Earlier than you arrive at a music competition, you would possibly spend hours in an extended line of vehicles inching in direction of the bored parking attendants who manage heaps so massive they’re seen from low orbit. After strolling via the lengthy maze of autos, you’ll arrive at your first rubbish receptacle, maybe already piled excessive with plastic water bottles, every made with fossil fuels (about 8% of the world’s petrochemicals go to plastic), and most of which might have been recycled however received’t be. Recycling is dear — simply getting every little thing off the bottom and bagged is difficult sufficient — and so even more-sustainable aluminum cans are probably headed for the trash heap.
You would possibly stroll previous meals carts utilizing propane to grill meat shipped in from throughout the nation, previous an artwork set up of twinkling lights shining brilliant simply because, previous corporate-sponsored charging stations that ensure you by no means need to pocket your telephone. Between units, you may purchase a T-shirt which may not final two years earlier than its first gap, churned out in a frenzy of quick style, a part of a worldwide trade answerable for nearly 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Arrive early sufficient and also you would possibly be capable to hear the fixed growl of diesel energy mills — until it’s one of many fests related to a municipal energy grid, which 60% of the time within the US are powered by pure fuel or coal. As soon as the reveals begin, you’ll hear the performances lengthy earlier than you attain the phases, as the huge audio system are designed not only for up-close audio high quality, however to promote the goings-on from throughout the grounds, obliterating silence. Visually, the competition is simply as busy, and the headliners will probably be accompanied by huge projection screens, in addition to elaborate gentle units, usually blasting the stage even throughout daytime hours when the sunshine present can’t even be correctly seen.
Music festivals should not near the largest drivers of worldwide local weather change in a contemporary world constructed round vehicles, low cost garments, shipped meals, and 24/7 connectivity. However most main festivals are an orgy of emissions, and from entrance to exit practically each selection made favors short-term comfort over long-term sustainability. At present, a zero-emission competition is not possible. However with the assistance of motivated music followers, carbon impartial festivals are already changing into a actuality. So what do they like look? What sort of tradeoffs ought to followers anticipate? And what will we get in return?
We spoke with various specialists within the competition and environmental fields to assist reply these questions. There are numerous attainable approaches to carbon impartial music festivals, however all of them take into account just a few key concepts.