THEY ARE DOWN TO EARTH Two Boston entrepreneurs combine their business sense and the green sense to put on a green living expo

Error message

Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in menu_set_active_trail() (line 2404 of /home/michaelprager/michaelprager.com/includes/menu.inc).
Type: 
Publication: 

 

Like a lot of their friends and neighbors, Lorelei Grazier and Betty
Fulton wanted to green up their lifestyle. But they weren't sure how to
proceed.

"We both felt it can be overwhelming; can one person really change
the world?" Grazier said. "We realized the way to empower a person is
to give them practical information to change their lives."

They decided it wasn't only a personal opportunity, but a business
one as well. So Fulton, an events planner, and Grazier, a designer and
brand specialist, have teamed up to create an event to help people
expand their eco-consciousness. The result is Down 2 Earth, a
consumer-focused show opening tomorrow for a three-day run at the Hynes
Convention Center.

They have defined eco-consciousness broadly, so that green fashion
shows and cooking demos will fit under the same roof as speeches by
pioneering environmental advocates Bill McKibben and Frances Moore
Lappé. Other events include workshops on home remodeling and energy
use, along with forums on sustainable design and green jobs.

Almost 80 exhibitors will be at the show, from vodka makers to clothing manufacturers, advocacy groups to eco-tourism companies.

"I would say it's for the curious, people who really want to learn,"
said Grazier, who counts herself in that category. Neither Grazier nor
Fulton considers herself an environmental radical.

"Oh no, not at all," said Fulton. "I call myself maybe six months
ahead of someone who might come to d2e," the nickname organizers have
adopted for the event. "I began this as an educational process for
myself, and I really think what we're trying to do is appeal to a
broad-based audience who wants to learn a little more about
sustainability."

They've already made changes in their own lives. Grazier commutes by
bus rather than car. Fulton uses compact fluorescent light bulbs and is
taking bids to replace drafty windows in her almost-century-old house
in Jamaica Plain.

The show itself has a green soul, too. Exhibitors have been asked to
refrain from cheap giveaways to cut down on waste. The show is also
offsetting its carbon use with the aid of Mass Energy and staffers have
gone on a "carbon diet," seeking to trim 5,000 pounds of carbon each
from their routines.

Even the caterer and the venue are on board. Organizers tout the
Hynes for being the first convention center in the country to join
WaterWise, an EPA program for water akin to Energy Star standards for
appliances. Aramark, the caterer, will use locally grown foods, offer
vegetarian and vegan fare, and will use biodegradeable packaging.
They'll even be composting the food waste.

"They've both been unusually responsive and eager," Fulton said, "to get on the bandwagon."

For more details on Down 2 Earth, at the Hynes Convention Center tomorrow through Sunday, visit d2eboston.com. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Under 13 free.