Eco-Friendly, Local to Austin

SXSW Eco: Getting extra crunchy [Part 1]

I’m a pretty crunchy person to begin with. I can’t look at a big tree and not want to hug it.(Example A: Mt. Rainier National Park)


So when I had the opportunity to attend SXSW Eco for work, I was more than excited to go for my own personal growth and interest as well. The SXSW Eco Festival attracts a lot of different sectors to come together and exchange ideas for making the world greener and less wasteful. The feel of this conference is SO incredibly different from Interactive, and that’s a good thing.

Some presentations discussed ways to raise awareness and solve problem areas, like toxic dump sites and the disappearance of bees. Others made you feel excited to be in nature and marvel over the many creatures that inhabit our world. And many presentations talked about the business of being green and how companies and cities are cleaning up their acts.

BUT, before I could start my adventures at Eco, I needed to pump milk. (This is the downside of breastfeeding; always lugging that darned pump whenever I’m away from the baby.) I found my way to the 3rd floor, where the Mother’s Room was located.


I was expecting bare bones accommodations. Maybe just a curtain and an outlet. To my surprise, it was well stocked with milk storage bags, Luna bars, a nursing cover, hand sanitizer and more! They even had manual pumps available, I guess for if you forgot a part to your electric pump and were desperate.


I was especially delighted to see a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. That was so helpful when I was first getting the hang of things. I read it cover to cover.

For mamas who brought babies (I only saw one woman with maybe a 1-year-old who could toddle), they had a changing pad, diapers, Honest Diaper Rash Cream and wipes. They could’ve gone with Desitin or Butt Paste or any other regular brand of diaper cream, but this was SXSW Eco, after all. I didn’t recognize the brand of diapers, but I’d guess they were one of the eco-friendlier ones and not Huggies or Pampers.

The exhibition hall featured more green products. Now this is where my hoarding tendency usually rears its ugly head. But, I kept it to items I knew I would use, including a big tube of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste.


And then I was super excited to get a sample of Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Powder. I’ve been obsessively reading about getting our cloth diapers extra clean. Apparently, I hadn’t been using the right ratio of detergent to water for the load of diapers we wash every 2-3 days. While I’ve been using Tide (and it works great!), it doesn’t hurt to look at some friendlier products as well. I’ll have to ask the cloth diapering Facebook group if they’ve ever tried this one.


Besides the freebies and lovely accommodations for mamas, there were some definite programming highlights to Eco. Stay tuned for Part 2 for my favorite parts of the fest.


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