Your guide to the coolest eco events
that you must attend, support or at least tweet:


San Francisco Ocean Film Festival

February 3-7, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, North America’s premier cinemaquatic© event explores the beauty, mystery and excitement of the seven seas.  With a reputation as the largest and most diverse festival of its kind, the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival features more than 50 documentaries, animations, narratives and other traditional and experimental genre on topics including sharks and marine wildlife, surfing, kayaking and ocean adventures, environmental issues, island culture and more. Every year, SFOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public. Themes range from marine science and industry to sports and adventure. The films are intended not only to entertain the audience but, more importantly, to educate and encourage active participation in ocean conservation.

The EcoPop Why:

For the first time, the Festival is being presented by Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute and the National Marine Sanctuaries – three organizations with strong environmental and conservation-focused messages. Before I lived on the Chesapeake Bay, I lived on the SF Bay and before that Santa Monica Bay (what can I say, I like Bays) so I know first hand how fragile and important these ecosystems are.  By partnering with these organizations, the SFOFF is drawing attention to the local restoration of the SF Bay but the festival also has global appeal.  Screening this year is The Cove, a documentary about  dolphin activist Ric O’Barry and his team as they launch  a covert operation to uncover the illegal practice in Japan of capturing thousands of wild dolphins for theme parks and slaughtering the imperfect ones for food. I love how the festival also programs films about how people enjoy the ocean. From surfing to sailing, there are several films that celebrate our love for water to remind us how connected we are to the big blue.

State of Green Business Forum

February 4, 2010

San Francisco, CA

The Official Why:

The one-day information-packed event coincides with the release of GreenBiz.com’s “State of Green Business 2010,” the acclaimed annual status report on corporate environmental trends and progress. Green Business is the economic story that has all eyes on it. From innovative new technologies that improve operational efficiencies, to marketing practices that are thriving in an age of radical transparency, the green business landscape is rapidly evolving. And in spite of tough economic times, forward-looking companies are leveraging green and sustainable practices to gain a competitive advantage, and are preparing for better times ahead.

The EcoPop Why:

In between screenings at the SF Ocean Film Festival, pop over to the PG&E Auditorium for a panel on “Green Marketing in the Age of Radical Transparency.”  Greenwashing is alive and well but it’s more and more challenging for companies to get away with it.  It’s difficult not to roll your eyes when you hear about Walmart going green but their ambitious plan to rate the sustainability of all consumer goods and reward the manufacturers of those goods with contracts and better shelf placement has the potential to have massive global impact on sustainable business practices. With speakers representing varying agendas, it’s bound to be an exciting conversation.

The Green Shows

February 14-17, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

The GreenShows is the only premiere fashion event exclusively committed to eco- friendly, ethically sound, fair-trade fashion during New York Fashion Week. This 4- day event will feature a selection of eco-conscious fashion designers who have been given the opportunity, support and resources to show their collection under one roof. The GreenShows will follow a rigorous path, from top to bottom, to make sure the production is 100% environmentally friendly and energy efficient. From the runway to the lighting, the design team will use recycled, recyclable, and compostable material to create a beautiful and resource conscious layout as a backdrop to the collections. The GreenShows is the venue of choice to showcase the Fall/Winter 2010 collections from 10 eco-minded and global designers: Samantha Pleet, Gary Harvey, House Of Organic/Ekovaruhuset, Willian, deux fm, Joann Berman, Popomomo, Thieves by Sonja den Elzen, Vaute Couture, and C. Marchuska.

The EcoPop Why:

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some love for sustainable fashion.  Deux fm’s motto, “love, think, eco, chic” says it all.   The 4 day event is presented by lifestyle partners: 311 E11: Village Green–a premier boutique collection of condominium residences targeted to be the first LEED-Gold certified building in the East Village; and Weleda, pioneers of organic and Biodynamic® skincare. Eco-conscious makeup and hair provided by DEX New York and John Masters Organics. I’ve shot with John Masters and he is  such a sweetheart.   If you haven’t visited his Soho salon, you must and while you indulge in a shiatsu scalp & hair treatment you might just get a doggy kiss from his sweet golden retriever Maya.  Of course it wouldn’t be a rocking green event without some green vodka to warm up the crowd.  Cold River Vodka is a handcrafted, estate grown potato vodka from Maine that is Gluten Free and has been rated “The Best American Vodka”. They are the only “Ground to Glass” distillery in North America and their Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, ME is committed to green-friendly practices and sustainable agriculture.  Lastly, if you don’t have any eco couture to wear to the shows, at least cover up your un-organic, pesticide-soaked frock with Vaute Couture’s electric blue vegan coat. It is downright darlin’ and all net profits of the sale go to Farm Sanctuary.


Greener Gadget Conference

February 25, 2010

New York, NY

The Official Why:

he Greener Gadgets Conference tackles all of the issues surrounding energy efficiency and sustainable design, from innovative advances in packaging and product manufacturing to end-of-life recycling solutions. It also highlights ways in which electronics make a major impact by utilizing renewable energy in developing nations. The conference closes out with the incredibly popular Greener Gadgets Design Competition, highlighting a new class of sustainable product concepts, from those that create their own energy to those that minimize the need for any electricity at all.

The EcoPop Why:

Solar-powered back-packs? That’s for the local science fair.  This is where you get to see super innovative crazy mind-blowing green technology concepts that will tickle your inner geek even if you don’t think you have one.  The winner of the 2009 Design Competition was Tweet-A-Watt, a power meter that tweets your energy usage so your followers can see if you really walk the green talk after all.  DIY kits to build your own Tweet-A-Watt are now available for purchase.  You can vote on the 50 finalists for this year’s competition online and see the announcement of the winner at the conference.

Play Green Festival

February 26, 2010

Berkeley, CA

The Official Why:

The Bay Area’s premier eco-experiential event, where you’ll experience and learn how to play, live and work a greener lifestyle will be held at the Pauley Ball Room on the UC Berkeley campus. Join thousands of UC Berkeley students, campus and community supporters as they touch, taste, feel, experience and learn about the latest products, fashions, technology, services, sounds, cuisine and career opportunities from the very best local and national eco-friendly companies. Hosted by Cal Recreational Sports, admission to the ultimate eco-experiential festival is free.

The Ecopop Why:

Look, Berkeley knows green. The University of California, Berkeley, is one of only 15 colleges in the country to have earned the top score for environmentally friendly policies by The Princeton Review.  For the event itself, they haven’t published the schedule yet or the list of exhibitors but knowing Berkeley it’s unlikely to disappoint.

Maui Whale Festival

February 6-March 6

Maui, Hawaii

The Official Why:

Maui Whale Festival is an “umbrella” name for a series of fun-filled whale-themed events hosted on Maui by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation during the month of February. Most events are free or of low cost and open to the public. They draw together visitors and Maui residents of all ages, and offer opportunities to enjoy live music and local culture while learning about whales and the environment.

The EcoPop Why:

It’s not like you really need a reason to go to Maui in the bitter cold month of February but supporting the Pacific Whale Foundations is certainly a good one.  Their mission is to promote appreciation, understanding and protection of whales, dolphins, coral reefs and the planet’s oceans. Every year humpback whales leave their feeding grounds off Alaska and migrate to warmer climates for the winter with the majority picking Maui’s warm clear water  as their ocean playground. I like the way they think.  Due to illegal whaling, net entanglement and pollution, they are listed on the endangered species list. The festival hopes to spread awareness about the humpback’s plight and also celebrate its beauty.  They’ve scheduled all kinds of events including a 2 day symposium, “Watching Whales, Saving Whales,” a whale count and their signature event on February 20th, “Whale Day.” The event itself is committed to being a green event and appropriately only serving sustainable seafood approved by Seafood Watch.