Green Festival Chicago May 22-23 at Navy Pier

Editor’s note: The Rock River Times, “Rockford’s ‘Green’ newspaper,” will premiere the Rock River Trail and new Rock River Trail logo at its booth at this year’s Chicago Green Festival. Once it is completed, the Rock River Trail will be an eco-tourism destination—similar to the Appalachian Trail—that will run along the 287 miles of the Rock River, through 10 counties and 33 cities and villages in Illinois and Wisconsin. For more information about the Rock River Trail, visit

From press release

CHICAGO—Green Festival, the original green living event, will return to Chicago May 22-23 for an energetic weekend of eco-innovations that will invigorate the community with a vision of a cleaner, more efficient future for the Midwest.

Chicago Green Festival returns to historic Navy Pier, featuring renowned authors, leaders and educators, eco-friendly businesses, workshops, social justice films and kids’ activities.

The Chicago Green Festival will provide green insights into the transitioning economy, growing public consciousness and evolving environmental policy. With more than 300 local and national green businesses, 125 speakers, 24 community and nonprofit groups, five organic vegetarian and vegan restaurants over two life-changing days, there is something for everyone.

A joint project of Global Exchange and Green America, Green Festival is a forum to explore and build sustainable solutions for successful communities and a healthier environment.

Green Festival exhibitors have passed a Green America screening process for leadership in social and environmental responsibility, earning the Green America Seal of Approval for their commitment. Focused on business as a tool for positive change, these value-driven leaders are committed to sustainable practices.

“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. “This year in Chicago, 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.”

Along with Green Festival, the Chicago Host Committee of more than 30 local organizations, including BIG: Blacks in Green, University of Illinois Extension, The Field Museum and Local First Chicago, have contributed to designing the event with a local program and business focus.

For two days, festival participants have the opportunity to shop and learn about the latest in clean technology, green building, socially-responsible investing, renewable energy, green careers, local food systems, groundbreaking films, eco-fashion, green transportation, organic cooking and eco-tourism.

“This is not just an event for grown-up green enthusiasts, the Chicago Green Festival provides engaging activities for the next generation of budding activists in the Green Kids’ Zone—a true family event,” says Danaher.

While many public events are notoriously wasteful, Green Festival minimizes environmental impact by reusing, recycling or composting 97 percent or more of show waste. To further lower the impact of the event on the environment, if you bike to Green Festival and use their free Bike Valet, you will receive complimentary admission, courtesy of Clif Bar.

Speaker highlights

Amy Goodman, award-winning journalist, host of Democracy Now! and co-author of The Exception to the Rulers and Static; Commissioner Deb Shore; John Perkins, founder and board member of Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance and author of best-selling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; Ambassador Carol Moseley-Braun, DJ Spooky, Thom Hartmann, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., and Naomi Davis, director of BIG: Blacks in Green.

Program highlights

→ Green Kids’ Zone

→ Community Action Center

→ Green Home Pavilion

→ Award-winning films and directors

→ Fair Trade Pavilion

→ Socially-responsible investing

→ Local organic restaurants

→ High-energy eco-fashion show

Event details

Green Festival Chicago will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, May 22, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, May 23, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago.

Admission is $15 for two days, $10 for one day. Or, those who do the following or fit the following categories will gain free admission:

→ Bike to Green Festival and get in free, courtesy of Clif Bar;

→ Sign up at RTA trip planner and receive comp admission;

→ ShoreBank customers and staff are admitted free;

→ City of Chicago staff and families with ID are admitted free;

→ All students, children and volunteers are admitted free;

→ Green America members are admitted free; and

→ Global Exchange members are admitted free.

Discounts are available for seniors, union members and public transit riders.

For more information about Green Festival Chicago or any other Green Festival event, visit

Green America (formerly Co-op America)

Green America ( 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.

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.

From the May 19-25, 2010 issue

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