This weekend, thousands of eco-minded individuals and families will converge in San Francisco for the Green Festival to see sustainable living demonstrations, sample organic food and wine, and learn about innovative green businesses and products.
Since the inaugural Green Festival in San Francisco 10 years ago, nonprofits Green America and Global Exchange have organized a total of 32 Green Festivals, attracting over 1 million attendees, in such cities as Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles.
To whet your appetite for this weekend – or in case you can’t attend the event yourself – Earth911 is bringing you an exclusive sneak peek at just a few of the hundreds of eco-friendly companies and products that will be featured at this weekend’s Green Festival.
Not on the West Coast? Stay tuned for the next Green Festival on April 21-22 in New York City.
1. Options for your zero waste lunch
To-Go Ware doesn’t want to try to change our convenient, “to-go” culture, but aims to make it less wasteful, selling a wide range of reusable food containers and utensils to replace our single-use, disposable food ware. The company offers stainless steel stackable lunch box systems called “tiffins,” bamboo utensil sets and utensil holders made of plastic bottles or discarded plastic bags.
2. Greener game night
Blue Orange Games uses durable, non-toxic materials to make high-quality board and card games that can be passed down for generations. To further its environmental commitment, the company plants two trees for every tree used in the construction of a game.
3. Pet beds made from recycled bottles
Now your four-legged best friend can support recycling while taking a snooze. P.L.A.Y. turns used plastic bottles into a soft polyfiber that is used to fill the company’s collection of pet beds and cushions. There are 92 plastic bottles in each of P.L.A.Y.’s large round beds.
As if being made out of recycled materials wasn’t eco-friendly enough, the beds are covered with organic cotton, and the bed’s packaging and tags use paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
4. The compostable water filter
Used by the Japanese to purify water for centuries, the charcoal is sustainably harvested from the white oak forests of Wakayama, Japan, and slow fired in traditional kiln ovens for several days. Kishu charcoal is 97 percent pure carbon and contains millions of micro cavities, which absorb impurities in the water and improve taste.
One piece of charcoal can last for up to six months and can be completely composted at the end of its useful life, the company says.
5. A “green guilt”-free candy bar
It can be a challenge to find candy that is both environmentally and socially responsible, but Angell Bars fit the bill. Certified as both organic and fair trade, Angell’s line of candy bars is available in gluten-free, crispy milk chocolate, white chocolate and coconut, and vegan dark chocolate and almond.
Angell Bars are packaged in cardboard caddies with 100-percent recycled content — 50-percent of which is post-consumer material — and the company runs its website on servers powered by renewable electricity.
6. Tires turned into sandals
IndoSole’s line of recycled-tire footwear not only reduces the size of Indonesia’s landfills, but also supports Balinese artisans and their families. Salvaged directly from local landfills, the motorbike tires are sanitized and then fashioned into sandals by skilled local craftspeople.
7. A memory foam mattress, made without oil or chemicals
Unlike many manufacturers that use chemicals or petroleum-based products to produce their mattresses, Essentia makes its line of mattresses using natural latex foam, made from rubber tree sap, and then adds organic essential oils, plant extracts and water, creating the feel of a memory foam mattress.
What are the benefits of a mattress made with oil or chemicals? Essentia says its beds give off no chemical gases or odors and are more breathable than its conventional memory foam counterparts. The mattresses, available in standard, adjustable and infant-sized, last 20 years and can biodegrade in three years when exposed to wind, sun and rain, the company says.