We had a chance to escape the office yesterday and attend the one-day Green Products Expo at the Marriott Marquis hotel in midtown, where more than 70 companies exhibited a wide spectrum of products and services.
Granted, not all were suitable for the supermarket channel (we skipped the displays for formaldehyde-free plywood and recycled flip-flop animal sculptures), but several categories were well-represented.
The first was bottled water — rather, stainless steel water bottles. The containers came in all shapes and sizes, and one even sported its own portable filter. There was also a focus on eco-cleaners for both home and laundry (a company highlighted an environmentally friendly car wax).
And, reusable bags are still a big draw. There were colorful totes made from plastic bottles, bamboo lunch sacks and and a small outfit founded by two entrepreneurial sisters who, with a friend, developed an entire bag-in-bag-in-bag “system” of ventilated, insulated and hauling bags (Whole Foods Market was among the team’s first retail customers).
Perhaps my favorite, though, was the firm that helps companies develop sustainability offerings. For Publix Super Markets, they take old plastic bags and waste wrap from store receptacles and turn them into handheld shopping baskets. Similarly, they’ve shredded and done some green hocus-pocus with old soda bottles and created a foam bed pillow. Yep, a pillow. The display sample I felt was a bit firm, but certainly, good enough to sleep on.