Envirovents Green Events

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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.

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.”

Solfest, Powered by the Sun

It’s been a little while since the last post, but for good reason.   Lack of funding.  Being green is not such a great market to be in unless you’re selling green products, energy, or housing.  While the green economy is increasing, there is still little money to be made in the rest of the green industry.  Many green companies are non-profit and aren’t doing what they are to make a profit.  Those who are making a profit, are still not looking to reap in gobs of money to pay for their fancy lifestyles, which they don’t have.  Funding comes mostly from grants, because when the economy is in a lull, less people donate or put up funding for causes.  Other capital can be raised by Venture Capital, but a majority of them are looking for high profit companies to invest in, not some company trying to do something good for the environment and just be financially sustainable.  So this post is just to say that green is still struggling a bit, but we’re all still hopeful and chugging along, even if it’s slowly.   Envirovents has been on hold for a re-strategizing before official launch.  We think it will be for the better, as now we know what we’re in for.  We’ll be posting an event that we are hosting very soon. We hope that will be the catalyst for official launch.

Green events have also slumped a bit recently, mostly because events happen closer to Earth Day.  I do receive new event notifications quite often, but not very many are standing out right now. Solfest in Hopland, California is coming this weekend.  I’ll be there for sure because it’s one of the largest festivals of the year. I went last year and had a great time, learned a lot, and met some great people.  I highly recommend checking it out, or at least stopping by the Solar Living Institute at some time.  The facility is one of the best examples of sustainable living and showing how you can still have a luxurious facility without giving up anything at all.  The place looks like a resort, but everything has been carefully created through sustainable design and materials.  They even have small tablets which describe how they were designed and what they give to the land, people, and animals.  On top of that, their solar array is actually powering  the facility as well as nearby homes.  It is one of the largest arrays in northern California, with 10 Killowatts of solar and 3 Kilowatts of wind power.  Check out their website for more details.

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

Going Green in Palo Alto, CA

Silicon Valley is Going Green with clean technology experts, investors, and entrepreneurs. These gurus of green are meeting in Palo Alto, California once per month to provide innovative insight into the developing and cutting edge marketplace.

The group, “Going Green,” meets once per month and focuses on discussing real world ecological and sustainable development issues while developing new products, services and companies to address real world issues. A panel of experts in the field discuss their expertise and how to excel in the clean tech industry. Each panel includes investors, funders, entrepreneurs, and innovators making a strong impact in the industry, often owners of leading organizations.

This month’s speaker is Jon Bonanno, President and Co-Founder of Principle Power, Inc., a renewable energy power producing company. In the past, Mr. Bonanno founded such companies as Interbill, Solid Streaming, and ViaMoviles, all large competitors in the global marketplace. Jon was also an early Angel investor in Earth Class Mail, Sierra Nevada Solar and the first investor in Cool Earth Solar, at which he has served on the Board of Directors and as a Commercial Advisor.

He was recently elected by his peers to chair the Cleantech Investment Committee for the Keiretsu Forum Angel Network, the world?s largest angel investing organization. Mr. Bonanno is a member of ACORE (American Counsel on Renewable Energy) and the New Energy Congress and a sponsor of EasyConnect, a Berkeley-based mobility and transportation study group.

If you would like to attend this month’s meeting, it will be held at DLA Piper, at 2000 University Avenue, in Palo Alto, California on March 24, 2008 at 6:30pm. The meetings take place one per month on the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, visit http://green.meetup.com/224/

Going Green in Alabama

Green is definitely starting to spread and there’s a good example of an event over in Alabama trying to get people to “go green.”

Here’s a blog article I found over at the Picket Fence Blog about the event, which the writer happily allowed me to re-post a part of:

“I would like to take the time to bring attention to the efforts of Karni R. Perez in conjunction with Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Miss Perez represents The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve located in Auburn, Alabama. The preserve is over 110 pristine acres of atmospheric nature, providing the community with a wealth of discovery and natural wonder. You can click here to view their home page and pictures.

There is an event taking place there on Saturday, April 5 called GrOw GREEN. The event is designed to draw attention to the positive aspects of going green. Miss Perez and her associates are offing those who attend “a chance to better understand some current resource and environmental issues”. Not only will the attendees get a chance to “enjoy a day in the woods” but they will also be able to learn tips to meet the daily challenges of being Green Minded.”