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

Chicago Goes Green In Record Numbers!

City's First Green Festival 2007 Draws Over 31,000

May 3 , 2007

Chicago, IL — Green Festival Chicago, a joint project of Global Exchange and Co-op America, drew a record event attendance of 31,133 people.  The world’s largest green living consumer show took place from April 21 – 22 (Earth Day) at McCormick Place – Lakeside in Chicago.

The event showcased over 350 diverse local and national green businesses displaying and selling eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable products. Over 150 environmental, socially conscious, and visionary speakers appeared for standing-room-only panel discussions, lectures and main stage speaking events.

Green Festivals are an important part of a powerful environmental and social justice movement that is generating economic stability and vitality across the country. With its record attendance, Green Festival Chicago was a landmark event for Green Festivals, the city of Chicago and the Midwestern United States.

Consumers, in all shades of green, were given an unlimited opportunity to shop with their conscience and “vote with their dollars” as they either introduced or further embraced a change to healthier, greener ways of living and a thriving green economy.  This year’s Chicago Green Festival also demonstrated another record breaking achievement with only 8% of show waste going to area landfills.  Of the show’s 20,680 lbs of waste, 92% was diverted to area composting, recycling and recovery facilities, with a total of only 1,760 lbs sent to landfills.

Green Festival Chicago Highlights Included:

  • Kick-off with Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • First-Ever City of Chicago Pavilion with green art installations and eco-boutique
  • 2008 U.S. Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich’s “Earth Day” address
  • Green Collar Jobs” presentation by outspoken African American activist Van Jones
  • Fighting Global Warming” talk by Bill McKibben
  • David Wolfe’s “Naked Chocolate” presentation
  • Chris O’Brien’s advice on how to “Drink Beer and Save The World
  • Amy Goodman’s lively discussion on “Independent Media in a Time of War
  • Chicago Magazine “Green Awards
  • Hybrid Car Giveaway
  • Community Action tents and Green Living Workshops

“For the second year in a row, we’ve had record-breaking attendance at Green Festival, which certainly demonstrates that Green is Mainstream,” explains Co-op America Executive Director Alisa Gravitz.  “It is so inspiring to see such an enthusiastic response and desire for information and inspiration about green living.”

The next scheduled Green Festivals will be October 6-7, 2007 at the Washington DC Convention Center and November 9 – 11 , 2007 at San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center

Green Festival Chicago 2007 Partners

American Apparel, Annie’s Homegrown Annie’s Naturals, CDM (Camp Dresser McKee) Chicago Magazine, Chicago reader, Chicago Sun Times, Cisco Brothers ,Conscious Choice, Energy Star, Fantastic World Foods, Goodness Greeness, Green Exchange, Interface Flor, Kimpton Hotels, Planktos, Seventh Generation, Shore Bank , Simple Shoes, SustainLane ,The Onion, TS Designs, Whole Foods

About Co-op America

Co-op America is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1982 with the mission to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—and to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

About Global Exchange

Global Exchange 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.

For more information about Green Festivals, or Global Exchange and Co-op America, please visit,  and

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Please contact Todd Larsen by email
or by phone at 202-872-5307.


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