This year I spent the weekend of Earth Day in New York City at Green Festival, working the snackTAXI booth with my three kids. I’m a pretty massive Earth Day fan, and I also really enjoy events like Green Festival- the folks who attend are psyched to see what’s new in the land of green living, and the other vendors are always a good time too.
The fact that the festival was held in New York made it all the more exciting for our woodsy tribe- the kids and I lost track of the number of languages we heard, stared up in wonder at the skyscrapers (okay, that was just me), and explored our little piece of the west side after our work was done each day.
In the booth, we visited with all manner of folks for two days- everyone from lifelong New Yorkers, to glowing spa owners from Colorado. It provided a wonderful opportunity to share what snackTAXI is all about with lots and lots of real people. There’s certainly a sales component (NOT my forte), but selling this little group of products that I’m so proud of in a particularly well suited environment felt really good. And it was a treat to meet the end user for a change- to see how excited they were to try something that, for many of them, was a whole new bag- literally!
And for all of the waste-related ribbing I take from my kids- “Oh my GOD, why can’t you just buy this one lousy bottle of water?!”- it was a thrill to see them all in action, talking intelligently about the business that has grown up with them, and the products they’ve been the guinea pigs for all these years. My 13 year old daughter even conducted a video interview, while I was foraging for snacks.
It was a great place to be for Earth Day- and I was impressed with how thoroughly Green Festival walks their talk. I’ve attended other “green” shows and received my exhibitor badge in a nonrecyclable plastic sleeve and had booth visitors throw all kinds of trash (and recyclables- eek!) in the garbage can the show provided me with.
My kids were amazed that our badges (sans plastic sleeve) were made from elephant dung and were, as such, fully compostable. And everyone in attendance, if they needed to dispose of anything, was directed to one of many waste management stations. Each was staffed with a brigade of young people there to educate the disposers about their available receptacle options- “compostable,” “recyclable,” and “landfill.” That last one really gave me pause- it was so much more meaningful than “garbage” or “trash,” and served to effectively throw one’s throwing into sharp relief.
Green Festival was just what I needed. In the months leading up to Earth Day I’d been feeling a bit despondent- weighed down by the stresses of running a business, and losing track of my mission in the process. Earth Day in New York brought me back to why I started making these sacks in the first place, and reminded of all of the small actions that we take that make a real difference in reducing waste, and all of the actions we can and should begin to take.
I share (pretty much constantly, if you ask them!) these actions with my kids- bringing a reusable cup for your morning java, toting cloth bags to the grocery store, and filling your own glass or stainless containers for water on the go- these actions are not so hard, and pack an eco-punch to boot.
“Enough already, we get it!” says my trio of inadvertent environmentalists. And that’s the best part- they do get it. Even if it makes them nuts sometimes. And really, I can live with an eye roll or two- as long as they’re separating “recyclable” from “landfill” while their doing it!