I attended Green Fest Philly 2009. On paper, this seemed like an exciting event for a eco-minded individual such as myself. From an excerpt at Philly.com it listed the event as:
"Philadelphia area's largest environmental event, GreenFest Philly will highlight the endeavors of the city's environmental organizations and companies making Philadelphia one of the greenest US cities. Enjoy live music, eco films, local and organic foods, kids activities, a fashion show, an organic pastry contest, and peruse over 200 exhibitors' green goods and services."
The theme for this year's GreenFest was sustainable FOOD. The theme was not as apparent as one would think. For a one-day street fair free event that claims an attendance of over 25,000 people last year, it was quite lackluster and uneventful.
We arrived just before 2:00, which fell in the middle of their scheduled day. I had never been to the Headhouse Farmers' Market and was excited to see what local and organic goodies I could pick up to bring home with me.
Unfortunately upon our arrival, the Farmers' Market was packing up for the day. Perhaps it was uninformed planning on my part since I was unaware the Market closes at 2:00.
I would have thought they may have wanted to stay open a bit longer for the sake of the GreenFest and the business it would bring. Not the case.
GreenFest Philly was presented by Toyota Hybrid. We checked out the Toyota Prius. Great car if you are in the market, boasting 50+ MPG. with a starting price of $22,000. Check out the interactive experience with the Toyota Prius *here*.
Zipcar was also there. Zipcar is not only a Philadelphia based business. There are 50+ cities across North America and the U.K. This service is great for people that may occasionally need a car, doesn't want the hassle of owning a car, or someone that wants a more sustainable transportation solution.
Another similar organization presented at the GreenFest was PhillyCarShare.
Cupcake Wonderland was one of the Food Vendors. I saw a couple of people around a table with two ladies in super cute cupcake aprons but some pretty droopy looking cupcakes.
I grabbed a business card to check out their website. Their cupcakes pictured above go for $36 a dozen. Wow, really? I think I may have found a new profession. *wink*
GreenFestPhilly.org claimed that "this year's event will allow us to educate others on the importance of supporting our local farmers' markets as well as how to make more conscious decisions at the grocery store."
I came hoping to learn more about buying locally and organic. I wanted to learn about incorporating vegetarian dishes into my diet as well as where to find and purchase pasture-raised and grass-fed meats. Coming with the mind to seek this information out, I left feeling no more informed than when I arrived.
I did receive a sample of Fruitabu organic smooshed fruit. We tried the Strawberry and it was delicious. They were given out by Kiwi Magazine, an organic family lifestyle and parenting magazine. Love the magazine and their blog as well.
We also got to sample a vegan soy pepperoni-flavored stick that was to resemble beef jerky. It was less than desirable. I also wonder why if one chooses to live a vegan lifestyle, why eat things that resemble meat at all? Pepperoni-flavored soy? I am positive there are better choices out there for snacking.
My suggestions for GreenFest Philly 2010?
- Don't make promises you don't plan on keeping. Over 200 exhibits there? I beg to differ.
- Don't tell me there is a Film FESTIVAL when the tent looked like it could house about 25 people, tops.
- Please place some recycle bins among the street vendors. I carried my empty glass bottle around all day.
- When you plan on having Kids Yoga sessions, Girl Scout activities and face-painting...make sure kids are planning to attend.
- The vendors should have clear signage and encourage the festival goers to approach their tables. I saw some unmarked vendors, some sitting farther away from the group or simply with unhappy faces.
- Don't hold your event on the same day as Bike Philly where Mayor Nutter is in attendance.
Unfortunately, I left GreenFest Philly with nothing but a pepperoni-flavored soy taste in my mouth.
And, that's not a pleasant taste to be left with at all.