Thanks to me being a Contributing Staff Writer and Photographer for Transportica, I now have Press Access to attend transportation-related events. While I have attended many events and conferences before, the recently-concluded Green Festival Expo, held annually in many cities throughout the United States, left me a great impression of what companies large and small have been doing to improve human lives through sustainable products and progressive causes. Not to mention, the exposition provided its audiences the next generation in food products, mobility options, and home living, as well as opportunities to support multiple causes, from animal protection to mitigating air pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I was pleasantly surprised at where the expo took place. Pier 35, which is accessible by Muni Lines F, 8, and 39, is very close to the ever-popular Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, two of San Francisco's most-visited tourist attractions. When I first got into the venue, I immediately went to the dedicated Press Check-In desk, wherein I had to show my credentials, got my name tag (even wrote my name on it), and went inside the long dock that used to be part of the old San Francisco Cruise Ship terminal (Pier 33), although it is used as a secondary cruise ship dock if nearby Pier 27 is occupied.
Around 100 exhibitors were present from various backgrounds, including transportation, home furnishings and appliances, food and drink, social causes, and government agencies. Some of the more interesting things I've seen during the expo include:
- EcoloBlue, which claims that you can now generate water from air with the right humidity. With its system, you can drink cleaner, better water with a smoother aftertaste, less minerals, and reducing the need to buy separate water bottles and dispensers. The cost for a single machine starts at around $1300, with multiple filters to choose from. You can even create alkaline water with the machine too by purchasing an add-on filter.
- Stromer, a bike company I've heard little about before. When I asked if it does bike testings, I happily volunteered to give their latest bike model a try. Although I biked around Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, and the Financial District at dusk, the Stromer ST2 S bike (valued at $10,000) runs on electric power, has a digital screen that shows my speed and battery charge, and I can change gears using the touch of a button. All of those allowed me to cruise through hilly North Beach and along the Embarcadero with ease.
- Lotus Foods, with its modest, yet diverse stock of rice and rice-related products. I tasted samples of their rice crackers and other rice types I would rarely see in restaurants, in which I am amazed at the amount of time and dedication the company gives to support local farmers in Asia and beyond.
- Blix, a bike manufacturer based in Santa Cruz, gave me a sense of inspiration that I can get an electric bike at an affordable price. Their innovative Swedish design and assembled locally gives me a sense of security and comfort, knowing that I really want to bike more often in the future.
More information about this event can be found at www.greenfestivals.org.