Greenfest drives green agenda

Greenfest drives green agenda, By Mark Hinchliffe - 13th May 2008
(Credit: The Courier-Mail)

Two years ago, successful marketing director Colman Ridge opted out of the corporate world, sold his $90,000 Audi TT and is now organising Brisbane's first Greenfest.

Ridge, 42, of Brisbane, has pumped $250,000 of his own money into the October 10-12 festival in the Southbank forecourt.

"In the area I worked you come across new ideas constantly," he said.

"There are a lot of festivals going on with a bit of a green emphasis, but I have brought all those green ideas together with a cultural element in the one show."

Greenfest will be free to the public and a non-profit venture with funds raised for habitat protection and green education projects.

It will feature displays of green products, jobs, foods, power, habits and lifestyles, including practical exhibitions to encourage greener consumer preferences.

There will also be a grassroots culture and entertainment component of music and dance, speakers, film and photography.

But don't expect a macrame and hemp hippy festival. Most of the exhibits are mainstream.

"I respect what the hippies stand for but what we've put together is more inclusive and mainstream," he said.

A highlight will be a green motor show with displays of current production hybrid and diesel vehicles.

Next year, Ridge hopes to bring to Australia the Tesla and Venturi high-performance electric sports car.

"I want to show that the future of motoring can be green and still perform," said Ridge who now drives a Prius petrol-electric hybrid car.

"I'm the perfect guy to be involved in this; I was involved in marketing consumer products, now I'm marketing a change in habit for the planet."




Colman Ridge

Environmentalists and the environment