I grew up with a father who was absolutely nuts about recycling and paying attention to our effect on the environment. I remember him taking stuff out of the trash and lecturing me, and now today, I find myself doing the same thing to my roommates. I guess I’m glad he was so nuts about it because it really is important. Everyone should be mindful of the waste we create in the world, and it’s not something that should be forgotten at a festival.
I don’t think I can ever really explain how much I love Lightning in a Bottle -- it’s because of a million little reasons -- and one of those reasons is their dedication to bettering our planet. I know that not everyone had a Dad like mine (shout out to my roommates for being open to learning from me), and I know that a lot of new people head to LiB each year, so I want to take some time to share with you some ways you can be more green at LiB, and at other festivals you attend this year!
1. Get some solar lights.
Instead of packing batteries for your flashlight, consider investing in a solar charged flashlight. I have a great one that doubles as a phone charger as well. We also use solar charged string lights around our tent for the night time. This is definitely a more green way to stay lit!
LiB does their part to reduce as much waste as they can with LED stage lightning as much as possible, and compact fluorescent bulbs in all other areas. They also use solar lights too where they can!
2. Pack a reusable bottle.
Stay away from glass, as you don’t want to risk it breaking on the grounds, but a good thermos to keep water in all day is super important. I usually have one big one back at the campsite so that late at night I have water ready, and a smaller one to carry around all day. You can also bring a hydration pack if you don't want to carry a water bottle the festival.
LiB has been giving free water at their event since 2006! It’s a huge trend now at other festivals now too. This water refill initiative creates zero waste, zero shipping, zero fuel and eliminates plastic packaging and toxic chemicals from leaching into the water.
3. Unpack before you bring in.
I’m referencing all the packaging that comes with products that might be coming into the festival with you. Think about everything you’re bringing, and remove all the packaging you can before coming to the festival. There is not a lot of space for waste at LiB, and if you have any trash at the end of the festival in huge trash bags, you may have to pay a fee for it to be disposed of.
If you remove all your packaging before heading in (and properly recycle/dispose of it) you’ll be making huge steps! This also saves you the trouble of not having scissors or a box cutter handy at the festival to actually unpack these items. Keep in mind to recycle all cardboards from tent boxes and beer boxes, and remove all your new clothing tags as well!
When you do have waste, the LiB Green Team is ready to assist you in how to properly dispose of it. Check which bin to place your waste into before tossing it.
4. Reduce your micro-waste.
This is something also known as MOOP, matter out of place. It’s really important since we are visiting a place that is filled with nature that we leave no trace behind. The smallest of things can be eaten by animals, bugs and plants and cause damage to their life cycles. With the trends of sequins, glitter and body jewels, it’s super important that we all look into ways that we can be more environmentally friendly with these trends. iHeartRaves has a whole collection of biodegradable glitter which is a great choice to make with your glitter.
All around the festival, the Green Team will be picking up bits and pieces as they go, but you can also do your part and if you see a bit of waste, from a big piece to a small gem, pick it up and throw it away.
This is literally one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your impact on the festival. Carpool with your friends and save on the emissions. This will also help you reduce the amount of stuff you bring to the festival so that you’re reasonable when you pack. I know I always have a tendency to overpack!
If these ideas sparked your interest, there’s also some lectures at LiB you can attend to learn more about how you can build a more sustainable life at home. I have enjoyed these in the past because there is always something new to learn! Here is the list of relevant lectures this year, and click here to read more about each topic. There’s of course more than this, and many other topics will touch on the subjects of sustainability and living green as well.
- Regeneration: Hope Beyond Sustainability - Finian Makepeace & Ryland Engelhart
- Everything You Need to Know About Climate Change - Andrew Callaway Ellis, MS
- Indigenous Climate Change Solutions from the Frontlines - Eriel Deranger
- Saving our Oceans Through Seafood - Peter Adame
- What the H%#@ is Permaculture - Bryan Arturo
Lightning in a Bottle is taking place in Bradley, CA (about halfway between SF & LA) on Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-28, 2018. Grab your LIB tickets before they sell out! They're on the final ticket tier!