Thursday, 14 April 2011

Epic! Sustainable Living Expo - Part I.

That is the real name for what is being billed as the "annual celebration of planet-friendly living... with over 300 green companies, inspiring ideas, exciting entertainment, and smart shopping in one jam-packed weekend".  Needless to say, I'm definitely planning to be there.  If you are interested in going, you can buy tickets in advance through the Expo's website, and for buying in advance, you get $3 off the ticket price.  Not a bad deal!  For those of you that don't really want to pay to go, you can volunteer at the Expo and go for free, which is a great option.  

There are going to be some pretty impressive companies at this Expo with some very big ideas.  I'm going to tell you about three that I am particularly interested in speaking to:

1. GreenPages Directory - This is an online resource, somewhat similar to the YellowPages, meant to connect "people seeking healthy options in their social, economic and physical lives with inspired innovators, conscientious entrepreneurs, innovative products and services, and the most current information, all aimed at making our world a better place." I like the thought of there being a centralized place to find such information.  I went to the website and tried some searches, and I think the search functions might need some work. I look forward to visiting their booth and finding out more about their plans to improve their site.

2. Live for Tomorrow - this is a local company that produces what I consider to be one of the most amazing products available today.  Not just because of the products themselves, but because of the level of corporate social responsibility that is demonstrated by the owner, Mr. Munu Hicken-Gaberria.  I have had the privilege of speaking at length with Mr. Hicken-Gaberria, and he knows more about the sustainable production of more products than I can ever hope to gain.  Even even more impressive... he manufactures cleaning products. Cleaning products are something that I never thought I was going to be able to find a good solution for.  AND (I have to stop now because I might just keep going on and on)... they are sold in glass bottles that are not recycled, but instead reused.  Purchasers return empty bottles to the store where they purchased them for refund, and Live for Tomorrow retrieves them, cleans and sterilizes them, and reuses them.  No aspect of the operation has not been considered: the bottles are steam cleaned, which takes about twenty seconds, and air dried to minimize energy consumption.  The company will not sell its products outside of the Lower Mainland due to the impact of transportation and carbon emissions.  If any company can be said to be socially responsible and produce a truly sustainable product, this is it.  I am very excitedly looking forward to meeting Mr. Hicken-Gaberria in person at the Expo.

3. Zipcar - as I contemplate the eventual demise of my current car (I'm seriously considering getting rid of it or selling it and buying an electric vehicle), the idea of using Zipcars to get around when I need to presents itself as a possible option.  Once you sign up for Zipcars, you receive a card that opens "thousand of Zipcars around the world." There is a mechanism whereby the amount you use them is monitored, and they have rates that are at least giving other options a run for their money.  If you're interested in finding out if Zipcars might work for you, check here

So, if you are available on May 13-15, 2011 and are in the Lower Mainland, I would like to cordially invite you to attend the Epic! Sustainable Living Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  I am hoping to spend some quality time there as a volunteer, so maybe we'll run into one another.  I hope to see some of you there!

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