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Green Festival Returns to Chicago

By Staff in Food on May 16, 2011 9:30PM

Chicago’s eco-activists, socially responsible folks, and an assorted group of friends gathered this weekend at the Green Festival. Over the course of ten years, the event, hosted by the Global Exchange and Green America, has attracted over one million people. The 2011 tenth annual celebration kicked off in Chicago and will be moving to five cities across the United States. Some of the event highlights include:

The scienceFIST Foundation and Hanson Park School was awarded the $5000 Community Green Grant by the Ford Foundation. The scienceFIST’s mission is to bring at-risk students into the world of science through mentoring programs that allow students to work alongside real, working scientists. The scienceFIST foundation was one of five finalist’s competing for the award this weekend. After hearing the other finalist’s ideas and being inspired by the work, the scienceFIST founder pledged to share the wealth with the fellow participants.

Ford, a principal sponsor of the festival, displayed vehicles in the hybrid and electric vehicle lineup. Metra, the CTA, Pace, and iGo, provided information about mass transit, active, and alternative forms of transportation.

Over 300 green vendors exhibited at the festival. Attendees could sample green beauty products and essential oils. Walking through the pavilion, participants snacked on health fare, superfood, and all-natural candy. There was a sundry of fair-trade products including clothing, jewelry, and even handbags made from recyclable materials. Other areas featured all-natural home goods, organic vegetables, cooking demonstrations, holistic health solutions, ergonomic products, yoga, thai massage, and aura readings.

The Green Kids’ zone provided fun and educational content and activities for children.

The Zeitgeist Movement of Illinois passed out a documentary to promote awareness, unity, and equality.

Haymarket, an independent publisher, joined the party with its collection of “books for changing the world. “

The Sierra Club presented environmental documentaries such as Josh Fox’s Gasland.

There were over 125 informational and inspirational speakers including Colin Beaven, the “No Impact Man,” Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Revered Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus.

The Green Festival was followed by the Green bash each night at local venues. After a successful start in Chicago, the Green Festival moves to Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For year-round information about The Green Festival, visit their website.

By Elisa Revello