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San Francisco Green Festival 2009

Green Festival 2009The long weekend of events has come to a close for Green Festival 2009.  This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday delivered a plethora of green products, services, speakers, and parties.

Many of the products were similar to prior years, but a few new additions popped up and stood out from the crowd. One was a individual garden bed greenhouse from SunPod.  Eco-friendly vegetable ink dry erase markers from AusPen made their mark. And Taylor’s Tonics Chai Cola stood out as the most unique and attractive booth (see picture). There were many more additions, but these stood out to me.

Taylor's Tonic Chai Cola

Taylor's Tonic Chai Cola

This year’s speakers were very similar to previous years, but all of the talks I attended were very informative and inspiring. Amy Goodman spoke about the need for public television as an alternative to the mainstream media. As well as alternative approaches to standing up for your own rights, such as how The Yes Men , as well as a Utah student who posed as a bidder to save thousands of acres of public land from development and shine light on a faulty auction. Paul Stamets made a powerful presentation about the power of mushrooms to solve global problems. And many many others gave inspiring messages about how to make the world a better place. Even the Mayor of San Francisco showed up and gave a brief speech.Green Festival Speakers

Instead of describing each talk due to the incredible number of talks, you can purchase any of the speeches on the Green Festival website.

At the end of each day, the festivities continued at after parties throughout San Francisco. There were at least 5 different after parties over the three days.

Lastly, if you did not make it to the event, or wanted to review anything you saw, definitely check out the Green Festival Website for a very detailed account.

If you would like to see photos of the event, please see them here.

As always, if you need event publicity, calendar submittals, photography,  a website, or graphic design, please see the Services section on Envirovents.

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Oceana Benefit Honors Two-term San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown

Will Brown Receives Award From Oceana

Jim Simon, Executive Vice President, Oceana and Courtney Sakai SeniorPublic Relations, Oceana with honoree, Willie Brown, Jr.

Last night, October 23, 2009, Oceana, the world’s leading ocean conservation organization, hosted a special benefit dinner in San Francisco to honor the city’s former Mayor and long-time California Statesman, Willie Brown, Jr.  Oceana presented an award to Willie for his nearly half-century commitment to public service. Willie has paved the way for many civil services to flourish in California.

The night’s reception dinner was set amongst a gorgeous sunset and ocean view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, which was a telling reminder of the beauty in nature onto which the event was shedding light.

Benefit Dinner

Hostesses Lea Haratani Speaks To Dinner Guests

Lea Haratani of Oceana opened the evening with a few quotes and facts to set the mood for the evening. Her dedication to conservation was clear, as she excitedly explained how “we live in a time where there is a major global crisis and we have the tools and knowledge…to turn it around in only ten to fifteen years.”

Jim Simon, Executive Vice President of Oceana, announced and presented the award to Willie Brown. Mr. Brown returned the favor of his award, with a thank you to “non-profits, volunteers, and citizens who present critical information for people and their representatives to make more informed choices” that will lead to a better future. This is something heard amongst many local policy officials and non-profits alike.  It is up to the citizens to take charge of their own communities by forming groups and organizations to study the problems, as well as letting their representatives know how they feel and present them the information. Oceana, among countless other non-profits, paves the way to getting that information in the hands of citizens and elected officials. Oceana’s website presents a whole slew of facts, statistics, problems, and solutions.

Jim Simon seemed to have all of the facts and statistics memorized, as he continued the evening with a great speech. His energy for solving problems was very clear.

Jim says “the good news is it’s not complicated to fix….the solutions already exist, and ocean conservation is where we can already notice results within three to five years:  such as when we regulate commercial fishing to prevent over-harvesting, the fish populations return to normal.” He continued enthusiastically “it’s one of the most important problems that we can actually solve!”

Jim said the solutions can be broken down into four easy steps. “One, protect the habitat. Two, stop pollution. Three, set and enforce quotas and regulations. And four, stop subsidizing commercial fishing. ” That puts it as easy-to-follow as you can get.

Last in the roundup of speakers, came John Aiken, Director of the Palo Alto Zoo, who spoke about his insights into ocean conservation from a land-based perspective. How our impacts on land directly contribute to problems in the ocean, and vice versa.  An entire ecosystem can be affected by only a single species depletion.

As an addition to the night’s speakers, a fun fashion (or trashion) show of creative and “trashy” clothes were sported by Haute Trash.

Haute Trash

Alastair Boone models Haute Trash fashion made from a raft abandoned in the Columbia River.

Each outfit, made from real trash (yes, something someone would throw in the garbage) was accompanied by humorous puns and satires by the announcer. They sure know how to make trash and recycling a whole lot of fun! We need people like them to shine some light on our problems with some fun and humorous ways to get us moving in the positive direction.

With that, I will end this blog with Haute Trash’s great closing quote. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the pollution.”

SF Bay Area Gets Public Transport Upgrade

Yes, I realize this is not an event, but how do you get to your events?  We here at Envirovents noticed that some “green” events don’t even mention forms of nearby public transportation.  Very odd considering that green-minded individuals are more likely to use public transportation.

Anyway, for those of you living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, you’ll be glad to here that one of the major problems of the transit systems has been solved! They finally created a single pass that covers all forms of transit throughout the bay area.  I have personally been waiting for this, as many of my travels involve switching from one transit system to the next, which don’t always offer purchase transfers.  Well, the wait is over, because they are now accepting their new “Translink” cards, which allow you to make a payment to a single card, that you swipe to use on any transit system.  Not only does this reduce your time for purchasing tickets at the station (if you have a card and put a balance on your card in advance), but it allows them to give more directed frequent rider discounts, carrying coins around from your change given, makes transfers much smoother, and makes it easier on everyone for not dealing with the differnces between ticketing systems and tickets. Also, an added benefit of less paper used for paper tickets. Yes, it looks like the cards are made out of plastic, but maybe they can make them out of recycled plastic? Anyone want to call them up and make a suggestion?

On top of public transport, we also notice the lack of carpooling suggestions in events.  Therefore, we’ve been creating an events guide to prevent event planners from forgetting these important details. Plus, we are starting to integrate carpooling directly into the each event! No guarantee on this one, as it’s quite an undertaking and we may just try to partner up with another website.

Green Apple Festival Highlights

I know it’s been awhile since Earth Day, but I didn’t happen to run across this video until now. I don’t think I need to write a blog post for this, as the video is self explanatory.

See the video here