Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day From Vroman's

It's Earth Day today, which means all your greener-than-thou friends will act put out because, you know, they do this stuff year-round. Here at Vroman's, we actually celebrated Earth Day on Saturday with a day-long festival that included live music, eco-friendly vendors, and a fashion show featuring all sorts of sustainable, local, organic clothing provided by All Shades of Green.

Sustainability coach Deborah Tull got things going on an inspirational and educational note with a talk about how everyone can make more environmentally smart decisions in their lives.

The vendors were terrific, as each of them brought something a little bit different to the table. The Soap Kitchen, a relatively new store in Old Town Pasadena, makes all of their own soaps in their own kitchen at the store. Everything is all-natural and no animal products are used to produce the soap (Though apart from that, they told me, soap making is pretty much exactly like it is in Fight Club.).

Jill's Paint sent a couple of guys who really knew eco-friendly paint. They had a terrific display of interior and exterior paints, as well as washes, primers, and even some paint thinner. The most interesting paint is one that forms a thick shell around your house when it dries.

Organic Rush had a selection of its products, including a really cool set of glasses made from wine bottles (the bottoms are water glasses while the tops are wine glasses. Ingenious!). Everything at their store is healthy-conscious and environmentally minded.

Heath rocks out.

Lucky Earth did well selling their amazing waterless car wash. One bottle of this spray-on cleanser will clean your car 5-7 times and use no water! I saw quite a few people wandering around the store carrying bottles of car cleanser on Saturday. If you're looking for some yourself, you can buy it at most Whole Foods in the LA area.

Ten Thousand Villages did a great talk about Fair Trade (until the sound cut out), and their booth showed Fair Trade in action. It featured all sorts of products from Kenya, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam, including some jewelry made from old soda cans and newspapers. Check out there store on South Lake.

Christopher Nyerges gave a very informative talk about the may edible plants growing all over the place in Southern California (maybe even your backyard!).

Path to Freedom had an informational booth set up, and I know they wowed a lot of people with their presentation. For those who don't know about Path to Freedom, they are a family who purchased a house in Pasadena, and have slowly converted it into a self-sustaining urban farm, complete with crops, livestock, and several sources of renewable energy.

Design Forward also had an informational booth where they showed all sorts of green construction techniques, including foam insulation and straw-bale construction. What you're looking at here is counter-top material made from recycled metal shavings.

Wholesome Cakes might have been the most popular vendor at the Fair. Once you've tasted their coconut cupcake, you'll understand why.

Out in the parking lot, Green-Benz converted a diesel Mercedes to run on vegetable oil. They can convert any diesel vehicle to run on vegetable oil, cooking oil, and all kinds of other crazy substances (including, in a way, water). That little yellow honey-comb looking thing is the filter required to turn the trick.

And here you can see the finished product.

And of course there was All Shades of Green, who not only had a booth featuring all sorts of cool products, but also provided clothing for our eco-friendly fashion show. Some Vroman's employees served as models (including me, incredibly enough). Check it out.

Alison struts her stuff:

Alanna models a cute summer dress:

Danny, rocking the Buena Vista Social Club hat:

Laura, in a bubble-y skirt with black leggings:

Patrick (that's me) wearing some really fetching yoga pants & a bio-diesel t-shirt:

If only Amy weren't so shy:

All of us come out and take a bow:

At the end of the day, Critical Mass arrived and led a huge bike ride through Pasadena. All in all, it was a fun day, aside from being mortified during the fashion show (I will never mock those hardworking girls on America's Next Top Model again!). I learned a lot about various products and practices that could help save the world (or at least delay its demise). Happy Earth Day to everyone! Here's hoping we get to enjoy many, many more.


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