This past weekend we attended the Green Festival in San Francisco, which showcased over 300 exhibitors and 125 speakers on a variety of green topics. Speakers included Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, John Viera of Ford Motor Company, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, and a number of green business entrepreneurs, activists, and policy makers. We spent some time sampling foods, learning about the newest eco-freindly products, and getting some interesting insight from the speakers.
One of the products that we found most interesting was Klean Kanteen’s new stainless steel water bottle with a plastic and paint free cap. To date, all Klean Kanteen water bottles come with one of their several types of plastic caps. However, next month they will be launching bottles with a cap made of only steel, bamboo, and a silicon watertight ring. We thought the new caps looked great and were a good way to avoid plastics and the fossil fuels used to produce them. We also liked Blue Lotus’s reusable produce bags, made of 100% organic cotton. The bags come in a variety of sizes and prints, and have drawstrings to close them up. It is a great way to eliminate using plastic bags for produce at the grocery store, and they even have the weight of the bags on the inside tag for the cashier. That way the cashier can enter it into the register so your not paying for the added weight of the cotton when they weigh your produce. Its a simple and effective way to cut down on waste.
There were also a number of unique service businesses at the festival. One such business was Relay Rides, a carsharing company who connects car owners with borrowers who need a car for a few hours or so. Think Zipcar, except the cars are coming from independent owners rather than a company. Its a good way to make some money from a car you own, while allowing people in the city who may not need to own a car still have access to them. Another cool service we came across was Dharma Merchant Services, which offers credit card processing to businesses in a socially conscious way. The company puts focus on giving back a percentage of profits to charitable organizations, uses BPA free receipt paper, and is a certified green Bay Area business. Additonally, we even came across some investment firms, SocialK and RSF Social Finance, who direct their clients money into green and socially responsible ventures. You can now even be green by saving for retirement.
Overall the festival was a great showcase of the green movement and will be back in San Francisco in November for anyone who missed it. Also, the festival is a traveling event and will take place in Chicago, Seattle, New York and Los Angeles later in the year, so if your in one of those areas check it out. Below you can find the links to the businesses noted above.
Kleen Kanteen – Reusable Water Bottles
Blue Lotus – Reusable Produce Bags
Relay Rides – Carsharing
Dharma Merchant Services – Credit Card Processing
SocialK – Investing
RSF Social Finance – Investing
Green Festival – The Event