GreenFest calls for action

South Street festival attempts to create awareness on green issues in Philadelphia.

More than 200 vendors lined South Street on Sunday, to participate in GreenFest Philly, an environmentally friendly street fair.

“GreenFest shows that people care,” said Jillian Costigan, the Philadelphia city coordinator for the organization Greenpeace. “Now what we need is for Congress to step in and show they are going to make changes.”

Costigan worked at the Greenpeace booth, which had several volunteers from Temple’s Students for Environmental Action. The booth featured the “Global Warming Story Tour,” which details a biodiesel solar panel truck making 50 stops across the United States.

Water Yoga performers at Philadelphia’s GreenFest at Second and South streets on Sunday to promote “going green” (Kelly McManus/TTN).

At each stop, the truck collects solar energy and the Greenpeace members capture video testimonies of citizens explaining how global warming affects their lives and what they want Congress to do about it.

The Humane League of Philadelphia also had a booth at GreenFest and wanted to get its message out. Jadee Klinger, a member of the group, said she wanted people to realize “becoming a vegetarian is more helpful for the environment than driving a hybrid car.”

Klinger passed out pamphlets on “eating sustainability” that explained the amount of land, water and energy required to produce meat has very detrimental effects on the environment.

She added that HLP is different than most other groups because its focus is very broad.

“This organization is different from most, because while a lot of groups focus just on dogs and cats, we focus on all animals, especially those that are abused,” Klinger said.

Other booths at the event sold “green” products. The Green Perspective, a new company committed to creating a sustainable future, sold “green” gift baskets. Some items in the baskets included natural soaps, energy-saving light bulbs and reusable travel mugs. Todd Baylson, the company’s owner, said that he set up the booth to “get the company name out and make some sales.”

Many of the exhibitors at GreenFest said there was an overwhelming sense of cooperation and common ideals among all the people involved. Klinger praised the fair’s “very positive message.”
“GreenFest is a really wonderful event and I plan to always stay involved,” Baylson said.

Costigan said it is good that people are trying to live more “green,” but big changes still need to be made.

“People are making changes in their personal lives from changing the light bulbs they use to driving less,” Costigan said. “But what we really need now is action in Congress.”

Sarah Hutton can be reached at

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