Green Venice Expo 2.0 promises a day of eco-friendly fun

By Bonnie Eslinger

Learn how to make your garden grow at the Green Venice Expo

Learn how to make your garden grow at the Green Venice Expo

On Saturday, the Venice Neighborhood Council will host a free all-day fair to celebrate and encourage environmentally-friendly living.

Green Venice Expo 2.0 will feature more than 40 exhibitors, speakers, gardening workshops, an electric vehicle display, a kids zone, musical entertainment and giveaways, including free trees courtesy of the city.

The event aims to be informative and fun and to inspire everyday green living, said Rob Dew, one of the event organizers.

“This is a very important issue and we wanted to focus on solutions,” Dew said. “It’s not a climate change conference. It’s an eco-fair focused on sustainable living solutions.”

Last year’s Green Venice Expo drew about 1,000 people.

Presentations and discussions will focus on walkable communities, green homes, ocean health, grey water, permaculture and, renewable energy.

The day’s keynote speaker will be longtime syndicated columnist Robert Scheer, host of KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center.”

Other presenters include Paul Scott of Plug In America, an electric-vehicle organization; industrial hemp activist Stephanie Lana; Joel Cesare, the City of Santa Monica’s sustainable building advisor; Earth Conscious Films founder Rob Herring; Liz Crosson, water policy adviser for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Robert Egger, the founder of L.A. Kitchen, a culinary arts job training program using donated food that might have otherwise gone to waste.

“We’ll also have a deejay and some local musicians who will be playing in the courtyard, to kind of make it festive, and a local artist doing chalk art for the children,” Dew said. “If you’re coming for the first time, [know that] you’re going to experience a really fun community event.”

Entertainers on the bill include DJ Petey Pete, local guitarist Michael Jost and multifaceted performer Shamanatrix Missy Galore.

Bio-fueled organic food vendor Green Truck, once featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will also roll in for
the event.

Nonprofit, business and governmental exhibitors will offer information on such sustainable solutions as recycling, farming, community and home gardening, solar energy and electric bikes.

“This event is to make people feel good about making positive changes,” Dew said. “We’re socializing and we’re coming together around a topic we all care about.”

State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin will also make appearances and be available to talk with residents, Dew said.

In an effort to go zero-waste, Green Venice Expo organizers are encouraging attendees to bring their own water bottles and would even like to see folks packing in and out with their own eating and drinking utensils.

The event is sponsored by Whole Foods Market of Venice and the Surfrider Foundation, and while hosted by the Venice Neighborhood Council the public at large is welcome.

“It’s not a Venice locals-only thing,” Dew said.

Green Venice Expo 2.0 happens from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Mark Twain Middle School, 2224 Walgrove Ave., Mar Vista. Visit for a complete schedule of speakers and events.