This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Green Festival DC as a volunteer for the media team. While I hit some road bumps getting in and out of DC (hello metro only running every 24 minutes… and torrential downpours as I was leaving), it was a great experience overall!
(Warning: this post is super picture heavy!)
I was assigned to take photos during my shift which I must say, made me look a lot more important than I actually am! I was walking around with my DSLR, tripod and wearing a name badge. I certainly looked the part! The media coordinator explained to us that if any of our photos were used, we would be given credit. I thought that was a great example of how professional the Green Festival is and how well organized it was.
My first “assignment” (we each grabbed a few speakers to focus on and then wandered around the rest of the time) was Leslie Durso. If you haven’t ever read her blog before, go do it now. Seriously, right now. I’ll wait.
Leslie is not only gorgeous, but so, so, so sweet. I walked up and set up my camera in the back of her audience and she immediately gave me a HUGE smile, waved and just made me feel more welcomed overall rather than like I was an intrusive photographer. She even took a moment out of her introduction to personally single me out and have the audience clap, and look back at me. She thanked me and the rest of the volunteers (nearly 900!!) for our help and support. Seriously, she is a gem. It was an absolutely wonderful way to begin my day. Leslie focuses on vegan food, but I promise if you look at her photos you won’t miss the meat! I haven’t had a chance to make any of her recipes and I’ll admit that I’m somewhat afraid of 100% vegan food, but she makes it look so tasty! On Saturday she was making vegan “meat”balls.
Here are some of my favorite shots of Leslie:
And one last Leslie Durso story, and then I’ll stop gushing about her (I may have a small girl crush on her). I already followed her on Twitter prior to the festival but I snapped a photo of her with my phone and posted it to Twitter during her demo. I didn’t have a chance to check my phone until a few hours later but when I did I saw that she had rewteeted, and responded to my tweet after her presentation! I thought that was so sweet and shows she really cares about her followers. She left a similar comment on the media coordinator’s Instagram photo where she complimented Leslie’s dress.
Alright, enough about Leslie. Here are some snapshots from other scenes of the day:
Those photos are from the “Yoga: Poetry in Motion” presentation by Embrace Yoga. The below photo is from the Embrace Yoga pavilion where periodic yoga classes happened all weekend.
And finally, just for laughs, our coordinator had mentioned to us that Ralph Nader is nearly impossible to capture with a big smile on his face. So I, of course, viewed that as a challenge. This is the only photo I have that came even close to capturing a smile from the man. This was roughly 5 minutes before he, loudly, proclaimed that America is an “advanced third world country”… alright then. (To be fair, he had very valid points to argue this. His reasoning surrounds our environmental sustainability initiatives – or lack thereof – and various food and poverty crises).
I also listened in on the Food and Environment panel and thoroughly enjoyed that. I learned about a few DC food/enviro organizations I wasn’t familiar with, so that was awesome!
I’ll leave you with some tidbits from that panel:
- 7% of the food we consumer in this area did not actually come from this area.
- Jose Andres (DC Chef) shops at the FRESHFARM Markets to supply his kitchens.
- Future Harvest is a great site that lists a multitude of information about local DMV area sustainable farmers.
- There is a dead zone roughly the size of Connecticut in and around the Mississippi due to chemical fertilizer runoff.
- 30% of consumed fossil fuels come from agriculture. (Consider this: transporting those blackberries from Chile in January burns major fossil fuels.)
- Local Harvest is another great local produce website to check out.
- And finally, this point really hit it home for me, eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture is as much about today as it is about tomorrow. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Many people make the argument, “if you pay a little bit more now to eat sustainably and locally, you’ll save down the road in medical costs”. While this very well may be true, I have always had a hard time getting behind that mentality. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that by not eating sustainably, we’re negatively affecting the farmers and farm land (i.e. the huge dead zone in the Mississippi) right now. You don’t need to only fear what’s down the line, pesticides and chemical fertilizers are harming the environment now.
Have any of you attended a Green Festival? They are heading to LA and San Francisco later this fall and they’ve been to NYC earlier. They’ll also have over 6 locations next year!