Green Festival San Francisco 2013

Photo courtesy of @GreenFestival on Instagram

Green Festival® is the largest sustainability event in the world and continues to grow year after year. A project of Green America and Global Exchange, Green Festival was in San Francisco this past weekend, and lots of people came out to celebrate, listen to speakers, shop, eat, laugh, learn, and a whole lot more!

Global Exchange was there with a booth filled with Fair Trade products from our stores and staff eager to engage with visitors and chat about our various campaigns and programs.

Also in attendance was Kevin Danaher, Global Exchange’s Co-founder AND Green Festival Co-founder,who had this to say about the Green Festival this past weekend:

It was packed both days with thousands of people, showing that we have already beat the corporations at their own game; commerce.

According to Kevin, the human rights movement is making a transition from focusing on negative things we want to eliminate to putting more emphasis on the next system we want to create.

In this 7-minute talk (brought to you thanks to compostory) Dr. Kevin Danaher explains why and how we can transform the current system of profit-focused enterprise into a triple-bottom-line model that integrates social justice, environmental restoration and financial sustainability.


Did you miss Green Festival in 2013? Not to worry! 2014 Green Festival dates have been announced, and here they are…

2014 Green Festival dates:

  • New York — April 26-27 2014
  • Washington, D.C. — May 31-June 1 2014
  • Chicago — Oct 24-26 2014
  • Los Angeles — Nov 7-9 2014
  • San Francisco — Nov 14-16 2014

Want more info?

Green-Festival-GX-booth-volOn Earth Day weekend, Global Exchange traveled to New York City to join activists, local residents and a diverse array of green organizations and companies for the New York Green Festival. A few pics from the Green Festival Global Exchange booth are posted on our Facebook page.

Held at the Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan, the two-day festival featured dozens of speakers from the forefront of the environmental and green movements, over a hundred vendors selling green products and thousands of people from New York City and the surrounding area sharing ideas and engaging in conversations about ways to build a more sustainable future for both people and the planet.

Global Exchange, now celebrating our 25th anniversary, is a co-producer of the Green Festival. Along with our partner organization, Green America, Global Exchange created the first Green Festival in San Francisco 12 years ago. Since then, Green Festival has become the largest sustainability event in the country, this year happening in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York City.

Global Exchange was excited to be participate in the New York Green Festival. The crowd at the festival was diverse and engaged, and I had countless conversations with folks about a wide range of issues including the environment and sustainability, fracking and socially responsible travel, green building, the solar movement, and the importance of supporting small, local businesses in New York communities.

We distributed a lot of educational materials to attendees of the festival including information about Fair Trade, community rights efforts to ban fracking in California and resources about our Elect Democracy campaign which targets corporate lobbyists. 

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and a hopeful reminder of just how many great individuals, organizations and companies are out there working to build the green movement by creating the kinds of tools and engaging in the kinds of conversations we need to ensure our sustainable future.







Global Exchange is proud to announce our first ever online auction, in advance of the 10th annual Human Rights Awards – a way for our supporters around the country to support our work by bidding on an amazing collection of items.

There are some awesome items up for bid; one-of-a-kind getaways, fine dining gift certificates, collectable artwork, electronics, and lots more.

And the best part? New items are added throughout the auction so when you’re on the site checking your bid, don’t forget to keep your eyes open for new items. Auction ends 19th!

Here are a few of my favorite items up for bid (to get the complete picture, check out the auction online):


Live the Story of Stuff

Go on a once in a lifetime adventure with 2012 Human Rights Award Winner Annie Leonard!  Annie Leonard, creator of The Story of Stuff video, will lead a San Francisco Bay Area tour to find out what happens to all that stuff once it’s been thrown away.  You’ll get an up-close look at the leftovers of our consumer economy, with personal instruction from an expert.

iPad 2

Are you always on the go yet still need to stay connected? Then bid on this iPad 2 (16gb with wi-fi). Features include core dual-processor, built-in cameras, and long-lasting battery. Users can take advantage of over 70,000 third party applications as well.(Psst, Mom. I don’t have one yet, and I reaallly want one.)

Green Festival VIP Passes, Tour and Lunch with Co-Founder Kevin Danaher

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the largest sustainability event in the country – Green Festival. Kevin Danaher, Green Festival Co-Founder, will personally take you on a VIP tour of the Green Festival. Introducing you to vendors, speakers and event producers. After the tour, enjoy an organic, local lunch and a private conversation with movement leader, Kevin Danaher.  Includes 2 passes to a 2012 Green Festival of your choice. (2012 Green Festivals held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C.)

One Week Stay in a Paris Apartment

This amazing package is valid for a 2-4 person stay in a beautiful, fully equipped apartment for 1 week in Paris! You will be delighted to stay in a charming apartment in Montmartre, Paris (France) – and live like a Parisian while doing it. Ooh, la la!



Auction: Ladies and gents, let the bidding begin!

Human Rights Awards: Join us at the 10th annual Human Rights Awards.

Every second Saturday in May, the Fair Trade community comes together to celebrate World Fair Trade Day to honor artisans and small-scale producers all over. The day is also used as an opportunity to raise awareness for Fair Trade and to grow the community.

This year, the Fair Trade Resource Network has set a goal to gather 100,000 participants for World Fair Trade Day to take a Fair Trade Coffee Break. Interested in participating? It’s as simple as gathering with friends, co-workers, or community members to pause, enjoy each other’s company with some Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, tea, fruit, or various other Fair Trade products and  showcase, and/or discuss the benefits of Fair Trade. Have something planned? Register your event with Global Exchange and we will add it to the Fair Trade Resource Network tally.

Don’t have anything planned yet? Those of you in or near the Chicago area this weekend can spend World Fair Trade Day with Global Exchange at the Green Festival taking place this weekend, May 14-15 at McCormick Place. The Fair Trade Pavilion is filled with great speakers, including a talk by Global Exchange Fair Trade Campaign Director, Adrienne Fitch-Frankel who will be hosting a screening of the film, Dark Side of Chocolate on Saturday at 4:30pm.

It’s a particularly great time for the Chicago Fair Trade community, as the city was just named an official Fair Trade Town, making it the largest Fair Trade city in the U.S. and the second largest globally, just behind London. Nancy Jones and Ervin Lopez from the Chicago Fair Trade Steering Committee will be speaking at the Green Festival on Saturday at 2:30pm. Join us in congratulating Chicago on their amazing achievement on becoming a Fair Trade Town. As Nancy Jones of Chicago Fair Trade stated on why promoting Fair Trade is important,

Though the task of global peace and sustainability seems overwhelming, we know that Fair Trade provides us with a doable step that we can take each day. Asking for it, gifting it, mentioning it.

While at the Chicago Green Festival, be sure to visit the Global Exchange booth to learn about all of our programs, and to see all the wonderful Fair Trade products we have for sale. We’ll raise a cup of Fair Trade coffee together!

After the World Fair Trade Day weekend comes to a close, remember that celebrating Fair Trade can take place everyday. Starting with your morning breakfast with a Fair Trade banana, in the middle of the day at a game of soccer with your Fair Trade soccer ball, to winding down your day with a glass of Fair Trade wine. Making socially conscious choices in your daily life through Fair Trade not only helps the Fair Trade producer growing those crops, but also the whole global community by showing that there is a better and more sustainable way to do trade in the world.

With that, I wish you all a Happy World Fair Trade Day tomorrow, and everyday.

P.S. For those of you in the Bay Area, there is still time to join Fair Trade USA and the Stag Dining Group at the Wake Up the World Fair Trade Brunch. The brunch takes place at the HubSoMa, Saturday, May 14th at 10am. You’ll be searched what sounds like a delicious Fair Trade brunch by some stellar chefs. Don’t believe me? Check out the menu, and the promptly grab your last minute ticket.

Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates. This week, a few deadlines for you to keep in mind, along with some creative ways to incorporate Fair Trade into your Easter or Passover celebration.


Domincan Republic Fair Trade cocoa farmer/cooperative leader


Easter and Passover are two of the BEST times to ask Hershey to eliminate child and forced labor from its supply chain and start sourcing Fair Trade.
Easter:  More chocolate is sold in the US at Easter than any other time of the year, except Halloween. And Hershey manufactures Cadbury Crème Eggs and other products sold in the US.
Passover:  Passover is a time of reflection on slavery specifically, and an appropriate time to raise awareness about forced labor.

Here are some suggested actions you can take at your congregation and/or family gathering:

Easter and Passover:

  • Screen the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate in the weeks leading up to Easter or Passover. (Please order the DVD at least two weeks before your screening.)
  • Collect signatures on the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign petition.


  • Kids:  Color in this letter and send it to Hershey!
  • Use Fair Trade Certified eggs, bunnies, minis, and other chocolates for Easter egg hunts, baskets, and festivities, listed here

Use Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Haggadah insert during your Passover Seder.  The insert is written in the lyrical language of the Haggadah, and evokes the themes of Passover, to integrate modern social justice issues seamlessly into your Passover observance.

Graphic Credit: ILRF


The window of opportunity to enter the Hershey Brand Jamming contest is about to close! This contest is part of the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign’s efforts to urge Hershey to end child and forced labor and trafficking in the cocoa fields of West Africa, as well as shift sourcing to Fair Trade, which prohibits these practices. The winner of the Hershey Brand Jam contest will receive $1,000.

There are two ways for you to get involved:

  1. Enter the contest yourself
  2. Help spread the word by clicking the Facebook “Share” and Twitter “Tweet” buttons next to this post and encourage others to do the same.

In case you missed it, here’s a bit more about the contest: Brand jamming generally uses parody, satire, and humor to expose undesirable corporate practices, often with mock ads. The brand jamming contest has three categories:

  1. Slogan/tagline
  2. Advertisement, up to 8.5×11
  3. Video, up to 2 minutes

For contest information, go to the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign web page.


The Green Festival is celebrating its tenth year, and this weekend it hits San Francisco once again. So if you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, head for the Fair Trade pavilion at the SF Green Fest to shop, learn, and explore!
Here’s a sneak peek of the event guide.

FTF Annual Conference ~ Building Up Fair Trade
The US Fair Trade community will connect in Milwaukee at the Fair Trade Federation conference from May 6-8. They’re adding to the list of speakers, marketplace vendors, and participants all the time. So check here for registration info and updates.


Article: ILRF Highlights of the 2010 Tulane University Report on the Cocoa Industry
Article: Hershey under fire for allegedly relying on child labor in cocoa supply chain
Press Release: New Premium, Minimum Price and Trade Standards in Coffee

Check back here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!

Annual Mayan celebration--Guatemala, March 2011

P.S. I just returned from a trip to Guatemala where I traveled with some folks from by eBay to learn about Guatemala’s history, political landscape, and culture. We explored how Fair Trade and economic empowerment impact local artisan groups throughout the country. I’ll be sharing pictures and stories from our journey right here on our Fair Trade blog soon, so stay tuned!

This article originally appeared on Treehugger, who is partnering with Green Festivals this year. Green Festival is celebrating its 10th year and is kicking off April 9-10 in San Francisco. Global Exchange members get in FREE! Not a member? Take advantage of our special Green Festival membership rate of $25.

They say time flies when you’re having fun. That certainly has been the case with the Green Festivals, a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America, with our partners at Seven Star Events.

As we go into our tenth year, these parties-with-a-purpose have now reached more than one million people, inspiring them with green/eco alternatives to the nature-destroying corporate model.

This year we are expanding to New York (April 21-22), and Los Angeles (October 29-30), so if you know people who we should be in touch with–either for our Host Committees or to speak or exhibit or volunteer at the events–please let us know. Our next Green Festival in San Francisco is happening November 12-13.

Our combination of green enterprise and radical education has struck a chord with the hippest people — those who are trying to be good ancestors by creating a sustainable economic model to ensure that our grandchildren will not inherit a burnt cinder of a planet.

The green economy is the only sector that tells people: “consume less, and consume consciously, instead of unconsciously.” We are not so naïve as to think that we can “buy our way to salvation.” But people do have a number of basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health, and fun! And it is better to meet these needs by supporting enterprises run by people who share our values of social justice and environmental restoration.

Yes, there is green-washing out there. But consumers are increasingly hip to companies that cannot back up their green claims with tangible proof. And the great thing about Green Festival is that we use Green America’s standards for social and environmental responsibility to screen all of the exhibitors – so there is no green-washing at the Green Festivals.

Those of us promoting fair trade and the green economy understand that we possess a market advantage over the mainstream corporate products. Each product we sell is actually two products: the product itself and the story of who produced it – what company stands behind the product — and how it was produced. Whereas the model of the big corporations is to hide their impact on workers and the environment, the green companies treat workers, the environment their communities and their customers as stakeholders with them in creating a better future.

Plus, there is a simple supply-and-demand factor working in favor of the green economy. As natural resources get depleted, the profitability of saving resources and developing renewable substitutes goes up. So we are seeing a steady shift of capital, policy and jobs in a green direction. Sure, the system is not shifting as quickly as we would like it to, but it is shifting nonetheless.

Those of us who have a radical critique of capitalism as practiced by the transnational banks and corporations are in the best position to redefine enterprise in a triple-bottom-line direction. For 22 years now, my organization, Global Exchange, has pioneered the non-profit enterprise model, subordinating profits to social justice and environmental restoration. In developing this new model of enterprise there are two questions that must be answered correctly: (1) In the production of your goods and services did you exploit people or nature?, and (2) What do you do with the profits, put them into your own pocket or put them back into the education work?

The ten years of Green Festivals have given us a large network of green companies and tens of thousands of grassroots supporters. So now it is time to build on this network to create a permanent Green Festival–GreenMart, the first eco-mall convergence platform that will be one-stop shopping for the green economy. If you are interested in learning more about this new venture, don’t hesitate to contact me at 415-255-2341 or Kevin(at)globalexchange(dot)org. Looking forward to seeing you at Green Festival this year!

Couldn’t make it to the San Francisco Green Festival this weekend? Or maybe you went, but just can’t get enough. Well, you’re in luck because TreeHugger enlisted founder, Bill McKibben to interview various Green Festival participants about their involvement in the green economy, in a TreeHugger Exclusive.

Global Exchange and Green Festival Founder, Kevin Danaher took some time from the weekend festivities to share some words about the future of the green economy with Bill McKibben and Jerry James Stone.

See more of  TreeHugger Exclusive interviews from the 2010 San Francisco Green Festival with Bill Mckibben, including one with Gabe Wisniewski of Greenpeace.

Be sure to check out the #GreenFest twitter feed to see what the twitter community was saying about the SF Green Festival all weekend as it was happening.

Extra Credit!: See Bill McKibben on the other side of the interview table in his interview with David Letterman as he talks about his latest book and solar panels.

With all the excitement surrounding the Green Festival happening this weekend in San Francisco, we almost forgot to tell you about the upcoming webinar “Is Green Entrepreneurship right for you?” which is coming up fast. It will be an encouraging discussion about green entrepreneurship with Kevin Danaher, Green Festival/Global Exchange Co-Founder and inspiring leader in the green economy, and Scott Cooney, the author of Build a Green Small Business and the founder of

The details:
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 12PM Noon Pacific; 1PM Mountain; 2PM Central; 3PM Eastern
Length: 60 minutes

In this hour-long online conversation, Danaher and Cooney will cover:

  • Personal success factors and habits for green entrepreneurs
  • Hot opportunities to start a green business
  • The biggest challenges facing startups and ways to overcome them

Have Your Questions Ready! There will be a Q&A session after the presentation and you can ask your question(s) via chat-room. You’ll be able to participate from anywhere in the world, all you’ll need is a computer with an internet connection.

To participate: Register here.

Investment: Just $15. That’s less than the cost of your monthly gym membership dues, which if you’re like me and rarely go, would be better spent on something like this webinar.

If you register but cannot attend you will receive a recording of the webinar with audio and the complete slideshow.

We hope you are able to join us for this webinar and leave equipped with answers and feeling inspired to embrace the green entrepreneur inside you.

Do you know any budding green entrepreneurs? We’d love it if you helped spread the word about this webinar, so click the Retweet and Share buttons next to this post if you’re feeling inspired to help. The earth thanks you!

On the fence? Here’s a little more about the green guys leading this webinar:

Scott Cooney is a sustainable strategy advisor, author, professional public speaker, and the principal of, he advises businesses on executive strategy and implementation of sustainable principles as a driver of business success. Scott’s book, Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), has been hailed by green business professionals, including Horst Rechelbacher (founder of Aveda), as a great starting point for aspiring eco-entrepreneurs to understand the wealth of opportunities available in the green economy for entrepreneurs, no matter what level of formal education or startup capital they have.

Dr. Kevin Danaher is Co-Founder of Global Exchange, Founder and Executive Co-Producer of the Green Festivals, and Executive Director of the Global Citizen Center. Dr. Danaher has spoken at universities and for community organizations throughout the U.S. on issues ranging from the dynamics of the global economy to how we can replace the power of transnational corporations with local green economy networks. Dr. Danaher has published numerous articles and is the author and/or editor of twelve books, including his latest, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots.

What People are Saying about Kevin’s past webinars:

Here’s what people have said about previous webinars with Dr. Kevin Danaher:
“A force multiplier”
“An excellent webinar filled with useful information”
“Nice job. Well worth the $.”
“It was indeed informative.”
“Very well run.”
“Thanks so much. That was awesome.”
“Gracias to you all….very informative, very helpful!”
“Good job, keep up the inspiring work Antonia and Kevin!”

Mosswood Park in Oakland is about to get hit with a heavy dose of youth driven freshness at this Saturday’s FreshFest 2010. Said to be a Green Festival for the people, the event is set to bring eco-sustainability and environmental awareness into an urban, community-oriented context.

A collaboration between Grind for the Green, Youth Movement Records, Livity Outernational Clothing, Global Exchange, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Oakland Green Youth Media Arts Center, and others, FreshFest is billed to be the largest youth led eco-music festival in the nation.

The FreshFest is the kick off event of the Get Fresh campaign which uses the hip-hop culture to inspire the next generation of leaders to reconnect to the earth, gain knowledge and take action to address environmental issues in their communities. The FreshFest is a unique eco-festival because it speaks directly to groups who have been traditionally left out of the mainstream eco-movement — the youth and communities of color.

According to Zakiya Harris, one of the main drivers behind Get Fresh, change begins with young people.

“Urban youth can benefit from awareness of their environment and education around sustainability issues. Get Fresh is about giving the youth access to information and knowledge about the best sustainable practices. We are lifting up solutionaries and highlighting the work of people of color across the country who are using culturally-relevant approaches to environmentalism.”

By using the ‘fresh’ aesthetic of hip-hop culture for awareness and action, and hip-hop to get the message across the youth have a new way to play an active role in creating change and being part of the solution in the environmental movement.

“We’re bringing back the old-school hip-hop concept of ‘fresh’ and adding an environmental, conscious twist to it. We’re basically saying, it’s fresh to be informed about environmental issues. Conscious lyrics are fresh, and so is organic, locally-grown produce and green fashion.”

And trust me folks, this kick off event is going to be FRESH. There’s going to be a fresh food pavilion featuring locally-grown organic produce, hands-on demonstrations, health and wellness activities, a kids zone, a hip hop competition, and a booth run by the youth of Global Exchange’s Environmental Service Learning Initiative (ESLI) which will showcase solar cooking, bike-powered smoothies and guerrilla gardening tips to green up your ‘hood.

Oh. It doesn’t stop there. There are special guests including NY hip-hop legend Pete Rock who will perform a solar-powered two hour DJ set, and West Oakland resident Boots Riley of the Coup will be hosting the show. Other beats and rhymes will be provided by local artists Erk Da Jerk, Nu Dekades, Do D.A.T., and Holly Saucy. Say word!

So, the only place to be this Saturday August 14th is at the FreshFest in Mosswood Park in Oakland from 12-6pm. Why? Because it’s fresh! And, most importantly because we are reminded that social and environmental justice begins with awareness of one’s environment. By combining eco-sustainability with conscious hip-hop, Zakiya says it

“…brings together the green world and the hip-hop world into one organic, progressive cultural movement. The hip-hop community is telling us, we’re ready to go green, and we’re not only listening, we’re helping them get there with FreshFest.”

My peoples. Believe it. Ain’t no festival as dope as this, it’s just so fresh, so green.

What: FreshFest 2010
When: August 14, 2010 12pm-6pm
Where: Mosswood Park, Oakland (MacArthur and Broadway)
$$$?: FREE

Hear Zakiya Harris speak to OaklandSeen about Grind for the Green.