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Thursday, December 13, 2007

mindful holiday shopping

last month, while scanning the bulletin board at santa monica yoga, i came across a flyer for a volunteer opportunity in santa monica:

Volunteer for the Eco Gift Expo!

December 15-16, 2007
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

The Eco Gift Show is a shopping festival where 15,000 consumers and 150 great companies get together to make shopping and giving the most fun ever. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating with you there.

~ Best Gift Shopping Ever
~ Uplifting positive environment
~ Organic Food Court
~ Musicians, magicians, performers

Volunteers are needed for set up and for on-site show operations,
Volunteers must complete at least one 6-hour shift.

Volunteers will receive:
~ Free admission into Expo
~ Organic cotton Eco Gift staff t-shirt
~ Exclusive Eco Gift Expo Gift Bag

it sounded like a fair enough trade. in exchange for six hours of my time (which really wasn't too bad if i had nothing better to do), i would get free admission, a t-shirt, and a gift bag. if i found some items to buy, fantastic! if i didn't, at least i had a new shirt and a bag full of goodies i could hopefully use :)

i took down the information, stashed it in my purse, and eventually forgot about it...

that is, until i started seeing the gift fair plugged in almost every other newsletter i received. in time, i realized that this was no small-time event; there were some big-name businesses that had signed on to become a part of this first-ever eco-conscious shopping spree: dali mama, elephant magazine, energy muse, greenopia, inner waves organics, los angeles times, manduka, sacred sounds radio, spirit voyage, star 98.7, vespa, whole foods, whole life times, yoga journal, yoga tribe and culture, yogi tea, yogi times, plus many, many others. it was sounding more and more like something i wanted to go to, whether or not i got in for free. or even got that free t-shirt.

shortly after, i bumped into tommy rosen, eco gift expo founder, at the shakti fundraiser at power yoga west. when i told him that i was thinking of volunteering, he seemed so genuinely grateful for any help i could give.

the next thing i knew, i found myself signing up online to work the set-up shift on the evening of the 14th, which happens to be tomorrow night. needless to say, i probably won't be able to shop at that time, but with the free entry i'll be receiving, i'll be able to shop freely on saturday and/or sunday and not have to worry about having to attend to volunteer responsibilities.

i really hope i find a lot of good gifts to buy at the expo, especially since i haven't started my christmas shopping and there are only 12 days left before the big day!

by the way, the santa monica civic's located at 1855 main street, at the corner of main and pico, just down the street from city hall and the santa monica place mall.
parking is $8 (honestly, since almost all big blue bus routes have stops within walking distance from the venue, you're better off taking the bus).
tickets are $10.
expo hours are 9am to 8pm on saturday, dec 15th and 9am to 5pm on sunday, dec 16th.