With Christmas and New Year’s celebration over, we can now look forward to spring festivals. The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival—or Coachella—is an A-list celebrity favourite. Lots of selfies, hippy designer clothes and vegan doughnuts make for perfect social media fodder.
Festivals are a chance to dance and party, but they’re also a chance to reconnect with your environment. A lot of people naturally means a lot of trash but also the potential to recycle. Coachella has taken the initiative for 10 years to educate attendees with fun events and hands-on activities to get them involved in environmental issues. The festival partners with the nonprofit organisation Global Inheritance to addresses current environmental and sustainability needs.
Coachella knows how to have good (clean) fun without costing the earth, and here’s how.
“Carpoolchella” ride-share initiative has been running for 10 years now. Carpoolers sharing with four or more passengers can display signs on their car for a chance to win lifetime passes to Coachella, VIP backstage passes and merchandise vouchers. Secret spotters ask drivers questions and winners are picked at random.
Reducing fossil-fuel emissions and Coachella for life—yes please!
2. Energy Playground
Swing, seesaw and cycle to juice up your devices. The Energy Playground pieces have been converted so that all your kinetic energy turns into power for a lithium ion battery called the Energy Well. The Playground allows people to see how much physical energy is required to produce power while having fun with slot cars, DJ sets and light towers. Power up your phones and bikes. Play hard for more power!
Plastic signs were replaced with wooden signs printed by Prints on Wood, which generates 100% of its energy from rooftop solar panels on its facility. For every order, Prints On Wood donates one square meter of rainforest to Cuipo, a lifestyle brand dedicated to preserving rainforests around the world.
4. Trashed—Art of Recycling
Over 45 artists were invited to decorate trash wheelie bins, resulting in an explosion of colour throughout the festival grounds. The bins were then donated to schools and museums after the festival.
Global Inheritance estimates that its Recycle Store, Recyclosaurus Rex art installation/trash receptacle and TRASHed concepts have reached 3 millions people at 107 events—that’s 6.6 million recyclables and enough saved material to make 1.3 millions shirts.
5. Recycling Store
Recycling can be beautiful and easy at Coachella. The “Recycling Store” encourages festival-goers to trade in bottles and cans for points, which can then be used for Coachella merchandise. At this store, the only currency is recyclables. The 10 for 1 Bottle Exchange is not just about picking up trash and receiving free water, but also reinforcing a positive experience within the Coachella community. Returned bottles can buy t-shirts, posters, sweatshirts, totes, refillable water bottles, and more. It’s never been cooler to recycle.
6. Polar bear dating
“Polar Bear Dating” invites participants to answer questions about climate change and take part in hands-on events to educate them about the environment. Answer questions on Coachella, life and climate change and the lucky ones can win a “date” with a polar bear, going behind the scenes with VIP passes and special access. You’ll even get picked up in a sweet ride—a golf cart reengineered to run off of sustainable energy, such as solar, wind or biodiesel.
And other festivals …
Other music festivals that support sustainable fun include Sunrise Celebration in the UK; Lightning in a Bottle (the “greenest festival in the US”), which features inspiring green workshops and guest speakers; and Norway’s pioneering Øyafestivalen festival, where all the electricity comes from sustainable sources and 70 percent of the waste is recycled.
See the 2018 lineup here, or book online for tickets. Coachella runs April 13–15 and 20–22—weekend two is usually easier to get tickets for. Try here for tickets to join the 100,000 or so festival revellers, and hopefully a tent or two!
(But what’s the real price of a weekend at Coachella?)
Written By: Adriane Rysz