Sometimes we look around at our lifestyle and notice there is more we can do to protect our earth. When we see the world around us it becomes clear that we have to make some changes to our lifestyles so the next generation can enjoy our beautiful world too. furthermore, protecting the environment may not come natural to some people. Therefore, attending events like the Green Festival, which is held annually in various locations across the USA, can help us understand what habits we can change and what products we can use to become more sustainable citizens.
What’s a Green Festival all about?
This year the Green Festival Expo targeted 5 different areas to help promote a green lifestyle where people could learn more about renewable energy, nonGMO foods, organic health and beauty products, outdoor activities, and healthy living through exercise. While attending a Green Festival can be eye opening and fun, it is also a teaching resource. As a homeschool mom in the area, I took my daughters because healthy living is a family decision. We work together to promote health, wellness, and awareness. Attending also give me a chance to teach my kids about green energy, holistic living, and companies that have similar values as our own.
Each year the Green Festival is held at the Walter E. Convention Center in the heart of Washington D.C. The Convention Center is the perfect location because it’s easily accessible by public transportation. There is also a lot of space and the atmosphere is pleasant for natives and tourists alike.
For the past five years my family and I have enjoyed the benefits of solar energy. Some of the most prominent booths throughout the Festival were solar and renewable energy sources. This year there was a booth that allowed people to take advantage of solar energy without having solar panels directly stored on their rooftops. The panels would be stored in a separate site and the energy fed into a person’s residence. Having an alternative source other than rootop panels is important because 66% of people are not living in places that can benefit from rooftop panels. Some of the reasons people cannot take advantage of rooftop panels is because they may be renters, their home doesn’t face the sun, their region forbids solar rooftop panels, etc.
I was also surprised to learn that in 2016 according to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University, “Just seven states, all below the Mason-Dixon Line — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia — ban such third-party power purchase agreements” (Quinton). Whereas Third-party solar energy companies are helping make solar energy affordable in various states across the U.S.
The Green Festival Expo is a very helpful resource, which educates consumers about their rights and helps them advocate for renewable energy in their communities.
There were also several companies like Powerhrg.com that gave attendees a chance to sign up to get a free quote and estimate from their company for a remodeling home project.
Many people are not keen on eating genetically modified foods; especially when they are aware that the food source may be questionable. As a result, there were lots of different NonGMO food companies at the expo. These brands were on display throughout the Expo floor. Each vendor was eager to share their products with health conscious people.
3 companies stood out to me the most were:
Linberg Family Farms
Lundberg Family Farms was completely new to me. The family started farming organically over 75 years ago. Their product selection now includes “Organic Grounded Snacks.” The snacks are made with whole grains and are gluten-free. They are also certified USDA organic and NonGMO verified. The tortilla chips tasted fresh and yummy to my entire family, even my twins loved them.
The next company that stood out to me was Caboo, a company that makes personal hygiene paper products from bamboo. Bamboo is an easily renewable woody tall grass that can be harvested easier than trees, which makes it a more sustainable material to use. The toilet paper was soft and totally usable, but only offers 2 ply, which makes sense if you’re trying to conserve paper products. When my daughter felt the Caboo wipes, she didn’t even notice a texture difference, the wipes are soft and fragrance free.
The next company that also intrigued me was Nephure. Nephure has designed a low-oxalate powder to help reduce the oxalate in our foods.
What is oxalate, and how does it find its way into peoples diets?
Oxalate is a naturally occurring molecule found in abundance in plants and humans. It’s not a required nutrient for people, and too much can lead to kidney stones. In plants, oxalate helps to get rid of extra calcium by binding with it. That is why so many high-oxalate foods are from plants. In humans, it may work as a “prebiotic,” feeding good bacteria in the gut (Pletcher).
Less oxalate is suppose to be healthy for the following people:
- Lactose intolerant people advised to avoid oxalate
- Vegetarians and vegans
- People with calcium deficiencies
- oxalate-sensitive people
- people who have oxalate-sensitive family members
I was told they didn’t have any of the low oxalate powder on hand at the Expo, but it should be on the market soon. On display, however, were small samples of their Low-Ox drink. The taste was rather refreshing and light.
Organic Health and Beauty Products
Essential oil companies were repressing front and center this. Some of the companies present on Sunday were Doterra and Young Living. However there were also herbalists and nutritionists present as well.
I also loved seeing our local parks and recreation present as well. To me, nothing is more environmentally friendly than taking time to enjoy and explore the outdoors. Park representatives also handed out native seeds that attract bees and butterflies to help promote pollination in our area.
With this being the Green Festivals 13th year I thought this year was smaller than the one I attended in 2014. There was also only one car company, KIA, present giving ride and drives in green vehicles. The car industries’ green improvements are always my favorite. However, this year, I didn’t find their kiosk to do a ride and drive. Last, but not least, this year Dr. Jill Stein, the U.S. Presidential Green Party Candidate for 2012 and 2016, was one of their biggest named speakers. She spoke about the importance of renewable energy across our region.
Upcoming Green Festival Events
(1) Quinton, Sophie. “Why There Aren’t Many Rooftop Solar Panels In The South”. Pewtrusts.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 May 2017.
(2) Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE, Peggy. “What Is A Low-Oxalate Diet?”. Healthline. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 May 2017.
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