Jacinda Ballantyne, an “under thirty” electrical engineer, took a summer vacay at Tennessee music festival and lifestyle experience Bonnaroo (“where happy campers live, sleep, and play in blissful harmony like it’s permanent recess.”). It was satisfying to her music loving and planet loving self. She wrote the following, and gave us permission to publish it:
I just went to Bonnaroo music festival and want to share some of the ways they encouraged sustainability there. It was a great model of how to run a large event with thousands of people and still minimize waste!
1. Everywhere they had a trash bin there were also recycling and compost bins. Volunteers stood near the bins and informed people which bin they should use. (If I ever go back I think I’d like to be one of those volunteers!) And all the paper plates and cups were compostable!
2. They had water bottle refill stations scattered throughout the grounds to encourage people to join the “refill revolution” and refill their reusable bottles instead of buying plastic.
3. A discount was also offered on adult beverages if you purchased a “refill revolution” souvenir cup and used that every time you got another drink.
4. They gave each camper a blue recycling bag as well as a trash bag to use at the campsites.
5. There were solar powered charging stations for people to charge their phones since access to electricity was limited. (My phone died so many times but I found that the charging stations were a great way to make friends ?)
Overall I was very impressed with the effort they took to be green. I loved the saying on their signs: “recycle what you can, reduce what you can’t, and reuse what you’ve got.”