Wednesday, April 02, 2008

d2E Consumer Expo in Boston


I decided to make my way over the the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston (it really was a bay...about 160 years ago) for the d2E down:2:earth expo last weekend. Here's how the organizers of the expo described it:

What does it mean to be a responsible consumer?


If you’re interested in making your home more energy efficient, eating locally and sustainably year-round, and choosing eco-friendly fashions, then Down:2:Earth is the place for you. Join us March 28-30 at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center as we showcase companies that offer environmentally-responsible choices for aligning your dollars with your values. Educational workshops and chances to win great prizes are included with admission – it’s all happening at D2E
I did not expect to see anything earth-shattering (pardon the mental model pun), but did assume I would learn about some new things, some things I already knew about, and perhaps bump into to some fellow green friends. With such general expectations...they all came true.

A few cool things I saw and learned about (among MANY interesting green & sustainable things)

  • Nautigear: Bags and such made out of previously used or salvaged sailcloth. They are sailing chic, and come with the requisite seersucker blazer and Rodney Dangerfield sailing cap. Seriously, they were pretty cool, and not cheap. From their site, "Recycled sailcloth collection is eco-friendly & handcrafted in the USA using yacht sails from around the world."
  • The Natural Burial Company: Caskets made of papier mache, cardboard, whatever…stuff that’s easy for the worms to convert back into dirt. If you’re not cremated (anathema aside) no matter what sarcophagus you’re encapsulated in, eventually…you’re going to be worm food. Why spend thousands to delay the inevitable? From their site, "The Natural Burial Company promotes the production of natural goods and services to support environmentally sound funeral and cemetery practices in the 21st Century".
  • 360 Vodka: They were giving samples away, so I partook. I am not a Vodka connoisseur, but it was OK. I tried to strike up a conversation with the staff person manning the booth, to see if they had always bottled it the same way and had just recently re-branded to take advantage of the LOHAS boom, but I might as well have had a sign on my chest that said “I’m not buying”; I was completely ignored as I stood a mere four feet from them…annoying.
  • Shootflying Hill Sauce Company: I just like them because they are from Greenfield, MA, out in the western part of Massachusetts where I grew up. The chocolate-y sauces they had were quite good.
  • Taza Chocolate: An old acquaintance from Massbike, Zipcar, AltWheels, and who knows what else is owner of this company. I ate a raw cacao “seed”. I had absolutely no idea where chocolate came from. Now I know that it is from a mini football shaped pod that grows from the trunks of trees in Central and South America.
  • Zipcar: Always a fan…never a member. They recently took over Flexcar…let the car sharing industry shake out begin. Oh, and I was so chatty they gave me a T-shirt (non-organic cotton I assume but made in the USA by American Apparel - they have issues?).
  • edible BOSTON: As my sustainability education continues…I have been thinking a lot about food…knowing that the average cellophane wrapped formerly organic substance travels north of 1200 miles to get to the local supermarket. This magazine, available at local markets, helps foodies locate local and seasonal foods in the Boston area.
  • The Food Project: Related to the bullet above, from their website, “Our goal: sustainable, local food systems that bridge race, class, age, and more to ensure food security for all. Dig in!” The young man working the booth was far more engaging and was a good recruiter.
  • Boisset Family Estates: Marketing blather, "From France, the most traditional wine-producing country, comes a forward-thinking innovation for an environmentally-conscious world: French Rabbit, vintage-dated, appellation-specific French wine in unique 1 Liter octagonal-shaped packaging with screw-top closures and label-free packaging." We just wanted the smaller sizes to have little straws like kids' drink boxes...walk around town with a Tetra Pak wine box and no one would know.
  • Alchemy Goods: I was psyched to see Alchemy Goods at this event, shown by a local retailer from Cambridge, MA called Greenward. Alchemy was created by one of my classmates at BGI...gotta spread the love, though I do not have a bag yet...
There were many, many more...and I was glad to see what appeared to be a strong turnout. The vendors were busy and the well-heeled denizens of the Back Bay were getting their green fix.

How much carbon was emitted for all the travel to get to the event?

1 comment:

earthartist said...

Natural Burial Around the World

The modern concept of natural burial began in the UK in 1993 and has since spread across the globe. According the Centre for Natural Burial, http://naturalburial.coop there are now several hundred natural burial grounds in the United Kingdom and half a dozen sites across the USA, with others planned in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and even China.

A natural burial allows you to use your funeral as a conservation tool to create, restore and protect urban green spaces.

The Centre for Natural Burial provides comprehensive resources supporting the development of natural burial and detailed information about natural burial sites around the world. With the Natural Burial Co-operative newsletter you can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the rapidly growing trend of natural burial including, announcements of new and proposed natural burial sites, book reviews, interviews, stories and feature articles.

The Centre for Natural Burial