This being my first GreenBuild I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would there be a bunch of tree hugging hippies in tie-died hemp clothes manning tiny booths and peddling all things hemp? “The GAP is evil, grow your own clothes, man!” Or would it be bunch of giant petroleum companies with even more giant booths trying to convince us that oil is the new green? “Who needs hybrids, look at how much gas prices have come down!” Turns out GreenBuild wasn’t much unlike any other trade show I’ve been to save one thing; recycling. I’ve never seen so many recycling bins in one place in my life. It was like GreenBuild threw down the guantlet and said, “if you want us to have our little shin dig here you better change your earth killin’ ways”. (Go back and read that sentence again, only this time say it out loud using your best John Wayne voice. Better, right?)And you know what? The Boston convention authority complied – big time. There were bins for all things plastic. Bins for all things paper. Bins for compost and other mixed recyclables. And of course regular old trash. (These bins were consistently the most under used from what I could tell.) In case you weren’t sure where to throw your organic cookie wrapper there were “Waste Wardens” and “Compost Concierges” manning many of these recycling stations showing you the proper way to recycle. It was truly an amazing site to behold.
If that wasn’t enough, the food court went green for the occasion as well. Many of the food offerings were organic and it was impossible to find a bottled water on premisis for sale. (Plenty of aluminum soda cans, though.)
Kudos (Remember those granola bars? Man those were good. Do they stll make those? Are they “green”? I digress…) to the Boston Convention Center for going green for GreenBuild. Hopefully they’ll keep it up.
Meanwhile across the street at the Build Boston show in the Boston World Trade Center it was another story entirely. No real sign of green going on here save for a few companies making green products. Those companies got a special green ballon in their booth that said “green product” on it. It was kind of pathetic, really. Oh well – you can’t win ’em all.
JMH – Follow my sporadic musings on Twitter: joesommelier