What better way to celebrate Earth week by going on a Family Love Village field trip to the Whole Children Whole Planet Expo! It was held on Saturday April 24th, 2010 and was located at the Highland Hall Waldorf School. I had heard about this from a friend and thought it would be an awesome way for our village to connect with each other and Mama Gaia! Not only was I excited to go to the event but was excited to finally check out the Highland Hall Waldorf School (which my husband, Dalmacio and I were thinking of perhaps having our son go to later on).
So what is the Whole Children Whole Planet Expo? The Whole Children, Whole Planet Expo is the premier natural parenting and family expo that introduces and educates families, professionals and friends about the benefits of sustainable living practices, holistic medicine, non-toxic products, organic foods, better nutrition and enrichment learning programs. Their mission is to educate the community about important health and environmental issues and provide the resources and tools necessary to protect our families, and the planet. Well of course when I read that, I wanted to share and celebrate this day with the members of our village!
After much planning for our group to attend this event, the day had finally arrived. By the time Dalmacio, Andrik and myself made it (yes of course a little behind – okay an hour behind), we had little time to check out the vendors since our first workshop was about to begin within 30 minutes of our arrival. But there was no need to fret because we had the whole day to experience the rest of the expo. I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised to see how big the school campus was (not to mention a filtration system in their water fountains) and the plethora of vendors that were at this event!
Several exhibitors that I was happy and excited to visit and actually knew someone at each booth were:
1. Holistic Moms Network (HMN) – a global network of moms/families that believe in holistic and green living (very similar to the Family Love Village’s concept yet a different feel to its approach). One of our very own village members, Yvonne is the fearless leader for the San Fernando Valley chapter - which my family are proud members of.
2. Capitol Drugs - a local alternative drugstore where we've been buying all our homeopathic and natural remedies from for many years.
3. CA Naturopathic Doctors Association – is a professional association of California licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) practice truly integrated medicine. They are the only primary care doctors who are clinically trained in both natural and conventional medicine. When I heard Andrik’s naturopathic pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Gerber was one of the doctors at this booth, I was extremely excited.
4. Doulas Assocation of Southern California (DASC) - is a non-profit professional community of doulas which recognizes the profundity of birth on the human experience and society at large, while respecting the individual needs of childbearing families. They provide a supportive forum for maintaining professional standards, continuing the education of birth and postpartum doulas, and informing the public of the benefits of doula care. I was excited to connect with Ana Paula Markel, an amazing doula and childbirth educator whom we took birthing classes from when I was pregnant.
5. Green Diaper Store – one of the members of HMN, Lisa Carey’s online cloth diaper store. She has a variety of quality products for all your cloth diapering needs. The best part is that Lisa lives locally to us, which is a huge plus in regards to no delivery charges and the carbon footprint!
6. Synthecore – another member of HMN, Michelle Starlin’s company that create workouts you can do at home which integrate your children into the activities and keep them where they should be, in your arms and close by. This is a very cool workout that I can’t wait to try with Andrik in his sling!
7. Sand Box Rebel - a very cool, hip clothing store for kids. Although sad to say I heard the store just recently closed but hopefully you can still purchase the clothes online! This is a very cool alternative clothing line that is made from organic and/or recycled materials. Andrik's nanny, Cindy has gotten several adorable punky style clothes for him that he always gets compliments on.
8. Agape – the amazing spiritual center that my family goes to. Although I didn’t get to see their booth, I was happily surprised to see their name listed on the exhibitors page!
So these were just a few of the exhibitors that we visited. There were so many that day that it was hard to visit each and every booth (although trust me, I tried)! What a good feeling though – to know that so many organizations, exhibitors and sponsors support such a wonderful expo. This is what the Familly Love Village is all about – creating the space to support each other, our children and our planet in the most conscious, gentle, natural and loving way.
Next up, the workshops! And you thought there was a plethora of exhibitors - wait till you see all the workshops the expo had in store for us that day! We were definitely in for a treat!