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The 2014 and third New York City edition of the Green Festival was held on Earth Day Weekend, overlooking the Hudson River at Pier94. Around 20,000 visitors came to check out the 270+ green exhibitors, as well as demos, DIY workshops and listen to over 100 eco-conscious expert speakers.

Like prior years, there was something for every type of “greenies”, beginners learning about the path to a more sustainable life or experts cruising at the next level. Most people typically discover greener ways of living through food products (organic, non-GMO, local, fresh and grown from the land vs. man-made in a factory), and from there, soon realize that pretty much everything in life could be done in a more eco-conscious, Earth-friendly fashion.

A few short interviews of Green Festival vendors are shared over 2 posts: A few hand-picked “non-food”/green-everything-else items are shared next here, and a few green food stories are told in Part 2. All for inspiration and awareness about some of the possibilities at our fingertips!

 

Trees for the Future

Non-profits benefiting the planet are a natural fit for the Green Festival, and among the ones present, Trees for the Future is worth mentioning, even just for its longevity and results. Created in 1989, Trees for the Future has planted over 50 million trees to date, and counting. It is an agroforestry charity acting on the principle that planting trees can save lives, if done sustainably: Seeds of trees and shrubs are planted around cultivated areas and grazing livestock so they benefit both the land and locals. The soil is enriched and regenerated from that formed ecosystem and developing agriculture is protected by a natural, thriving and nourishing habitat.

One tree is planted for every one dime donation. Trees for the Future partner with businesses and plant trees on their behalf on an agreed upon number-of-seeds-per-product-sold basis. They also work with non-profit organizations, most of which actually fully rely on them to implement their planting field work.

Private donations are another source of funding, and if you’d rather vote green with your dollars, another way to help is to support Trees for the Future’s business partners, so that the simple purchase of say, a pair of socks (see Conscious Step‘s socks: organic cotton, fair trade and super stylish!) gets some trees planted on your behalf!

 

My Conscience, My Choice : The Choice app

Dory Kurowski wanted to find a way to help willing but somewhat clueless consumers (as far as knowing where to start) in their attempt at leading a more conscious-driven life style. She wanted to create a hub where she’d share actionable education on daily products in the realms of food, home & personal care and cosmetics. A sort of toolkit we consumers can leverage to start our green consumption journey in a convenient, organized and timely fashion. So she created My Conscience, My Choice to be the online home to greener product alternatives, each presented opposite the average “not green” mainstream option, with reviews providing both consumer feedbacks and company background story. She then came up with the idea to gather her on-going research and findings in one single app, the Choice app that would make it really easy (as in portable and immediately available) to shop more consciously when we are at the store. A round of crowd-funding and a first prototype later, the app is being developed and expected to be available for use by mid 2015. Dory is working on her own time and dime for the good of us all, so if you could and will use this app, feel free to share your support here: http://myconsciencemychoice.com/app/. Take a listen as Dory explains how the app will work!

 

Three Bluebirds

Lynda is an eco-conscious lady who regularly travels to Scandinavia with her Finnish husband. In one past trip, she discovered Swedish dishcloths and as she researched more, she realized the potential positive ripple effects this little piece of natural fibers could have in our mass consumption driven society here in the U.S. Combining eco-friendliness, savings, hygiene and convenience, she decided to bring this winning green mix and the washcloths here in the U.S., as a contribution to the local cutting waste efforts. Add to that the adorable customized ways to make an interesting and giftable item out of a simple… sponge, and you get Three Bluebirds, newly locally produced too! Listen to Lynda explaining it all about that naturally magic little green square… You may need one, or two, when she’s done talking. Consider yourself warned!

 

Fabled Frog Soap

Kimberly is a biologist with sensitive skin, and as such, well aware of all the chemicals used in commercial soaps and skincare. She has always done much research to find the least artificial products available on the market… until her daughter offered her a soap-making book. Intrigued and already armed with an extensive knowledge about the necessary ingredients, she started experimenting, but because the smallest sized batch one can do to get proper results is 40 bars, she gave a lot away to family and friends. Everyone loved the soaps and encouraged her to sell them to reach out to a broader audience and bring them natural options for their skincare needs. Kimberly has been interested in amphibians ever since she was a child, playing by a small lake by her home. As a biologist and educated citizen of this world, she knows how frogs would often display first genetic mutations following exposure to various types of pollution. She saw it first hand in her own backyard, when frogs completely disappeared… So she did the necessary research to only use animal and environment-friendly ingredients in her line of products. She diligently referenced all the suppliers and vendors she carefully selected based on those criteria. This is how Fabled Frog Soap was born, adding a few skincare items to the range of soaps. Check out Kimberly’s exhaustive and very informative website at https://fabledfrog.com, and listen to her now, talking about the importance of giving back to protect endangered species, participating in 1% For The Planet, and being a Corp B certified business to align her business with her personal beliefs…

Check out our food interviews from the 2014 NYC Green Festival here!

 

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