Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Green Living Show recap

My good friend HZ and I were talking about the fact that we already lived 'green' and he pondered "how much greener can I live?" I think that while generally I live a fairly environmentally-aware life (that's what I do for a living, so it would be kind of ironic if I didn't). But the Green Living Show did give me an opportunity to see a number of other opportunities for improvement.

For example, transportation choices. Yes, electric cars can be an option, I think. Since I am not a transportation expert, I can refer you to the blogs of Stephen Rees and Paul Hillsdon if you want to talk about those issues. But definitely, walking or biking or taking the bus are the only options we have.

Another area (rather important to me given my busy social life) was beer consumption. I am not kidding! Organic beer is good :) I will send you to check Rebecca's, Keira's and Phaedra's blogs for very good recaps of the Green Living Show that include the topic of organic beer. Furthermore, a visitor to my blog informed me that the Canadian Wildlife Federation's magazine (Checkerspot) was liveblogging, so check them out too. Here I would like to just make some broader comments about GLC.

First, I really think that BC Place was a very good choice, but I wonder if Canada Place would have been better (just simply in terms of transportation access to the show). Although come to think about it, maybe it was just the fact that I didn't remember how to get to BC Place by transit. I attended the Green Living Show on Saturday morning with Phaedra, and we walked from Our Town Cafe on Broadway and Kingsway all the way down to BC Place. It was a very beautiful walk. But if it had been raining, we probably would have had to take the Skytrain. I really had forgotten that Stadium Skytrain station is very close to BC Place.

Second, the overall theme and design of the show was fantastic. I didn't feel that the show was crowded at all. And they really brought some high-powered speakers (Stephen Lewis, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Adrienne Carr). Really, that was a very very good idea.

Third, the only thing I was a bit surprised was that Green Table wasn't there. Almost every aspect of every day life was showcased. To give a few examples, soy-based candles, organic beer, water-saving and energy-saving appliances, sustainable and sweatshop-free clothing, organic snacks. But the question in my head remains - why wasn't our very own Sustainable Restaurants Association there? Of course, I can always email and ask :)

Going there with Phaedra was really a highlight of the weekend, because she is really awesome. We have had the chance to e-mail and comment on each other's blogs, but it was very very nice to really hang out outside the blogosphere. It's always awesome to get to know the person behind the blog.

One of the things that really hit home with me was that the organizers realized that the show would have environmental impacts, and looked for ways to reduce them. You'd be surprised how many organizers of environmentally-themed events don't really look INSIDE their event! But this wasn't the case with Green Living Show. If you click here, you can read all the ways in which they reduced environmental impacts.

All in all, I really enjoyed the show, and will definitely do my best to attend next year's. Kudos to the organizers! Now, on the critical side of things - the statistical profile they provide of a typical Green Living Show attendee would suggest (and thus, even possibly confirm) that to be more sustainable you need to make enough money to pay the environmental premium price (just read this fact - 37% of last year's attendees make more than $ 100,000. Wow!).

I am not sure that I like reading this fact, to be quite frank. Saving money is one of the selling points of going greener in this city (given the exorbitant prices of housing and gas). Thus, if you tell me that I need to first make more money and THEN go green, it becomes a hard sell (particularly for those like me whose money-making power is not yet in the six figures realm).

Overall, as mentioned, the show was great and I'm looking forward to next year's.

Please note: This post is cross-posted on both my blogs (Blogger and WordPress) for the time being, but I think that the time is coming for me to just continue on with WP. I'll post an announcement when that happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post.
As North American middle-class consumerism is one of the main reasons for climate change, I am wary of events which promote it, even under the title of "green". That's ironic to me. BTW, I think Crannóg Ales makes a mean brew. Small scale, local organic microbrewery working towards a 'zero waste' process. "The back hand of god" is chocolatey and delicious. No, I don't work for them and I realize the *slightly* contradictory nature of my comments....but we all gotta drink :) ~SM