Sustainable tips and practices were the last thing on my mind last week when I spontaneously purchased a ticket to Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. It was a last minute decision that I would NOT regret. I was frolicking through the magical, music-filled polo grounds, admiring the art bursting with color and jamming out to music, when I realized something:Coachella is about great music, yes, but they are also a progressive leader in sustainability practices. Also known as "ECOachella."
I noticed several fun initiatives that encourage festival goers to actively participate eco-friendly, sustainability practices. Festival organizers have partnered with Global Inheritance and made being eco-friendly incredibly easy and enjoyable, redefining the nature of recycling, reducing waste, and helping the environment as a whole.
Not only is the name an incredible play on words,but it is an engaging way to encourage attendees to lower carbon gas emissions by driving together. In order to qualify for a prize, concert-goers must travel in a group of four or more and place a piece of paper on their window stating they are part of “Carpoolchella” (http://coachellavalley.com/carpoolchella/). Participants get creative decorating their cars in such ingenious fashions. Winners are then chosen at random and given valuable prizes such as VIP passes and merchandise.
While at the festival, attendees can pick up any bottles and cans (there are plenty because it is so darn hot) and can trade them in at the Recycling Store in return for Coachella swag, like t-shirts, stickers, bags, and posters. It is super simple to grab a trash bag after a performance is over, stand there and load it up with hundreds of bottles given to you by quenched guests passing by. One of my friends at the concert collected enough bottles on the first day to be upgraded to VIP! Not only was he helping the environment while enjoying the concert, he was rewarded for his efforts.Coachella has got the reward initiative idea down in an exciting and engaging way.
Trashed-Art of Recycling
Celebrating 14 years this year, roughly 45 artists are selected after submitting their artwork of creatively decorated recycle bins.
Not only are these cans incredibly diverse and full of detail – they spread the message of recycling in an artistic way that connects with festival attendees. Coachella has successfully found a way to captivate millennials and concert-goers in a way that makes recycling cool.
In an effort to be conscious of their waste on the planet, Coachella has switched all of their event maps and set times to wooden signs. Printing on wooden signs has proved to be incredibly efficient and much better for the environment compared to plastics or metal signs. They also have over 100 solar panels at the festival as well. The company who prints them, Prints on Wood, plant a tree for every order placed!
Again, Coachella doesn’t disappoint with their play on words! This giant crowd-pleasing dinosaur is a centerpiece of the festival, consuming many of the empty bottles and cans. Who knew you could take a selfie with something that holds your trash? Recyclosaurus Rex is another Coachella innovation getting attendees to pay attention to recycling.
Coachella has not only mastered the festival experience but has created several ways to creatively engage and remind attendees that the environment matters!