When I walked into the Exhibit Hall at the Green Festival in downtown Denver, I wasn’t sure what would greet me.
There was this guy at the entrance to the Convention Center—is he a giant blue stalker?
Once in the Exhibit Hall, I looked to my left and saw the booth for Sustainable Industries magazine, and I thought, That sounds like something I should read for Restoration Nation.
Restoration Nation is an idea I’ve been dreaming about for several years: How do we change the current “free market” economy to “an economy that restores”? Not that I believe the two are mutually exclusive, but the focus of the first is consumption, and the focus of the second would be restoration of lands.
I signed up to get the magazine, just to see if it would give me any ideas. And I went to see local author David Wann (Affluenza, Superbia!), whose talk, “Culture Shift: Creating a Restoration Economy,” sounded promising.
Wann gave his audience a lot of information, much of which I had heard before. Although he liked the name Restoration Nation, he didn’t answer the question two paragraphs up.
But the next two talks I wanted to see were canceled. I began to feel that someone was hexing my Green Festival. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I’d expected. All the information and products presented at the festival seemed like a bunch of loose threads, and what I really wanted was to gather them together somehow into Restoration Nation.
But maybe that desire to corral all the disparate threads of what we call the “Green Economy” or the New Economy is misguided. Maybe a change in our idea of what the market should do (which is what Restoration Nation requires) need not come from one direction. Maybe Restoration Nation already exists. After all, isn’t this the kind of thing I’m looking for?
Only I want an entire economy of it. Maybe the website I want to set up should just ask questions, since that’s all I seem to do.
There was a lot of stuff at the Green Festival exhibit hall. I couldn’t keep track of the sustainably made purses and hemp clothing lines (though I intend to check out Vital Hemptations) and books and even these to-go containers (the button says “Reduce Your Forkprint”:
I found it fascinating and, ultimately, exhausting. And about that time I remembered one of David Wann’s lines: “Green overconsumption is still overconsumption.”
But I bought the 83% organic lotion from Boulder anyway.