A Chat with the Creator of Portland Greenfest, Jeff Edelstein

We caught up with Jeff Edelstein, creator of Portland Greenfest to find out what all of the hubbub was about. The fourth annual Portland Greenfest takes place on Saturday, September 9th from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in Portland’s Monument Square! The eco-fair features music, art, local food, kids’ activities, exhibits, workshops, and demonstrations.

Jeff Edelstein is the founder of the Greater Portland Sustainability Council, a network of businesses and nonprofits dedicated to making Greater Portland a national leader in environmental sustainability.

SG: What is Greenfest and what was the inspiration for it?
JE: Greenfest is Southern Maine’s premier Green Festival, celebrating sustainability with music, children’s activities, workshops, upcycled art, and over 50 exhibitors. We were inspired to create an event for residents of Southern Maine like the popular Common Ground Fair, but with more focus on what’s happening right here in the Portland region and Southern Maine.

SG: What kinds of activities and entertainment can attendees expect during the event?
JE: We’ve got over 50 exhibitors and presenters, featuring electric cars, renewable energy, green products for the home or business, recycling, composting, bee-keeping, clean water, and so much more. This year, we’re excited to have a host of kids’ activities throughout the day, including a Pollinator Parade at noon. Kids can arrive in costume or make their own (out of recycled materials) onsite. We’ll also have a Focus on the Food System, with a garden produce exchange (bring your extras!), demos on food preservation and composting, and a retrofitted smoothie bicycle, where you can pedal your way to reclaimed fruit smoothie deliciousness!

SG: Is there a charge?
JE: No. Greenfest is free to all.

SG: What is your vision for the future of Greenfest? Will this be an annual event?
JE: Absolutely! Greenfest is now a fixture of Portland and Southern Maine. We want to help people get involved in their communities; learn about ways to green up their homes, businesses and schools; celebrate Maine’s environmental vibrancy; and have fun with their families and friends.

SG: Who’s been involved with helping to plan the event?
JE: The effort has been led by the Greater Portland Sustainability Council, a four-year old network of more than 50 organizations around the Portland region. We’ve got a great team of volunteers and generous support from sponsors including TD Bank, ecomaine, the SunriseGuide, Kia, and many others.

SG: Anything else you’d like to add?
JE: Greenfest will be 100% powered by Maine renewable energy, courtesy of Maine Green Power, with recycling and composting provided by ecomaine and Garbage to Garden.


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