Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

LIVE from the Seattle Green Festival 2009: What a show!

It may be a dreary Saturday across Western Washington, with rain in the forecast all the way through the evening, but fortunately, the Green Festival is in town this weekend. Hundreds of exhibitors have set up shop in the Washington Convention and Trade Center, showcasing their wares, their work, or both.

I'm blogging live from the media lounge, after having walked through practically the entire festival (which took some time because of the crowds). This year's event looks extremely well attended, with almost no vendor in want of an audience.

There are electric cars on display, organic wine and beer tasting, a children's activity center, a green home pavilion, the Fair Trade Cafe, a natural food dining area, and recycling stations every few meters.

Children at the Seattle Green Festival
Children at the Seattle Green Festival

Some of the more interesting products I've seen today include All-Ett Billfolds (the world's thinnest wallet, recyclable and made with biodegradable products), Konjacu (a one hundred percent handmade veggie fiber skincare sponge) and Natural Sense organic mattresses (which are amazingly soft).

Those hoping to get some good leads for an environmentally friendly home renovation project won't be disappointed. There are about two dozen contractors and/or green building firms here, offering everything from installation of a solar roof to building performance testing for heat loss.

There are also vendors selling nontoxic toys, organic pet food, and eco-friendly countertops. And there are six firms here offering information about or assistance with socially responsible investing.

One of my favorite exhibitors, which I discovered last year, is the Better World Club - the nation's only environmentally friendly automobile association.

Unlike the AAA (American Automobile Association), which long ago became an important part of the big highway lobby, Better World Club doesn't use its member fees to advocate the construction of wider urban asphalt and concrete canyons.

The coolest thing about Better World Club is that they don't merely offer roadside services for motorists. They're the only auto club I've ever heard of that provides emergency assistance for bicyclists.

Rates are reasonable and you get a whole host of benefits with membership.

If anything I've just described intrigues you, I urge you to make an effort to come down to the Green Festival this weekend.

The event is open until 7 PM both today and tomorrow. Sunday's speakers include Amy Goodman (noon) and Lawrence Lessig (2 PM).

You'll be glad you went.

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