Seven Can’t-Miss Activities at Boston GreenFest 2014

A guide to this weekend’s environmental festival.

greenfest

Recycling symbol photo via Shutterstock

Maybe you eat off a paper plate and drink from a plastic water bottle, or perhaps you compost in your backyard and drive an electric car. Either way, Boston GreenFest provides resources to all audiences in order to teach them more about sustainable living. Dr. Karen Weber, GreenFest’s director and executive director of Foundation for a Green Future, wants attendees to “[learn], celebrate, have fun doing it all, and come away with action items so that…they’ll go back with a different perspective.”

Of the many fun things to check out at GreenFest this weekend, here are seven can’t-miss activities:

1. Local Food Emporium

At the local food emporium, area restaurants and vendors like Flat Black Coffee Co., The Red Lentil, and Mela will sell prepared food and drinks. The dishes are meant to suit a variety of palates, with cuisine from different parts of the world along with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

2. Savers EcoFashion Show

Fashion is not always a green industry. According to the GreenFest website, materials “often come from companies that adhere to unethical standards starting with haircare and makeup and moving into the fabrics, finishes, and materials that we wear or use as accessories.” To move away from “wasteful consumerism,” one of GreenFest’s events will be the Savers EcoFashion Show, where designers show their upcycled creations made from clothing from a Savers store. An EcoFashion Shoppe, where visitors can learn about environmentally friendly fashion and participate in DIY workshops, will also be running. Saturday, 5 p.m.

3. Health and Wellness Forum

On both Saturday and Sunday, a health and wellness forum will be held on the EcoStage, one of GreenFest’s four stages. Day One is titled “Healthy Sustainable Living,” with speakers who will talk about about yoga and alternative healing, among other topics. Day Two of the forum is “Built Environment & Our Health.” A number of architects and specialists will give talks on topics such as “the issues of greening the buildings and making a difference,” Weber says. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

4. GreenTech Innovation and Robotics Tent

The GreenTech Innovation Tent will spotlight the work of regional startups working on eco-friendly technology. Startups like HYDRORECOVERY, which works on producing electricity from surplus water pressure in buildings, and KinergyPower, which converts kinetic energy from car traffic into electricity, will present. Also, Adept Technology—which has a regional office in New Hampshire—will demonstrate some of its robots, Weber says.

5. EcoKids Center

For the young and environmentally conscious, GreenFest will have an EcoKids Center. There will be participative exhibits designed especially for children, robot demonstrations, and an interactive sandbox, among other activities. What’s more, the Bristol Studios Family stage will host performers who’ll keep the kids happy.

6. Live Performances

All weekend the Metro Main Stage at GreenFest will show live music, dance, and entertainment. Performers include: The Olate Dogs—2012 winners of America’s Got Talent— who will perform with their highly-trained dogs, dance groups whose specialities range from hip hop to modern to Chinese to Irish, and musicians like the Johnny Fireseed & The Junkyard Dogs, a self-proclaimed “green punk” band that makes its instruments from repurposed items.

7. Gubernatorial One-on-One

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick will discuss his thoughts on environmental improvements in Massachusetts with moderator Douglas Foy, the founder and CEO of Serrafix, an environmental consulting firm, as well as the former Secretary of Commonwealth Development for Governor Mitt Romney. “It will be a very nice conversation and very unbiased,” Weber says. Friday, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

 

Free, Friday, August 15, and Saturday, August 16, 12-10 p.m., and Sunday, August 17, 12-5 p.m., City Hall Plaza, Boston, bostongreenfest.org.