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Jewish Journal

From Red To Blue To Green - Go Green Expo

by Mihal Levy

January 25, 2010 | 3:01 pm

After going from the Red Line to the Blue Line and sharing a ride with the ever so eclectic group of people (not my two friends that I had gone with, but the avid subway book enthusiast, the usual tourists, those bordering on homeless or just plain dirty, young iPod-listening teen skateboarders and a few mid-valley families heading down for an adventure - probably never even planning on leaving the subway), I finally made it to the Go Green Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend.

When I got there, I was shocked and intrigued at the even more eclectic group of people waiting in line for press passes, finding out soon after that they were auditioning for America’s Got Talent at the same time the Green Expo was going on upstairs, along with at least three other Expos I noticed right away.  (I wonder if they have Expos on Expos.)  After I got my pass (to the Expo, not America’s Got Talent, although that may have been more exciting with a chance to meet the Hoff), I headed in.

I have to say I was hoping the expo was bigger than it actually was.  But perhaps this was due to the fact that as a whole we were already green or going green and did not need to be reminded from an expo.  Maybe it was because I, along with everyone else I know, already shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to begin with (as a Vegetarian) and that is where most of the products that were on display were being sold.  Maybe it is just the fact that almost everyone I know shops there because they are Vegetarians to begin with or I just happen to hang out with people that have some sort of dairy, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar or nut allergy or aversion.  In any case, I expected a little bit more.  (Just like a woman, right?)

Booths were filled with food, clothing, home-improvement, knick-knack and organization vendors.  I even saw a booth for corrective surgeries.  I wanted to stop and ask how they were eco-friendly.  Was the silicone they used BPA free or was their botox non-toxic?  I really wanted to know, but the vegan chocolate booth was calling. 

They even had an AstroTurf company there to present the possibility of saving water (hope they didn’t read one of my past stories where I refuse to save water due to my long shower obsession).  Apparently, it was excellent quality Astro Turf, as one of the friends that came with me rubbed his face across it and exclaimed, “it’s niiiiice!” 

I passed by the Chai Cola both, although I like Chai and Cola (just not together, reminds me of Laverne from Laverne and Shirley with her favorite mix of milk and Pepsi…almost).  My two partners in crime (and fellow writers) were brave enough to try a sample.  The verdict was “medicinal” by one and “pretty good” by the other.  I am not sure who to believe, though, as “pretty good” was by the same person who thought the AstroTurf was “niiiiiice.”

We headed on to the “Kids Zone,” where I was hoping to find a lot of mommy material.  With less than ten booths, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more mom and kid-type ideas.  But again was hoping this was due to the fact that things have gone mainstream and did not need an introduction.  There were glass baby bottles (which I used for my son when he was little), hemp clothing, recycled pencils and journals, and the Holistic Moms Network to name a few.

There were also bikini-clad women walking around to spread the message about going green.  I am not sure what their message was exactly, but know that it came through loud and clear by the reaction of the observers.

I spent most of my time at the recycled journals and the Holistic Moms Network booths.  To me, these two stood out.  1) Journals - because I can’t have enough of them for all my writing and 2) Holistic Moms Network because they were very nice (not like the UNholistic moms at the park I usually run into) and we shared many of the same beliefs.

The O’Bon journals stood out for me (www.obon.us).  They are made from sugarcane.  They use the pulp left over after the juices have been extracted to create paper.  (This way I feel good that I can save trees, since I don’t save water.)  They were all unique, I had a hard time choosing and probably drove the guy nuts when I had a hard time choosing.  (And the questions I was asking him probably did not help either.)  I asked if the pages were edible or could be inserted into a cup of coffee to add sweetness.  That was the one drawback - you could write on the sugar cane paper, but couldn’t eat it.

I enjoyed spending time at the Holistic Moms Network (www.holisticmoms.org).  The moms that were there were all great.  I found out more information about Holistic Moms Network and plan on joining.  It was great to meet moms with similar beliefs for a change.  Like potty training, for one: that it can and should be done during or right after the child’s first year, with evidence to prove this.  (My son was potty trained right around the time he was a year and a half, so I just missed the mark.)  I just don’t understand the concept of toddlers running around in dirty diapers with almost adult-sized excrements (sorry for the visual) or saggy-droopy diapers that moms leave on for hours.  (It makes me sad, really.)  I know I would not want to be walking around in one, so I made it a point to keep my son clean as well.  So this was a first, because most moms I talk to looooooove the convenience of diapers.  I always thought they were INconvenient…and smelly (of course after my son was old enough to do more than laying around).  I also like the moms that say they will potty train when “they are ready,” referring to their child, when it really has more to do with them.  Are you waiting for a signal like, “I’m ready mom.  Even though dirty diapers are all I’ve ever known, especially the ones that have been on for hours for your convenience, I am ready to experience a clean bottom.”  Is it the child that is not ready, or you?  But, I digress.  So the Holistic Moms and I bonded instantly over poop, discipline and best alternatives to dairy cheeses.  (Doesn’t that make for lasting friendships?)

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed the Go Green Expo.  But I think it was the great people I met (and went with) that made it worthwhile, rather than any new product that really stood out.  So thank you to the great moms I met, vendors and Chai Cola-sampling friends that joined me.  You made the interesting train ride worthwhile…and the over-priced Convention Center sushi did not hurt either.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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