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Beyond Pesticides to Participate in Washington DC Green Festival September 18-19
(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2004) The Green Festival, at the Washington Convention Center September 18-19, will feature groups to help you get involved in environmental activism, as well as the latest in organics and other green technologies. A not-for-profit project, produced jointly by Global Exchange and Co-op America, the Green Festival will be open Saturday from 10 am - 9 pm and Sunday from 11 am - 7 pm. Be sure to stop by and visit Beyond Pesticides in booth #609.

There is an alternative to an American economy mired in waste, greed and environmental degradation—and the DC Green Festival is where you will find it all in one place. Come see 250 exhibitors selling organics, green technology, renewable energy, eco-fashion, green financial services and fairly traded products. More than 50 speakers will address the festival participants, among them Greg Palast, Anita Roddick, Jim Hightower, Julia Butterfly Hill, and Medea Benjamin. Local speakers at the Green Festival include Damu Smith, City Council Member Phil Mendelson, Nora Pouillon, and Carmen Ramos- Watson.

Festival attendees will be able to see, hear, touch and participate in the green economy as they shop in the Fair Trade Pavilion, take a free yoga class in the Movement Room, and watch inspiring movies at the Film Festival, sponsored by the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and Bullfrog Films. Organic foods from 10 local restaurants will be available for snacks and meals, and a panel series will also be part of the festival, educating participants on the local angles on issues concerning environmental sustainability and social justice.

The Green Festival is one more indicator of the power that people concerned about the environmental and social impact of their spending are wielding in the marketplace. They are buying products, purchasing services, and building homes in ways that promote the environment and economic justice. They are proof of the power of knowing that your morning cup of java can support a coffee farmer’s family, rather than continue pushing them into debt and despair.

The numbers speak volumes. Fair Trade sales in the United States, Canada and the Pacific Rim alone hit $250.6 million in 2002. That represents a growth rate of 37 percent in just one year! Fair Trade coffee sales are expanding as traditional coffee sales stagnate. Socially responsible investments now stand at $2.24 trillion, that is $1 of every 8$ invested according to a recent Trends in Social Investing report. Organic farming is expected to top $11 billion this year, and is growing more rapidly than chemical agriculture.

If further proof is needed of the growing interest level in such a green and fair economy, the previous two Green Festivals held in San Francisco and in Austin last year provided it. Attendance overwhelmed all expectations by reaching 30,000. This year’s event is on track to be just as successful. For more info: http://www.greenfestivals.org.