Friday, April 12, 2013

Green Living Show (a.k.a. best food court award)

The Green Living Show is another one of those events that I tend to check out every year. While it's not one that stands out as one of my favourite events, I never leave empty handed and always enjoy myself. So I will basically continue to go every year. And with a wide variety of ways to get free admission, I've always gotten in for free and don't see a reason for anyone to pay admission. This year alone, I was aware of at least 5 different ways to score free tickets, and that's without having to look very hard. If you're paying to get in, thank you for supporting the local economy but you really didn't do your homework.

The show itself features a pretty wide variety of exhibitors - anything from food and drink companies to eco-friendly skincare to sustainable real estate and home improvement merchants. There's something for everyone. The show might not blow your mind, but there's fun to be had if you know where to look. With this show, I find that talking to exhibitors is key. Many of the displays might not look particularly exciting, but if you chat up the reps, you can be surprised by what you discover. For example, you can learn some pretty nifty things about the Bruce Trail (it really is pretty darn cool!), test drive some hybrid cars with Ford, swap some of your old books/music/movies for something new with Swapcity, get your makeup done at Arbonne (they also do free skincare parties if you put together a group of friends - girls' night, anyone?), and of course, sample your way to a very happy belly.

One of my favourite stops

If you're not quite full after making the rounds of the food merchants, this show has one of the most exciting (and delicious!) food courts I've ever seen. It's set up like a mini culinary tour adventure, where you buy a set of tasting tickets and trade these in for delicious treats (both gourmet food and craft wine/beer). The vendors are set up by local counties, which gives it a worldly feel. Great idea and not a greasy pizza slice in sight!

Finally, there are usually a variety of presentations taking place. I went on a Friday this year and there wasn't much happening, but I checked out a couple of these last year. Take a look at the schedule before you go to help you plan your visit.

Guess people are offloading his books these days (@Swapcity)
WHAT: Green Living Show

WHERE: Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place

WHEN: April 12-14

COST: $12-$16 (but there are numerous ways to get in for free!)

INSIDER TIPS: Did I mention the whole getting in for free thing?? Seriously, look into it. Other than that, bring some items to swap at the Swapcity booth (it's a great way to discover new music), use the coat check (the $2.50 is really worth it when you don't have to cart around a lumpy jacket), and check out the food court (it really is a fun one!).

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