Green Festivals have been educating communities all over America for about 13 years now, providing healthier alternatives for living economically, socially and all-around environmentally. Thousands of people attended Green Festivals across the country in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago this year, and last weekend at Fort Mason was San Francisco’s turn to enlighten the Bay Area on sustainable and healthier living.
Known as the nation’s longest-running sustainability event, the festival offers a wide variety of products and services to work, play, eat and live sustainably through. From fashion and beauty to design and construction, there was something green for everyone — and eco-friendly cars were available for test driving.
“There are so many fun, exciting and compassionate elements to putting-on this festival,” said Green Festivals, Inc. President Corinna Basler, who has worked with the organization for over a year. “As a vegan vegetarian, I do the job not because it’s from nine to five but because it is a beautiful chance to make a difference in the world.”
As an active humanitarian, vegetarian and employee of Green 11, an organic refill store in the Inner Sunset, SF State senior Shelbie Bradley found attending the festival to be an enlightening and important experience to people living in the Bay Area.
“I feel like the people who live in San Francisco already have a leg up when it comes to knowledge about the green lifestyle,” Bradley said. “But because this city attracts so many tourists, a bunch of people who aren’t familiar with this way of life were able to gain a lot of knowledge about living green.”
Throughout the weekend, Green Festival attendees engaged in discussion panels, inspirational speeches, vegetarian and vegan cooking demonstrations, educational family activities and plenty of retail. There was even a sustainably built bar that filled the pavilion. And with discounted admission for students, seniors, bike riders, public transit riders and union members, the festival was very accessible.
“I got to test out a bunch of products I have always been interested in but never purchased,” said Christina Paiva, an SF State graduate and festival attendee. “I purchased things that not only are better for my body but are better for the earth, and I supported companies doing good things. It was a win-win.”
The festival was informative and was meant to open the eyes of people to healthier and more green ways to live. With an attendance turnout numbering in the thousands, exceeding the expectations of Basler, it did just that.
“Of course when putting together exhibitions many improvisations come along the way,” Basler said. “We would love to make it even bigger and better and to be in more cities spreading the beautiful, green message.”