Go Green with Great Ideas from Green Scene

Give Mother Earth a virtual hug and improve your green sensibilities at the fifth annual Green Scene being held again as part of Pleasanton's First Wednesday Street Party on September 3.

The Pleasanton Green Scene is a special fair that offers lots of helpful information about how people can, among other things, conserve energy and water while living greener lives at home and at work.

"The purpose really is to inform community members about green and environmentally friendly vendors and services that are in the community," Kathleen Yurchak with the City of Pleasanton explained. "It's everything from energy to the environment to products. It covers the whole gamut."

Green Scene is sponsored by Hacienda and the City of Pleasanton. It started five years ago in Hacienda, but moved downtown last year to reach a broader audience.

"Two years ago, (Hacienda) came to us and asked if we could make it a part of First Wednesday as a way to enhance First Wednesdays and also give greater exposure to Green Scene," Laura Olson, Pleasanton Downtown Association executive director, said. "Green Scene is an opportunity for businesses and residents to come out an learn how to live a greener life."

Green Scene has its own special location on Division Street between Main Street and Railroad Avenue.

"The foot traffic was tremendous," Olson said of Green Scene's downtown debut. "It was really successful. The feedback we got was incredibly positive. People really enjoyed the information they received."

Last year's event featured a couple of dozen information booths that drew thousands of people.

"We had between 25 and 30 vendors last year, but we're hoping to double the size this year," Yurchak said. "For the amount of vendors we had, we had a significant amount of people come through. People are interested in doing more for themselves, their families and the environment. Part of the event is to show people how easy it is to be green."

"Our goal is to get 50 or 60 vendors this year," Olson added. "It's everything from nonprofit organizations whose mission is to help residential and businesses have a smaller carbon footprint to solar companies, farm-fresh food delivery companies and a lot of the local grocers with their green products."

An ultra-small Smart Car will be on display, along with other vendors touting energy efficient vehicles.

"Last year, I ended up changing to an eco-friendly laundry detergent," Olson recalled. "I received a great sample and now that's all I use. I signed up for farm-fresh food delivery service, and I got some really great tips on overall water conservation."

Always popular at Green Scene is the plethora of free products.

"Come out and see a Smart Car or just come to get free stuff," Olson said. "There are tons of reusable grocery shopping bags, organic lip balm, lotion. There was so much stuff, even great coupons to use later."

While Green Scene is lots of fun, including activities for kids, the real goal of the event is to educate the public about how small changes in their daily lives can lead to big savings in resources and money.

"It's all about education, first and foremost," Olson said. "It's education for all the ways people can live a healthier green lifestyle. There's always new information. This year, especially with the drought, we all really need to work hard to make sure we're doing what we can to conserve."

Green Scene at the First Wednesday Street Party is on Division Street, just off Main Street from Bernal Avenue to Del Valle Parkway in downtown Pleasanton from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 3. Visit pleasantondowntown.net/event/details/42 for more information.

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