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Lollapalooza Recap: Making the Green Grade
Sustainable Travels

Lollapalooza Recap: Making the Green Grade

Friendly Lolla worker picking up recylabels
Groovin to Passion Pit at Lollapalooza Bud Light Stage

I spent this past weekend blissed out listening to the vocal stylings of some of my favorite bands at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

There’s not many things I love more than live music so it was one those ideal summer getaways. The lineup included Passion Pit, Santigold, The Black Keys, Of Monsters and Men,  Jack White and Philly’s Dr. Dog.

So, how did the festival’s green efforts fare?

Check out the grades I awarded below:

Packaging: A The almighty wristband that served as festival goers ticket/3-day pass was a more sustainable choice than issuing multiple tickets. Without this wristband you were essentially screwed (Though it did feel a little freeing to tear that baby off on Sunday night.)

On a separate note, instead of bottled water vendors sold only boxed water.  While, it is still a much BETTER choice to carry a reusable water bottle the reality is the festival needed to provide an option for those who accidentally forgot their SIGGs at home.

Boxed water is a better alternative to traditional plastic water bottles as it’s made from 76% renewable trees. The wood used to manufacture the boxes is from certified, well managed forests. For more info visit boxed water is better.

Thirst stations: C Lollapalooza allowed patrons to bring in empty water bottles they were encouraged to fill at H2O thirst stations. This was a sustainable, practical solution. However, with 100,000 thirsty people hanging out in the hot sun there should have been more than just a few (I spotted 2) water stations! The lines were long, and though they moved fairly quickly this was an area that needs improvement. Had there been more water stations patrons wouldn’t have had to turn to buying their water.

Staffing: B+ As an environmental blogger of course I was stoked to see recycling staff… kind hearted (I imagine!) people roaming through the rowdy crowds and picking up the thousands of beer cans, boxed water and pizza crusts littering the fields. My only gripe? There was simply not enough of these folks. Unfortunately, Lollapalooza-goers get a D for their inability to walk to a trash or recycling can. But until the masses can get better I think that festivals need to be better staffed.

Vendors: B Green Street in Grant Park provided a reprieve from the music and crowds with an art market, mini farmers market, and info on festival environmental initiatives. Noteworthy vendors included eco-friendly designers Synergy Organic Clothing,  The Nature Conservancy, and Working Bikes Cooperative – a nonprofit gathering used bikes through out the MidWest and sending them to international bike projects.

Recycling Efforts: A+  I gotta say the sheer amount of recycling bins available was impressive. Every trash can in Grant Park was attached to a recycling bin which was convienent and made an almost mindless choice for people. They were virtually everywhere you looked – despite some folks being too lazy to use them.

Readers, have you hit up any festivals (music or otherwise) this summer? How did you feel about green efforts?

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

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