Handmade Galleries to Attend First Eco-Fest Event

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Promoting a "Consumption-Lite" holiday season: The first annual solar open house and green holiday gift fest.

Handmade Galleries (http://www.handmadegalleriesla.com) will be on hand at the first annual Eco-Fest Event, held on Sat. December 8 at American Hi Definition, 7635 Airport Business Park Way in Van Nuys, CA. The event will feature seminars, clean-car test rides, a film screening, family fun and "consumption-lite" holiday shopping.

Handmade Galleries will be showcasing such earth-friendly items as jewelry made with recycled Scrabble pieces, organic-cotton toddler toys and bamboo tableware.

In addition to solar tours, the event will offer expert seminars such as "The Basics, a.k.a. Environmentalism for Dummies," "Composting and Recycling," "Solar Home Financing," "Biodiesel: Out of the FOG (Fats, Oils & Greases)," "How to Build Green," "The Present and Future of Clean Car Technology," and "Why Population is an Environmental Matter."

Chris Paine, director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" will speak about the award-winning documentary, to be shown continuously in American Hi Definition and Sweetwater Digital's special screening room. (Seating is limited to 45 people per screening.)

To make it a "consumption-lite" holiday, attendees will be invited to donate to an environmental or animal protection group in their loved ones' names. Among the nonprofits participating: TreePeople, Global Green, American Lung Association, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, California League of Conservation Voters, Plug In America, Green Depot and Much Love Animal Rescue.

"We'll give each donor a special certificate to show that he or she has made a contribution on behalf of a family member or other loved one," said Sarah Connolly of Rainforest Action Network. "This kind of a gift can be uniquely meaningful and it's a great way to use your money to effect change."

Among the clean vehicles available for test rides at "Renewable L.A." will be a ZENN neighborhood electric vehicle, a Vectrix Maxi-Scooter, a plug-in hybrid by Plug-In Hybrid Conversions, an eBox by AC Propulsion, a Toyota RAV4 EV and a Volkswagen Jetta Wagon running on 100-percent biodiesel.

"Some of the electric cars at this event are charged with electricity generated with solar power, so people will get the chance to drive on one-hundred percent clean energy," said Paine of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" "What's really promising is that people are demanding these kinds of cars and now no fewer than ten auto companies, including GM, Ford, Toyota and Volvo, have announced plans to develop fully electric or plug-in hybrid cars."

Family activities at the eco fest will include solar print-making using the sun with Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts and toy- and gadget-making from recyclables with Cy Tymony, author of "Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things."

Handmade Galleries is a unique, one-of-a-kind gift shop where you'll find the fun, funky, and unusual. Located at 14556 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, CA. Extended shopping hours for the holiday season are M-Sat: 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


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Andy Spyros
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