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Earth Day on the Promenade:

Thousands mobbed the Third Street Promenade last Saturday to take part in the annual Earth Day celebration.

Exhibitors of everything green lined all three blocks of the Promenade. Sponsors and Exhibits Coordinator Kacy Palmieri of Earth Day Los Angeles told the Mirror the Earth Day festivities “have grown in popularity” every year since 2003, when Earth Day on the Promenade began. There are always between 65-75 booths, and it can’t go beyond that due to the physical limitations of the Promenade.

In the early years, mostly nonprofits had exhibits, but now there is more of a balance between nonprofits, manufacturers of green materials, retailers, and educational exhibitors. Booth fees are prorated based upon a business’s gross annual income “so participation can be accessible for everyone.” Palmieri also mentioned that “people come to shop on the Promenade, and we’re there to offer them sustainable alternatives, education, and entertainment.”

According to Palmieri, this year the 77 exhibitors were grouped by category. There was a Kidszone, an alternative vehicle zone, a power food court, an ocean section, a home décor area, an alternative transportation section, and an area for vendors who represented “socially responsible financing.”

Cereplast’s Nat-Ur finished products division returned this year, displaying 100 percent compostable products that can be used for take-out food. Their single-use items – cups, plates, bowls, hinged containers, and silverware – are made from its U.S.-made bio-based plastic resin.

Cereplast decided to participate again this year because they noticed an increased interest in their products last year. General Manager James Fahlgen told the Mirror their “products sell well from a grassroots” base. Santa Monica businesses will no doubt utilize products like theirs more and more in the future due to the City’s ban on the use of polystyrene.

First-time exhibitor Kathy Stanton, from three-year-old Trash for Teaching, participated for the first time “to increase our visibility.” The organization’s mission is to “collect clean and safe castoff materials from manufacturing processes [that would otherwise become trash] and repurpose them as educational resources.” Trucks loaded with the materials visit over 40 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District with specially trained teachers. Students learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling, and then they create their own art from the discarded materials.

Another first-time Earth Day celebration participant was Lucky Earth “Waterless” Car Wash, founded only nine months ago by Lisa Peri and her husband. Peri explained to the Mirror that they were looking for an alternative to the traditional ways of washing cars because their daughter had “multi-chemical sensitivities.” Their 32-ounce spray wash eliminates the use of water for car washing and therefore can save up to 20-45 gallons of water that would be used at a typical car wash, or 80-140 gallons of water from a home car wash. It also eliminates the use of toxins found in commercial car wash detergents because it is formulated with organic soaps and surfactants.

Earth Day Los Angeles’s Palmieri also mentioned that the Earth Day on the Promenade is always “held early in April so it can help kick off the celebration of Earth Month.” Her organization is also working on the first Venice Beach Eco-Fest, which will be held on June 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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