Over the weekend, I spent some time at the D.C. Green Festival. Billed as "a two-day party with a serious purpose: to accelerate the emergence of a new economic paradigm that is life-affirming, inclusive and nurturing. Together we are cultivating a culture of sustainability and social equity that honors our interdependence with all life. Green Festival unites green enterprises, social and environmental groups, visionary thinkers and thousands of community members in a lively exchange of ideas, commerce and movement building fun" the Festival was surprisingly filled with renewable energy resources, organic food companies, environemental organizations, poets, singers, a wide variety of speakers, and a film festival. There were even yoga and Tai Chi sessions.
I found an electric company I can sign up with that generates power from wind mills in West Virginia. With deregulation, you can choose your own power supplier in Maryland, but it is very difficult to find any green power companies in the information they give you so this was welcome news. There were several companies that install solar energy systems and solar water heating systems. This was also good information since Maryland will begin giving our $3,000 grants (not tax deductions--outright grants) beginning in January 2005.
But the most interesting part for me was to listen to, and briefly speek with Julia Butterfly Hill, the woman who sat in a redwood tree for two years until a logging company relented to demand that it not clearcut that particular area of the forest. The same company had clearcut a strip of hillside adjacent to this one resulting in mudslides that destroyed several houses below, so when they began clearcutting the next strip of the mountain, the tree sitters acted. Julia is a remarkable woman with a great story to tell. As a newly converted fan, I got her to autograph her book "The Legacy of Luna," a good read that I would recommend to anyone.
All in all, it was very satisfying to see so many people turn out, all with a desire to protect the environment and build a sustainable economy. The next Green Festival is in San Francisco, November 6-7. Anyone in the area should check it out.