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07/27/2009

Green Festivals: Helpful or Harmful?

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Festivall The word festival may not strike one's green-thinking mind as sustainable; picturing tons of waste from food and drink, paper flyers handed out nonchalantly and CO2 released into the atmosphere as thousands of people drive to the gathering.

However, many festivals are now backed by awesome festival-greening companies like Firefly, which provides festivals with solar energy, Clean Vibes, premiere waste manager for festivals, and Green Mountain for carbon and travel offsets. By taking huge initiatives to leave no environmental impact, all festivals - from music to Earth Day - inspire people to reduce their own footprint. The fact that big gatherings like these attempt to leave no trace pales attendees' own efforts or motivates even bigger lifestyle changes.

Though the details of green festivals may be questionably un-green, getting people together, with setting a sustainable example as a purpose is nevertheless a good thing. Forward-thinking attendees feel the pressure to make the event a contribution to the environment, not another strain on reducing their ecological footprint.

These "un-green" details - the plasticware, the littering, the travel arrangements - are changing substantially. Most green festivals have ride-share programs, recycling initiatives or super-convenient recycle bins, and employ biodegradeable "plastic"-ware and plates that can be composted right with the food scraps left on them.

Some environmentally-inspired or eco-conscious festivals to attend:

  • Lollapalooza, Chicago
  • Rothbury, Michigan
  • Green Festivals, U.S.

For more green news from RTM, visit the Planet Driven Section.

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