Green exhibition sprouting a following

After as many as 40,000 people visited an annual San Francisco showcase this weekend of green technology, healthy living and neighborhood environmentalism, organizers said they would try to find a new and bigger venue for future events.

The Green Festival started six years ago in San Francisco, and it has since spread to Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Producer Greg Roberts on Sunday said that the three-day festival held at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center was the biggest Green Festival yet.

Roberts said his group has already begun negotiations with City officials to find a bigger venue, though he expects to again use the Concourse Exhibition Center next year.

“We can’t get much bigger in the space that we have, because it’s pretty full all the time,” Roberts said. “There’s only one facility that’s larger than the Concourse in San Francisco, and that’s Moscone.”

More than 10,000 people squeezed into the convention center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, paying $15 to meet local activists and shop for products marketed as ecologically responsible, including household cleaning agents, cell phone services, credit cards, baby hammocks, clothes, health insurance and skin care products.

Local and international speakers graced four stages, including mind-body medicine expert Deepak Chopra, ecoliteracy champion Fritjof Capra and human rights advocate Medea Benjamin, while singers and hip-hop artists entertained diners in an organic food hall.

Organic wine, beer, coffee and hemp-seed-imbued ice cream was sold and sampled, and vegans handed out advice for removing animals from diets. Environmental magazines sold subscriptions, and chiropractors tinkered with people’s spines.

A man adorned himself with plastic bags and shuffled between exhibitors, reminding people not to waste plastic bags.</p>

Green Festival spokeswoman Rebecca Wisdom late Sunday said taht 96 percent of the weekend’s waste had been recovered for recycling. “It’s looking like a low impact event,” Wisdom said. “High impact on the community, but low impact on the landfill.”

jupton@examiner.com

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