Volunteer and be a part of the *magic* that is the Green Festival. The Green Festival is a celebration of what’s working in our communities—for people, business and the environment, and it turns 10 this year. (Omg, where does the time go? I remember the first one like it was yesterday!)

Volunteer sign ups for the San Francisco Spring Green Festival just began. The event is happening April 9-10, 2011 at the SF Concourse and Exhibition Center. Visit www.greenfestivalvolunteers.org/sf to register and reserve your shift(s).

You won’t want to miss the fabulous green speakers, exhibitors and DIY educators, along with all the delicious organic food and drink!

As many of you probably know, Green Festival relies on the support of over 1,000 volunteers at each festival. If you volunteer, here’s what you will enjoy:

  • Free admission all weekend (work a little, enjoy a lot)
  • An exclusive organic cotton event t-shirt (they’re super soft and sweet looking!)
  • Snacks, a free coat check and relaxation in the Volunteer Lounge (they had me at free snacks)
  • Free memberships in Green America and Global Exchange (Global Exchange membership alone usually runs $35/year so you do the math. $35 vs. Free = SCORE!)
  • 10% Discount in the Green America and Global Exchange festival stores (every bit helps in this recession)

That is the official list of what you get when you volunteer to be a Green Festival volunteer. Now I’m going to add 2 additional perks based on many years of personal experience volunteering at Green Fest:

1. You get to meet other awesome people with similar values.

2. Green Festival is a great place for job seekers…It’s a wonderful networking opportunity plus you can add “Green Festival Volunteer” to your resume:)

So hope you join us this April as a Green Festival volunteer. I’ll be there. Will you?

Green Fest volunteers literally jumping for joy Photo Credit: Green Festivals

Here’s a bit more about the various ways you can volunteer:

Volunteering with a Group
If you have a group that would like to volunteer, please email volunteer@greenfestivals.org to arrange for a group time slot. Group slots fill up quickly so email asap.

Capture the Magic! Join the Volunteer Media Team

Want to see your photo or video on the local news? All you need is your own equipment, a passion for the Festival and a bit of talent to be a part of our Media Team. Images, photos, tweets and blogs are all needed, and we’ll credit whenever possible. Upload onsite for instant fame. (fortune, well, that’s on you.) Interested? Email volunteer@greenfestivals.org.

Street Team Opportunities
Want ALL the benefits of volunteering, without having to miss a moment of the festival?  Be a member of our Street Team to advertise the Festival and recruit volunteers in these last weeks BEFORE the festival.  Interested? Email volunteer@greenfestivals.org.

Join Green Festivals on Facebook!
Join the SF Green Festivals page and receive updates year-round! To join the community, click here.

Got Questions?
Email the National Volunteer Director Kristi Koehler at volunteer@greenfestivals.org OR call 828-333-9415.

For more on volunteering at Green Festival, check out this Green Festival blog post, plus this recent list of Top 10 Green Festival volunteers.

Have you volunteered at Green Fest before? Funny story? Inspiring moment? Strange outfit siting? Share your experience in the Comments section below.

This post was originally sent to members on our News and Action list. Be the first to take action with Global Exchange and sign up for our e-mail lists.

The first few weeks of 2011 have been a time of transitions. Aside from transitioning to a new year and a new decade, we have seen a transition of power in the US Congress. The new Republican majority in the House threatens to impede real progress with their refusal to cut defense spending, a push to repeal healthcare, and a call to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency.

Global Exchange is prepared to stand with you in opposition to these regressive moves. We will fight to stop rollbacks of progressive policies and continue to push for positive change in our communities at home and abroad. Through grassroots activism we will prevail.

Here are just a few campaigns we have in store for 2011:

  • Transition from corporate interests to humanitarian justice: Corporate interests are among the strongest forces fueling the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Come February, Global Exchange will host courageous feminist peace activist Dalit Baum. Dalit is currently working in Israel on a project called Who Profits?, an online database that exposes companies and corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation. She will bring her extensive knowledge of grassroots activism to North America, teaching Who Profits’ research methods to the peace movement to infuse their work with new perspective and hard-earned wisdom. The long-term goal is to help change public opinion and corporate policies, moving towards an end to the occupation and a lasting peace in Israel/Palestine.
  • Transition from dirty energy to clean energy: The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest oil spill in American history, and oil from the spill continues to impact lives and livelihoods throughout the Gulf. Through this tragedy we have been reminded of the negative consequences of our dependence on dirty energy and our need to support clean alternatives for people and the planet. One year after the devastating Deepwater Horizon explosion, Global Exchange’s Energy Program Director, Antonia Juhasz, will release her book Black Tide, a “searing look at the human face of BP’s disaster in the Gulf and exposes the human failings and the human cost of man-made disaster that will be with us for a very long time.”
  • Transition from free trade to Fair Trade: Despite almost ten years of commitments from Hershey’s to take responsibility for their cocoa supply chains and improve conditions for workers, significant problems persist. Hershey’s lags behind its competitors when it comes to taking responsibility for the communities from which it sources cocoa, so we’re calling on them to “Raise the Bar” and go Fair Trade. This year, we’re working on several ways to get the word out about Fair Trade through various campaigns such as Sweet Smarts, National Valentine’s Day of Action, Reverse Trick-or-Treating, and more.
  • Transition from climate change to system change: After the Climate Talks in Cancun this past December, it was clear that Western leaders favored corporate-driven solutions for climate change over community-based solutions. Although the climate agreement that came out of Cancun ignored thecommunities directly affected by climate change and the rights of nature, Global Exchange continues to advocate for climate justice in the upcoming The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Nature. The book, set to be released in April, will reveal a movement driving the cultural and legal shift that is necessary to transform our human relationship with nature away from being property-based and toward a rights-based model of balance that no longer views nature as property to be destroyed at will.
  • Transition from a greed economy to a green economy: Casino capitalism is wreaking havoc on the planet, but there is an alternative. It’s called local green economies – urban agriculture, locally controlled clean power, and sustainable industry — and we’re building them in Michigan, California and across the country. We’re also traveling from city to city sharing a message of a greener future at the Global Exchange co-sponsored Green Festivals – the biggest and best sustainability event in the country. Celebrating its 10th year, Green Festival will be expanding to the two biggest cities in the US — New York and Los Angeles.

You make this work possible. Thank you to everyone who gave a gift last year. We still need your support in 2011. None of our work is possible without the financial support of our members. Help us make the necessary, positive transition. Donate today!

Despite the new Republican leadership in the House, the grassroots movement has a great and important opportunity to be leaders in the fight for peace and social justice. We hope that you will join Global Exchange in 2011 to resist injustice, envision alternatives and take action.

The economic downturn is still causing some worries, but Recession Ralph is taking the extra time that he now has since he lost his job to get involved with causes he’s passionate about.

Ralph left Chiang Mai, Thailand to live in California so the cause to fight for immigrant rights is really close to home for him.

Ralph joined fellow staff members over the weekend in Seattle at the Green Festival. Ralph has been working overtime volunteering for a stronger green economy!

Have you seen Ralph around town? Be sure to snap a pic of him and send him over to us and we will post it on the blog and the best photo will be entered in the Recession Ralph photo contest to win a lovely Fair Trade prize. Send photos to storemaster@globalexchange.org with “Recession Ralph Photo” in the subject line.