Back in the ’80s and ’90s, Toronto offered several exhibitions specializing in environmental products. Most of those had disappeared by about the year 2000, in our guess because people go to a store to buy groceries, or cleaning products, or appliances, or gardening tools, rather than going to buy green products. We have become so accustomed to shopping in stores that specialize in a certain category of product that the idea of a store which specializes in greener products across a wide range of categories is somewhat challenging to us, especially when the range of greener products was still quite small. Even massive greener products exhibitions, such as Eco Expo in Los Angeles and some other cities in the ’80s and ’90s eventually died out for lack of interest.
For the last five years, the Green Living Show in Toronto has been trying to revive the idea of a greener product show and so far they have been having some success. The show has evolved since its beginning – for example, there are fewer large retailers and large pavilions, but for consumers interested in buying products with a lighter environmental footprint or learning more about the environment the show is still an interesting way to see a range of what is available in green products. The range of products exhibited is increasing and it seems that the number of unsubstantiated environmental claims is declining – not so much “greenwash” as there used to be.
The biggest attraction this year is probably the large number of hybrid and electric cars. Other highlights are renewable energy technologies and systems for homes, the always popular food displays, an ecological beer and wine corner with samples available for a small fee
In addition to exhibitor booths the Green Living Show offers a main stage with sessions on green jobs (noon – 1.30pm Saturday), toxic substances in beauty products (noon Sunday), eco fashion (1.00pm Sunday), renewable energy (2pm Sunday), and more sustainable food (3.45pm Sunday). There is a cooking stage with frequent presentations and other varied awards presentations during both remaining days of the show. An energy stage has frequent presentations on just about everything you might want to know about home renewable and alternative energy.
Allow at least two to four hours to visit the show, especially if you wish to sample some of the reasonably priced gourmet food products, and if it is a rainy day a family could easily spend a whole day taking advantage of the Green Living Show’s multitude of offerings.
The Green Living Show is open until 9.00pm on Saturday April 16 and from 10 am to 6pm on Sunday April 17th. Entry is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors and students but if you take some end-of-life electronics for recycling Samsuing will give you a ticket for free admission. For programs, more details about the show, and a list of scrap electronics that will get you in for free visit http://www.greenlivingonline.com/torontoshow/