By C.J. Gronner

July 10 saw Venice become even greener than normal, with the 2010 Venice Eco-Fest setting up shop down at the Boardwalk & Windward. It’s L.A.’s largest free outdoor green festival, and everyone seemed to be real into it … and the timing couldn’t be better, as our Earth continues to scream out for our help amid disasters both natural and man-made.

There were some 150 booths and displays, all showcasing ways to be more gentle with our precious Earth. I chilled at the Free Venice Beachhead booth, saw a ton of familiar faces and met a bunch of new ones, as tourist season is in full-swing (even if the sunshine hasn’t yet caught up). Everyone was very receptive, and inquisitive too, about new technologies and ideas to green up our lifestyles. Indulging in free samples of stuff never hurts either.

There was a green parade, an eco art show, an eco-apparel fashion show (bamboo is about the softest fabric ever… get yourself something made out of bamboo, it will be your favorite thing you wear), a vegetarian food court, some kind of magic water booth that claimed to cure every ailment possible (I felt pretty good after a swig, but then I’d also just sampled some organic vodka), an eco kid zone, and even a health and fitness stage at Muscle Beach. My favorite was a SOLAR Sound Stage, where I took a break from handshakes and paper distribution to catch the madcap antics of The Superbroke Brass and Tin and Strings Electric Marching Band Ensemble, who stand for “Truth, justice and the elevation of the human spirit,” which I can totally get behind. Venice’s own Suzy Williams also graced the crowd with one of her festive, jazzy sets of pure love and fun.

I saw my pals from Baykeeper, where we discussed me joining them for an eco-dive soon for a cool story. (If I put it in writing it will come, right?)

You could learn a whole lot walking around this festival celebrating Earth and our part in preserving it … and people were.

It was encouraging just to see that it’s penetrating peoples’ minds more. Many were the folks carrying cotton bags and aluminum water bottles, perhaps a tangible sign that it’s all catching on.

A sudden – and completely weird, out of character, freaky for July (!) – rainstorm blew through the festival towards the end, which was strangely appropriate considering the topic of the day. Climate change is no joke, and it really is now or never. I heard one scientist guy say that it’s a few decades until the Earth might just kick us out (if 2012 doesn’t go down first, as predicted).

That’s scary, and every time I see the giant gas-powered SUV drivers and the balloon shards and bottles roll ashore, I think, “Man, we might just have to have a weekly Eco-Fest just to drill it deeper into some of the thicker skulls.”

All-in-all, it was a highly successful and great day, both for seeing your friends and neighbors, and for sounding the alarm about the absolute necessity of a Green

Revolution.

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