The Go Green Expo, a national, environmentally focused business to consumer and business to business exhibition, will open its doors for the first time in Atlanta with the largest number of unique companies exhibiting their wares that the show has ever assembled. According to Bradford Rand, the President and CEO of Go Green Expo, the event was conceived as a response to viewing An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary film on global warming.
“My background includes a lot of event management experience,” Rand told me in a recent interview. “I was inspired to put that experience to use to help bring eco-friendly solutions companies and environmentally conscious consumers together and Go Green Expo was born.”
The first Go Green Expo was launched in New York City in April 2008. The event has also been staged in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. With attendances running from 6 – 10,000 for each show, Rand is expanding the tour with future shows planned in Charlotte and Minneapolis.
The Atlanta show offers consumers and businesses nearly 250 exhibitors, displaying a broad array of green wares including solar panels, green cleaning supplies, water-saving plumbing fixtures, green home furnishings and apparel, even innovative gadgets like solar-powered hand held razors. There are also a number of interactive green activities. Attendees can even test drive the 3rd Generation Prius hybrid vehicle from Toyota. Free yoga sessions will be held throughout the weekend. The Captain Planet Foundation and Farmer D will host a mega-booth devoted to teaching children about growing food organically. A green jobs seminar will be held Sunday, June 28 at 2:15pm led by Career Eco Founder Gayle Oliver Plath and Ralph Avalone and others. There are many more interactive exhibits and activities for children and adults.
A number of green living experts and influencers will present talks on various green living concepts:
- Mariel Hemingway, actress, author and eco-mom, will be speaking on “Healthy Living from the Inside Out” and signing her new cookbook, Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life. Her presentation will start at 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 27.
- Laura Turner Seydel, one of Atlanta’s notable eco-living experts and Chairman of the Captain Planet Foundation, will speak about greening your body and home, as well as present a photo tour of her residence, one of the first LEED-certified in the country, Sunday, June 28 at 12:30.
- Ovie Mughelli, #34 for the Atlanta Falcons, will speak Sunday, June 28 at 1:30 on how to inspire kids to go green. Mughelli has established the Ovie Mughelli Foundation, which seeks to inspire children to have a positive impact on their environment and help show them how. See my recent post on my interview with Ovie Mughelli
- Mandy Mahoney, Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta, will speak about green building and some of our city’s water and energy conservation programs on Friday, June 26 at 11:00 am.
- Ben Taube, Executive Director of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliiance, will speak about green building and his non-profit’s work deploying energy efficiency across 11 southeastern states. His presentation will be Friday, June 26 at 2:00 pm.
Rand has been careful to stage an event that is itself environmentally responsible. “We have hired Brighter Planet to calculate the show’s overall carbon emissions and we will counterbalance that by donating portions of our proceeds toward planting trees and carbon offsets, creating a truly carbon neutral event.” Go Green Expo also lowers its carbon footprint by using recycled materials for lanyards, limiting carpet to the speaker areas, printing on recycled paper with soy inks, tapping into solar power to supplement the show’s electricity use and using a paperless ticketing system (consumers can register online and show their drivers license or other formal ID at the door).
Rand, a former resident of Atlanta, told me, “Atlanta has changed quite a bit over the years in terms of residential and commercial development, traffic, reduction in the number of trees and an increase in paved surfaces. It seemed to be a recipe for environmental decline. Now, though, Atlanta seems to be turning a corner and embracing the environment. We’re excited to present Go Green Expo to Atlanta and look forward to a very successful event this weekend.”