In an effort to produce an event worthy of its name, the Green Living Festival May 13-15 in Rochester is offering participants and visitors more than just green living information, it’s providing a truly green experience. 

These include eco-friendly initiatives in energy, materials, information and design.  According to Will Rex, the festival’s operations manager, “the effort to ‘walk our talk’ is not about doing less, it’s about doing more with less.”

All of the electrical power at the event will be produced on-site by renewable resources including portable solar power units from festival exhibitors, Solar Works LLC and Global Watt, both Michigan companies.
“Even if it’s cloudy and we plug the units in to recharge, it will be at the Rochester firehouse where we recently installed a 16 kilowatt solar PV systems which is producing much of the building’s power,” said Dave Hollens of New Energy Solutions, a regular exhibitor at the festival. 

Even the 300 amp stage sound and lighting systems will be powered by renewable resources produced on site.

“We are ‘brewing’ 100 gallons of biodiesel from our fryer waste for the event”, said David Youngman of Rochester Mills Beer Co, the festival’s Party for the Planet manager. “We’ll also use it to fill up the biodiesel tour bus of the Ragbirds, one of our headliner bands.”

The festival will be a carbon-neutral event, thanks to the purchase of carbon credits. The festival will be accepting small donations at the exits from visitors who want to offset their own travel to the event.

As for materials, “We have always tried to be green in our event preparations and logistics,” said Rex. “We limit paperwork by offering on-line forms, keep printed marketing materials to a minimum and use recycled, sustainably-produced paper when we do, give preference to local suppliers to reduce ‘embedded energy’ and promote local economy, use compostable food service materials, limit plastics and trash creation, and place Whole Foods Market recycling bins throughout the festival. This year, we’re adding single stream recycling of food and beverage items, and other technology to reduce materials.”

The festival will also offer no charge E-waste recycling, drive thru service provided by Global Electric Electronic Processing Michigan. Visitors can bring used computers and electronics for free recycling, keeping toxic chemicals out of the landfills. A list of accepted materials is available at

Complete festival information is available at and in event guides available at the gates.

“It begins with designing the event around our green values, specifically the ‘triple bottom line’ of producing benefit to people, planet and prosperity”, said John Batdorf, festival manager. An example of this is the festival’s reduced size. “We reduced our footprint and improved our layout considerably. The number of exhibits, activities and displays will be the same, but the distance between them is reduced. This will make it easier to get to and around the festival.

One of the planet’s largest green living & wellness events will again be held in downtown Rochester, May 13-15. Visitors can shopl, learn and celebrate at this free weekend festival, offering more than 250 exhibits and presentations, stage and street entertainment, contests and prizes, organic food and drink, free massage and wellness programs, and fun for all ages.

There is no admission charge for exhibits, presentations, the parade, jobs fair or Party for the Planet. For more information, visit


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