Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Green Festival Debuts in the Mile High City

Denver Hosts the Nation's Largest Green Consumer Living Event for the First Time

In a Joint Effort Among National Nonprofits, Local Government & Passionate Citizens, Green Festival Brings Sustainable Solutions and Eco-Conscious Options to the Rockies

April 7 , 2009

Denver, CO (May 2009): Green Festival, the original green consumer living event, will debut in Denver this year at the Colorado Convention Center on May 2 & 3, 2009. Named one of the top five “big city” mayors in America by Time magazine, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will welcome the festival to the Mile High City with a keynote speech to kick off an energetic weekend of eco innovations that will invigorate the community with a vision of a cleaner, more efficient future for American businesses, homes, and lifestyles.

A joint project of Global Exchange and Green America (formerly Co-op America), two leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to environmental and social justice for more than twenty-five years, Green Festival is a forum to explore and build sustainable solutions for successful communities and a healthier environment. Along with Green Festival, the Denver Host Committee of over one hundred local organizations, including Mayor Hickenlooper’s Greenprint Denver Office, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Namasté Solar, the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association and Downtown Denver Partnership, have contributed to designing the event with a local focus by bringing speakers, exhibitors and sponsors from the region to the festival.

The Denver Green Festival will provide eco-insight into the transitioning economy, growing consumer consciousness and evolving environmental policy with over 125 visionary speakers, 300 local and national green businesses, and dozens of community and nonprofit groups. All exhibitors must meet strict standards set by Green America, guaranteeing the highest level of social and environmental responsibility in all participating organizations. Every element of each business is thoroughly vetted to ensure authentic sustainability.

In addition to bringing the most cutting edge people, ideas and products on the green scene to Denver, the festival aims to show the community just how attainable and economical an eco friendly lifestyle is. Panels like Thinkin’ Green, Living Bling: Hip Hop Perspectives on Going Green While Living Large, featuring Jonny 5 of the Flobots, and Verde, Verdad: Keeping it Real, Keeping it Green will speak to the young, diverse Rocky Mountain audience about incorporating sustainability into their lifestyles.  In Climate Change and Colorado’s Recreation Economy, panelists will discuss the economic and environmental consequences of global warming on the region. As the economy continues to transition, a great deal of interest has shifted towards the possibilities of a “green economy.” Jim Cassio, author and career information and workforce development consultant, walks his audience through Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future while Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Green America, explores Green Fixes for the Economic Mess.

“The purpose of Green Festival is to share with local communities the importance of living socially responsible and environmentally conscious lives,” explains Kevin Danaher, Co-Founder of Global Exchange and Executive Co-Producer of Green Festival. “For its premier in Denver, we wanted the festival to focus on the realities of going green and how to incorporate it into a daily routine to see results in health, finances, and local environment.”

In between the exciting presentations, festival participants can explore the show floor and experience a sustainable marketplace with local and national exhibitors providing the best in fair trade and eco-friendly wares. The Bike Denver’s Bicycle Fashion Show reveals what’s hip, hop, and happening on wheels while The Big Blue Bear Goes Green: Sustainable Walking Tours uncover the green strategies the Colorado Convention Center utilizes to reduce its impact on the environment. The Green Home Series offers diverse workshops to drive the sustainable movement home where festival participants can learn everything from how to perform home energy audits to backyard beekeeping.

Not just an event for grown-up green enthusiasts, the Denver Green Festival provides engaging activities for the next generation of budding activists in the Organic Valley Green Kids’ Zone. Kids can meet Charlie from the famed PBS show Big Green Rabbit or participate in hands on Recycled Papermaking. In the Green Teen Pavilion, Teens Turning Green will host a Green Spa complete with sample products, mini facials and make-up applications. 

Since the first event in 2002, Green Festival has created a model for environmental and social leadership, consistently providing authentic information for consumers on every aspect of green living.  A stringent screening process ensures all exhibitors and sponsors meet the best practices and highest standards for environmental integrity and social responsibility.  While many events and tradeshows are notoriously wasteful, Green Festival demonstrates an unmatched commitment to reducing environmental impact by walking its green talk and reusing, recycling, or composting 97 percent or more of show waste. Green Festival was referenced as a model for “how it should be done” by USA Today for the festival’s commitment to producing a reduced carbon footprint experience. To further lower the impact of the event on the environment, those who arrive by bicycle are offered reduced admission along with free valet bike parking. Green Festival also provides carbon offsets for the entire event and its participating staff and organizers.

“In addition to introducing the Green Festival to Denver through exciting and relevant programming, we will also provide perspective on one of the most pressing issues of our time: economic stability,” says Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Green America and Executive Co-Producer of Green Festival. “Through the many talks and exhibits at the Green Festival, participants will be able to learn how to go green in their careers, investments, and lifestyle. Going green is a commitment that will add up to big savings for your wallet and the planet.”

Green Festivals take place in Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Seattle and saw over 125,000 guests in combined attendance in 2008.

Denver 2009 Green Festival Speaker Highlights:

Nationally renowned speakers such as Amy Goodman, award-winning journalist, host of Democracy Now! and co author of The Exception to the Rulers and Static; Joshua Onysko, CEO of Pangea; Paul Stamets, who runs Fungi Perfecti, a family-owned, environmentally friendly company specializing in the use of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve health; John Perkins, founder and board member of Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance and author of best-selling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Green America and Executive Co-Producer of Green Festival; Kevin Danaher, Co-Founder of Global Exchange, Executive Co-Producer of Green Festival, and Executive Director of Global Citizen Center and many more

Denver 2009 Green Festival Program Highlights:

  • Organic Valley Green Kids’ Zone
  • Green Teen Pavilion
  • Bike Denver’s Bicycle Fashion Show
  • The Big Blue Bear Goes Green: Sustainability Walking Tours of the Colorado Convention Center
  • Community Action Center
  • Green Home Series
  • Fair Trade Pavilion
  • Music Stage Featuring Local Acts
  • Socially Responsible Investing
  • Natural Food, Beer & Wine
  • Eco Fashion
  • Eco Tourism
  • Green Careers
  • E-waste recycling

Event Details:
Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202
Saturday, May 2: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, May 3: 11:00AM – 6:00PM

$15 for two days/$10 for union members, seniors, students, and all who arrive by bicycle

FREE: Children 18 and under, Green America or Global Exchange members and volunteers

FRIENDS OF THE GREEN FESTIVAL – With a donation of $75 you’ll receive: 

  • Full Green Festival admission
  • A coupon for two free drinks at the Organic Beer & Wine Garden
  • 20% off at the Green Festival Store and the  BetterWorldBooks Book Store
  • Exclusive tour of the Greening Operation at Green Festival - witness how we achieve 95% resource recovery 
  • Visit with Alisa Gravitz of Green America and Kevin Danaher of Global Exchange and receive autographed book - The Green Festival Reader and Building the Green Economy.
  • Regular Executive Producer Updates about the Green Festivals from Global Exchange and Green America


Green Festival Partners:

Better World Books, Denver Zoo, Greener Printer, Honest Tea, Pangea Organics, Simple Shoes, Entercom Radio, KMGH

For more information on Denver or any other Green Festival event visit: www.greenfestivals.org


About Green America (formerly Co-op America):

Green America (www.greenamerica.org ) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1982, providing the economic strategies, organizing power and practicing tools for businesses and individuals to address today's social and environmental problems. Its Green Business Network is the largest national network of businesses screened for their social and environmental responsibility.


About Global Exchange:

Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org) is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world. Since its founding in 1988, Global Exchange has successfully increased public awareness of root causes of injustice while building international partnerships and mobilizing for change.


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