen Festival presents a new and exciting Green Kids Zone in Chicago this year! Bring your family to Green Festival in Chicago May 14-15 and enjoy two days of fun for all ages. Entertaining and enriching activities include animal and insect encounters, yoga, Green Kids parade and even a veggie farm in a truck! Visit the Green Kid's Zone and meet Flow the Water Woman and Aquaman - these time travelers from a land far away will lead kids on a journey through the natural world as they learn to reduce, reuse and recycle as well as love and protect Mother Earth. Explore the wonder of the world and learn why it is important to protect and conserve water, eco-systems, animal species and habitats.

Speaker Spotlight: John Perkins - The Economic Insider & Master Storyteller

JohnPerkinsJohn Perkins, author, advisor, advocate, and much admired change agent continues to contribute to improving our world. He challenges us to soar to new heights, away from predatory capitalism and into an era more transformative than the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. His writings detail specific steps each of us can take to create a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.

As Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm, John Perkins advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. He worked directly with heads of state and CEOs of major companies.

Green America Takes on Hershey – Every Child Deserves a Childhood!

Hershey-Shareholder-meetingReport from: Elizabeth O’Connell, Green America’s Fair Trade Coordinator from Hershey Annual Shareholder Meeting - May 2, 2011

For the past year, Green America has urged Hershey to go Fair Trade. Why?

Hershey gets much of its cocoa from West Africa where forced child labor is prevalent. Additionally, Hershey is the only major chocolate company that has not stepped up to achieve independent third-party certification that would prevent the use of child and forced labor.

To bring this to the attention of Hershey executives, we mobilized people to voice their discontent! School children have made Fair Trade Valentines for the Hershey CEO and Hershey customers have asked for a Fair Trade Hershey candy bar. More than 2,000 people have hosted The Dark Side of Chocolate film screenings and more than 30,000 people have signed petitions that were delivered to Hershey!

Dare to Be a Social Enterprise

carbon_outreachErica Grigg 
Founder, CMO
Carbon Outreach

Green Festival, a project of Green America and Global Exchange, has gathered over 1 million conscious consumers around the United States! I’m a proud advocate of Green Festivals because it provides consumers and producers the chance to really experience the benefits of ethical products. From tasting and seeing to touching and smelling, the benefits of naturally derived products are unmistakable.

I wrote an article for Treehugger to urge American businesses to consider their role in the next developments of responsible business—especially through the “social enterprise” community. For me, social enterprise models make the most sense, taking people, planet and profit into account.


PachasPajamasAaron Ableman
Edutainer, Organizer, Author

My grandpa once said "not to let my schooling get in the way of my edumication." As an educator, I am conflicted by the truth behind this joke, symbolic of our failing national schooling system. For years, I have struggled with institutional education, like the time I was pegged with a barrage of "gummy bears" from a bunch of upset students who didn't like their homework assignment. How could I blame them? The standardized curricula I was forced to teach was rewarding 'good test-takers' with candy and gift certificates to Pizza Hut! Considering the budget cuts in our public education system, hitting low income neighborhoods and communities of color first and worst, our children are facing a kind of crisis of the mind and body that shakes me to the core. And yet, I remain a hopeful advocate for equity and inspiration in our children's lives, despite the fast food lunch lines, overcrowded classrooms and violence in our schools.

Speaker Spotlight: L. Hunter Lovins - America's 21st Century Green Business Icon

HunterLovinsA worldwide recognized leader in helping companies and communities profit from more sustainable practices, L. Hunter Lovins has authored and co-authored numerous books, including: Brittle Power (1982); Energy Unbound (1986); Factor Four—Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use (1997); Green Development (1998); Natural Capitalism (1999); and, hundreds of papers and articles. She was named as a Time magazine “Hero for the Planet” in 2000, and a Newsweek “Green Business Icon” in 2008.

Lovins is currently the President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, a professor of sustainable business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and the chief insurgent of the Madrone Project.

The Action of Water

Joanne_HedouJoanne Hedou
Fluvial Geomorphologist 
Writing and Fund Development
C4C GroundUP

The action of water is often dangerous. This is something we forget when we receive it in the benign form of tap water every day.

I am a fluvial Geomorphologist and I love rivers. Every year I follow the activity of floods with excitement. From my city home in Seattle I watch the news about winter flooding, an increasing problem that comes with heavier rainstorms. I go out and stand on curbs, watching misdirected drainage run by me on the street. I listen to the wind and the rain, thinking about the leaky roof of my top-floor. That really doesn’t caution me enough. I hold it in as long as I can, but I can’t help myself. I have to drive out to see the rivers. I feel their power in my blood. When water moves quickly and powerfully, I am most drawn to it; so I go.

The Invisible Class

the_invisible_classBy Josh Hayes 
Producer, Cameraman, Editor
"The Invisible Class"

Children with no parents. Combat war veterans still suffering from the effects of war. Elderly people who have lost insurance or have medical bills that are too high. Families who live out of a van. Women fleeing from abusive relationships. These are just some of the stories that make up the homeless population in America.

Yet when we think of homelessness we only see one face. And while these most visible of homelessness deserve our help and attention as well, they are only a fraction of the overall homeless population. The Invisible Class tells the story of the entire homeless population, which is something that has never been done before in film.

Speaker Spotlight: Colin Beavan

beavan_colin_webAs the news stories go: “Colin Beavan is a liberal schlub who got tired of listening to himself complain about the world without ever actually doing anything about it…” Thus, in November, 2006, he left behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption...no problem.

That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray! What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? These are the questions at the heart of his endeavor, through which Colin hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more "eco-effective" and, by turns, more content life. Hear Colin share his journey Saturday, April 14 on the Main Stage at Chicago Green Festival. 

Top 10 Speakers

David_KortenGreen Festival is where your community comes together to engage with today’s leading authors, celebrities, visionaries and activists renowned both Seattle, and around the world. You will be inspired by the people you meet; enlightened by the workshops you participate in; and empowered by the skills and knowledge you discover.

Here are ten highlights from the 125 talented and innovative speakers you can connect with at Seattle Green Festival this May 21 - 22 hosted at the Qwest Event Center:

Sierra Club Green Cinema

sierra_clubGreen Festival is excited to partner with the Sierra Club to introduce a wonderful new feature to Green Festival – The Sierra Club Green Cinema! Sierra Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. With 1.4 million members strong, Sierra Club chapters around the nation work together, inspired by nature, to protect our local communities and the planet.

In celebration of partnership with this venerable organization, all Sierra Club members who show their membership card at the box office receive FREE admission to Green Festival!

At the Sierra Club Green Cinema, sit back, relax and enjoy short and feature-length documentaries covering a variety of social and environmental topics. Stick around post-screening for film discussions and Q & A.