Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rock. Roll. 'N Recycle.

(Description: Me @ Lolla's Green Street. Please note my new reusable bag I purchased at Lolla! A practical souvenir created by Whole reads "Rock & Recycle." The 'recycle arrows' are guitars. Loveeee.)

To set the, the boyfriend, Tom and his lover carpooled from good old Michigan to Chi-town.

While the music was expectedly excellent (Radiohead and Girltalk being my highlights), I was pleasantly surprised by the festival's effort to go green.

How Lolla went green:

Green Street: The coolest and most bad-ass green thang there was Green Street--a little market area filled with strictly green trinkets. They had Whole Foods giving out free Cliff Bars, ice cream and organic tortilla chips. Plus there were the myriad of fun places selling fair trade fashion like Autonomieproject, Greenheartshop and Mata Traders. But my favorite one there was Revive because I fell in love with some of their bags (like the clutch made of pop tabs, the tote made from recycled water bags by women in Ghana and the wristlet made in Mexico from candy wrapper).

Good Eats: All the food vendors were supposedly organic and local. But one place totally worthy of mentioning was The Bleeding Heart Bakery, which sold Honeydew Limeade, iced coffee, cookies and cupcakes....yummmm. The guy running the station told me it was the only completely organic bakery in the U.S.

Schwaaaag: If you collected loads of water bottles and plastic beer cups lying around, like 5 or 10 pounds worth, you could trade it in at a station to get free stuff like t-shirts and reusable bags. And there was also the super green staff who were walking around doing the dirty work--collecting recyclables from us slobs while rockin' organic tees.

The BeGreen Fan Tag: These stickers were sold prior to the concert and onsite: a $5 donation bought renewable energy credits from sources like wind power to help "neutralize" or offset some of the very large carbon footprints attending the concert. They said the $5 investment was equivalent to something like not driving 757 miles or not flying 1,700 miles.

Styrofoam BANNED: All food and drink was served via paper or compostable plates.

Use of biodiesel for energy: All generators and light towers ran on it.

Paper-less: TP, food napkins, marketing crap etc. all made from recycled paper.

And so on...however, the greenness of the festival definitely had its critics, like this dude(click link to read his negativity on the matter). Perhaps to somebody who has been to multiple green events or someone who is married to the environment, the festival's attempt to go green didn't seem like much--sure, maybe it felt like an "afterthought" rather than a primary goal. But from an average person's perspective (say from somebody like myself), the green felt there--more so then I would have expected.

You think festivals, you think trash--pounds and pounds (times thousands of pounds) of trash. You think Lollapalooza, and you still think of a trashed park. But at least some of it was biodegradable, recyclable and organic. Right?

Original here

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