Are Green Festivals Bad for the Environment?


Green fairs and festivals seem to be popping up more frequently all over the country as a way to teach consumers about more eco-friendly lifestyles. However, festivals in themselves are inherently un-green, and activists are concerned about the copious waste and carbon emissions that these pubic events routinely generate. Such functions are being encouraged to “green their own act” by providing biodegradable flatware and compost bins, at least as a start.

Perhaps it’s mostly because I live in San Francisco, a progressively eco-conscious city, but I’ve noticed that many fairs and festivals of all kinds are promoting green. The recent Marin County Fair in San Rafael, California brought in environmental lifestyle expert and EcoSalon friend, Danny Seo, as the keynote speaker, and the event featured an alternative fuel road show as well as several educational platforms and seminars. It goes without saying that the weeklong fair took efforts to generate as little waste as possible using aforementioned methods.

On the flip side, these large crowd-drawing events are also great for vendors to spread the word about new environmentally friendly and sustainable products. For example, Park City Ice Water has created a solution to bottled water packaging and the company is eager to introduce consumers to their energy-saving, waste-reducing GlacierPaks.

Call me a realist if you must, but festivals and large public events aren’t going to go away anytime soon, so it’s critical to find increasingly better ways to limit the amount of waste they produce and continue to promote greener practices. I have to admit, I’m a little skeptical that this will happen entirely, but any progress is something to be glad for, right?

Image: tumsdebab

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