How to Get Your Green Groove on at Summer Music Festivals
I’m prepping to head out to the Sasquatch Music Festival this weekend and enjoy three days of music and more on the sunnier side of the Cascade Mountains.
With 25,000 people converging on the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA you can bet the collective ecological footprint can be major on this special place. Many festivals are greening up their acts (at the ‘Squatch, for example, there’s rewards for carpooling and sponsored carbon offsets) but summer festival-goers can take a few extra measures to be happy, healthy and eco-friendly while we get down.
Staying hydrated is crucial. Plan to treat your own drinking water instead of buying the ubiquitous bottled water you’re gonna want when your lungs are parched from screaming in delight. At many festivals, no unsealed bevvies are allowed inside – bring an empty bottle and treat water from potable sources. Add some hydration assistants (link to post) to make it more palatable and easier for your body to absorb.
If the venue allows, bring in your own food. At festivals past, this has been key to my survival. You eat far better food for far cheaper, while cutting out the extra waste created by on-site vendors. (Disclaimer: current food vendor options at the Gorge are limited to Dominoes and plastic nachos.) This year, my crew and I are rocking falafel sandwiches with homemade baba ganouj.
Find out if the venue has on-site recycling and if not, pack it back home to your curbside bin. Also be sure to contact the organizers and express your concern if they don’t – do it respectfully, but do it – this is how change happens, people!
Carpool! It’s cheaper and way more fun. Plus you can plan to pack a big cooler and share on food costs too. Check the festival’s website for message boards to hook up a ride or add passengers to your party wagon.
Dress in layers for the potential gamut of weather conditions. For Sasquatch, I’ll be prepped for 90 degrees (like last year) as well as the incidence of wind, rain and cold temps (like years past). No matter what the conditions, outdoor festivals necessitate sunscreen as you are out in the elements all day – here’s some recommendations for great eco-friendly sun protection.
Don’t take flyers and swag that assorted vendors and sponsors are handing out, and politely explain why. If sponsors and advertisers understand that their target audience doesn’t jiving with the printed goods, they won’t bring them next year.
Don’t use partying as an excuse to trash your campsite and piss off your fellow campers. Collect your beer bottles (or kombucha bottles, if that’s more your thing) and use quiet hours to rest. Especially you guys who are going to be camping next to me.
Keep your body rockin’ – be sure to stay loose and stretch, move around a lot and don’t let your glutes start to cramp from holding your ground so tightly. Jockeying for a position close to your new favorite band can wreak havoc on the body.
Wear good shoes for the countless hours you are about to spend on uneven terrain, dancing and jumping, and ultimately walking miles between stages, restrooms and camp.
Bring hand sanitizer to save on water and to wipe away the heebie-jeebies when you exit the Honeybuckets.
Reduce your trash output even more: skip the beer garden and smuggle in a refillable container of your own booze...did I say that? Not if security asks, I didn’t.
Most of all…
Let loose, smile and have fun – like this guy did at last year’s Sasquatch Fest.
Your happiness is contagious and helps fuel the collective joy!