Magazine article E Magazine

Purposeful Parties & Better Backyards

Magazine article E Magazine

Purposeful Parties & Better Backyards

Article excerpt

Dear EarthTalk: I've been reading about green festivals. What are some good ones and where can I find information on them?--Alex, Chicago, IL

If you're a consumer searching for healthy organic foods or a leaning-green businessperson looking to network, there is an environmental event out there for you. One of the best is the Green Festivals series, which is spreading to new U.S. cities every year. Co-sponsored by two leading national nonprofits, Global Exchange and Co-Op America, these are "parties with a purpose" that bring together businesses, environmental groups and community organizations.

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Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in these festivals over the last decade, visiting the exhibits, hearing nationally known speakers and indulging in green-themed music, art, culture and food. This year, events will take place in Chicago (May 17 and 18), Washington, D.C. (November 8 and 9) and San Francisco (November 14 to 16).

EcoFest, held every September in New York City, is now two decades old. This free event features myriad commercial and nonprofit exhibits, celebrity speakers and performers. Attendees at EcoFeSt's 2008 event will get to check out prototypes of alternative energy vehicles, watch a green-themed fashion show and participate in environmental education workshops.

Many environmental festivals cover broad topics, but several issue-specific and business-to-business events are available, too. To key in to these events, go to the Green Fairs and Festivals page at the EcoBusinessLinks Environmental Directory. Examples include Boston's AltWheels Festival, Colorado's Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair, Georgia's GreenBuild Expo, Vermont's SolarFest and New York's Great Hudson River Revival, which has been raising funds to protect New York's Hudson River since the late 1970s.

CONTACTS: Earth Day Network, www.earthday.net; EcoFest, www.ecofest.com; Green Festivals, www.greenfestivals.org.

Dear EarthTalk: Is it possible to landscape my property in a green-friendly way? I don't want to break the bank doing it--are there any tax incentives?--Michal Avraham, Olive Branch, MS

There are some up-front costs when you're converting a conventional backyard to a more environmentally friendly space. …

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