Saturday, I spent most of the day at the Green Festival in San Francisco. My visit turned into a field exploration in green psychology and marketing.
Some excerpts from ‘Green Festival or Celebration of Green Consumption?‘, my review of the festival for Groovy Green:
‘Every year, I go to the Green Festival in San Francisco. This time, I was hoping to find some interesting material to report on in my blog. Getting there was quite a feat. Since I was going with four other people, we had decided against the train, in favor of the car. The traffic to access was simply horrendous. I finally gave up trying to find street parking, and had to part with $20 at the public parking lot across the street.
I recognized my friend Dominique’s Adina bus parked in front of the festival. Right away, I felt at home. My other two friends were late to meet me, so I had plenty of opportunities to observe the scene at the entrance. Lots of dusty shoes, organic cottons, and earthy colors. I felt a bit out of place with my J Crew raincoat, and Robert Clergerie shoes. Legacy from a fashionable past, that is still very much a part of me. Petitioners of all sorts were competing for my signature. I gladly added my name to the Sustainable Farming list. One man tried to explain why I should care about Eminent Domain. Should I? My friends showed up finally, we got our official green bracelet in exchange for personal information about ourselves. I wonder what they do with the information. Does the festival sell it to marketers?
The Exhibition Hall was packed with booths, hundreds of them, all trying to sell us something. Soap, teas, books, T-shirts, fair trade scarves, renewable energies, TV shows, food, chocolate, lunch boxes, jewelry, cars, bikes, social networks, magazines, alpaga coats, pet food, seeds, toys, travels, cell phones, salad bowls, . . . and a lot more I can’t remember. I came to make connections with people in the green social network space, and also to visit Dominique at the Adina booth. Soon, though, I got caught in a sampling frenzy, my hands full of flyers, and magazines of all sorts. What to do with all the stuff? . . .’