So Earth Day came and went this past week, and with it came everyone’s yearly attempt to make a difference. Sadly, for many this effort only lasts the week of earth day. Regardless I was happy to see that my hometown of Corona, California decided to do its part and host an earth day festival. Unfortunately my enthusiasm ended after the idea itself, as the event turned out to be quite a disappointment.
The Green Valley Earth Day Festival was put on by GIVE (Green Institute for Village Empowerment) and held on April 19th at one of Corona’s newest developments; Dos Lagos. The bulk of the event took place in the heart of Dos Lagos in some grassy patches just past the centers two lakes. And featured a number of booths purchased by local groups and vendors, and a performance/symposium in the centers amphitheater.
The event was advertised as having vendors there who were out to promote Green Living and their efforts to better the environment. Sadly, about 50% of what I saw there was made up of local businesses looking for nothing more than to get their name out there. Furthermore, my wife and I arrived at about the midpoint of the event and it appeared that many of the vendors that had booths had either already packed up and left or simply never showed. Many booths displayed signs for vendors, but nothing was actually displayed at the booth, nor was anyone there to promote a product or service.
Fortunately, the handful of green living and environmental groups that were there had some very useful information and were actually worth the little bit of time my wife and I spent at the event.
GIVE itself actually had a very friendly and very knowledgeable young girl working their booth. The girl gave us a lot of information about the organization that both my wife and I had never heard of. The organization, which strives to educate and promote sustainable lifestyles put on the event and though the event itself was a disappointment their efforts to spread their message were successful and I am now quite interested in what the organization has to offer.
Another great organization that we talked with was The Sierra Club. I had heard of the organization before, but never really knew what they did or what their purpose was. The folks working the booth were very friendly and provided us with a lot of information related to The Sierra Club and its events. They discussed the advantages of becoming a member and talked about the local hikes that members often take as part of being the club. Their overall presentation was great, and again this is definitely something I am going to be looking into further.
A handful of other organizations and companies also captured my interest, but not nearly as well as GIVE and The Sierra Club. Southern California Edison was on site giving out energy saving light bulbs to their customers, The Gas Company provided water saving shower heads and faucet adapters to its customers, and the California Department of Conservation provided some interesting information on recycling and land protection, as well as some interesting information on children’s recycling programs.
There were a number of other vendors that were in fact green living related, but since my wife and I don’t own a home yet they weren’t of much use to us. However, the remaining booths were simply local businesses hocking their wares and services. Chiropractics, massages, wine, and a hobby store, don’t exactly fit into the Green Living or environmental categories as far as I’m concerned and sadly the majority of the booths consisted of garbage like this or were simply empty.
My recommendation for next year, try harder to market the event to businesses and services related to the festivals subject matter. Maybe even filter out businesses like Hobbytown USA who offer nothing to the environment as a business. I’m sure they dumped you some money for the booth, but honestly they didn’t provide me with anything of relevance to why I came to the event. More people than ever are finally realizing the impact we have on the planet and our local communities. If GIVE is committed to education then provide us with as many resources as possible at events like this. I appreciate your work and I appreciate what your organization does, but next year let’s try and make the event more educational and resourceful.