June’17. I love the month of June. June 5 is World’s Environment Day and back during my childhood, June in school started with group activities. We planted seeds, watered them and learned more about the cause. Years passed, I got busy with high school’s hard work, college ‘fun’ and now my days are all about work. But this time, with the onset of June, I planned to do something different on every weekend. June being my birthday month, I had all the reasons to try new things. I came across the Green Festival Expo online and thought of attending it but I changed my mind and volunteered instead, just to relive my childhood memories.
Green Festival Expo is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability & green living event. They have been showcasing the best and latest green products and services in the market for 16 years now. They organize the event in many different locations including Washington D.C, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale.
Being an ambivert, even after going through this exciting information online, I wanted to drop the plan. My mind was clouded with questions including – ‘What if I won’t be able to do the task which I am assigned?’ or ‘How will I interact with volunteers in the group task?’. But for a special June’2017, I forced myself to jump out of bed on a Saturday that too at 6 in the morning. It was not easy to commute from Brooklyn to Javits Center as buses and trains had different schedules for the weekend and were delayed too.
Seeing the 34th Street Hudson Yard’s Artistic Subway and reaching the refreshing location which was closer to the pier, I felt one and a half hour traveling was worth it. Javits Center is a very large convention center located on 11th Ave between 30th and 40th used for several events and exhibits. I signed in as a volunteer, put on an XL T-shirt (they were out of the smaller ones) and was assigned a task to fill the goodie bags for the attendees. We were about twelve volunteers in that room and were almost done in an hour and a half. The event coordinator came in to ask for two volunteers who wanted to go for a fifteen-minute task walk. I was really tired and bored of the current task, so I volunteered. I and the other volunteer had to go to the 12th Avenue, Pier 84 to put up a banner and promote the Expo Festival at Plant Powered run & Walk for Farm Animals event. It was really hot and windy outside but it was fun interacting with the runners and directing them to the expo.
While working on that task, I and the other volunteer got along very well. The last task that we were assigned was to educate the attendees on the greening efforts and Zero waste box at Green Festival. Luckily, we had the stations next to each other, so we coordinated to carry out our work smoothly. We discussed and understood what trash goes where, which we later communicated to the attendees. It was fun!
Having done with the volunteering tasks, I wanted to roam around as there were some unique green ideas out there. A company is always fun to have and the volunteer whom I met joined me and we began. I might not have explored all the booths if I were alone but with her, we stopped at almost every booth. The best part was that she knew about many of them and amidst all the conversations, I did not know that we were at the last booth and it was time to go. And, that’s why, I feel once in a while, everyone should just step out of their work zone to try something which is totally unrelated to them.