Thursday, May 8, 2008

Green Scene

Did you visit the Going Green Expo this past weekend, May 2–4? I was pleasantly surprised by all of the great green products that were showcased at this inaugural event. I previously mentioned some of the green retailers/companies that were going to be there, so I wanted to share some pics from my visit to the Expo.

The first booth I encountered was Triple M’s, which sponsored the Green Art Gallery. The station held a contest from March 24–May 1 that featured art items made from recyclable or eco-friendly products. which apparently was sponsoring a green art contest.

Stuff ranged from a “rug” made with fishing nets and floats, a wall hanging made out of tea bags, a dress constructed of plastic sheets (a la Project Runway) and the most spectacular piece, an entire car decorated with found objects. Check it out (the doll heads are a little weird, but admittedly, the car is quite a work of art!).

Olivetree Essence Beauty
’s booth was like being a kid in a candy store for me. The shimmery, sparkly powders and makeup instantly caught my eye (I have an affinity for sparkly things, OK?). Rows and rows of primer, eyeshadows, blushes and more were laid out for customers to sample. According to Olivetree’s brochure, their mineral makeup contains “no preservatives or fillers that can irritate your skin. Mineral makeup has actually been known to improve skin over time.” The skin-care products sound heavenly, like the clay mask and the coconut sugar scrub. Prices are affordable, so check out the website if you’re interested.

Next I strolled over to Market Baskets On The Go, which offers punchy and bright polyester baskets that folks can use for
the Farmers’ Market, on a trip to the park or for a warm-day picnic. Amazingly, the baskets can hold a sturdy forty-four pounds and are collapsible for easy travel. The light aluminum frame helps the basket keep its shape. (P.S.: I’ve seen the solid orange Reisenthel basket featured in last August’s InStyle magazine).

We’ve all seen bamboo used to make super soft clothing (prime example: our April cover) and Hip To Bamboo’s booth was chock-full of soft tees, dresses and cardigan wraps. Just touching the shirts makes you want to buy one on the spot. Prices are a little steeper than your standard cotton T-shirt, so here’s to hoping that eventually prices for bamboo clothing will become more affordable.

One of my favorites: Metcalfe’s Sentry booth, which featured all kinds of yummy food samples. First I helped myself to some Chocolate Shoppe Blue Moon ice cream (sources tell me that the Chocolate Shoppe is developing a red and yellow ice cream especially for Sentry’s Bratfest on May 23–26). The booth also had Otter Creek cheese samples, Potter’s Crackers, various alcohol samples, and displays with sustainable products for sale. Metcalfe's is also promoting the idea of FOOD MILES, or how many miles certain products had to travel, underscoring the importance of buying locally (or as locally as possible).

Have you tried TerraSource Gourmet Chocolates? The company’s motto is “Specializing in dark chocolates made with the highest quality local, organic and fair trade ingredients.” Let me get this straight: scrumptious chocolates, made with fair trade/organic ingredients and they’re part of Dane Buy Local? I can’t see a downside in that. Plus, haven’t new reports come out that dark chocolate is good for you…?
Anyway, owner Josie Pradella is constantly developing new flavors. One is an antioxidant jasmine green tea-infused flavor; the other is called Blueberry Bliss: a blueberry and Yahara Bay Distillers limoncello infused chocolate. I’m trying that one!
I just sampled the Rishi Scarlet tea flavor I picked up from the show. What a perfect treat!
One more thing: the chocolates are packaged in biodegradable cellophane packaging and boxes are embedded with wildflower seeds so once your chocolate is all gone, you can plant the box.

I wrote a tidbit on Ruegsegger Farms/Paoli Local Market a couple of months ago. They made an appearance at the Expo, armed with samples of Blue Marble milk smoothies, Hook’s cheese, Potter’s Crackers and more. The market carries a full line of organic groceries and organic produce. Paoli is the perfect mini-getaway for a warm summer day; stop by the galleries, check out Paoli Cheese and grocery shop at the market.

Satara, an organic bedding and baby goods store, teamed up on a booth with Creative Energy. New stuff from Satara includes glass baby bottles, Green Sleep mattress pads and diaper covers by Organic Caboose. Pushing aside what a diaper’s used for, I think the name Organic Caboose is really cute.

Other booth sightings: Travel Green Wisconsin, Yahara Bay Distillers, Sundara Spa, Fair Indigo, Bad Boy Buggies and much, much more. I think the Expo will be a fun yearly event to celebrate and promote green living. Plus, you can shop and eat … how can you go wrong?!

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