This past weekend marked one of my favorite annual events: the Coachella Valley Music Festival. This year marks my 4th time attending, and while I’m as avid an enthusiast as ever, I’ve learned to look at almost everything through green colored glasses of sustainability. As much as I love Coachella, I have to face the music and admit: this festival just isn’t green. Most events like this aren’t; the energy expended to power the production and the waste generated by so many people is always a concern. That being stated, I was pleased to see that the Coachella organizers did have sustainability in mind when they planned the festival attractions, and there were a number of interesting and educational eco-themed exhibits. Here were a few of my favorites:
Oasis Water Bar
The Oasis Water Bar was an educational and interactive exhibit that playfully engaged festival goers with information about global water issues as they wandered between stages. The bar served up a full menu of shots, which included not only local and imported tap waters, but also exotic options like glacial, hot spring, sewer, and Moonshine Secret Sauce. The “prices” on the menu were determined by factors such as the difficulty of filtration, the abundance of the source globally, and how far it had to travel to reach Coachella. I sampled glacier water, one of the most energetically expensive offerings on the menu, and let me tell you, it has nothing on my SD tap.
TRASHed: Art of Recycling
TRASHed: Art of Recycling is an educational art campaign that aims to engage individuals in recycling efforts. Everyday recycling bins are made over into playful works of color that catch the eye and hopefully entice festival goers to ditch their empty water bottles in the bin, rather than on the ground. Notable individuals who have redesigned a TRASHed can include Blink-182 and Hunter S. Thompson. After Coachella the artful bins are donated to California schools.
Furthermore, the TRASHed Recycling Centers at the festival turned your empty water bottles and cans into currency! Recycle enough and you could score not only fresh cold water bottles, but shirts, posters, and other cool merchandise.
Started back in 2007, Carpoolchella is a commuter incentive program that encourages Coachellans to travel a little greener by carpooling to the festival. If four happy-go-lucky festival goers share one vehicle and display “CARPOOLCHELLA” somewhere on their vehicle, they have the opportunity to win VIP passes for life!
All of these sustainably themed attractions were sponsored by Global Inheritance, a non-profit organization that develops creative campaigns to educate people about global issues.
Influential green celebs, politicians, activists and orgs … celebrating Earth Day … an acknowledgment of some our favorite living legends and such … who are some of yours?
- Audubon Society – because we love all things birds
- Ed Begley, Jr. – because he’s everywhere
- NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg – because he really “gets it”
- Jeff Bridges – actor/musician and founder of End Hunger Network
- Former Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago – for making Chicago one of America’s greenest cities
- Leonardo DiCaprio – because he takes his green seriously
- Dr. Sylvia Earle – author, oceanographer, and founder of Mission Blue and the Sylvia Earle Alliance
- Al Gore – despite whatever you may think of him today, he reactivated the Green Movement
- Ryan Gosling – animal rights activist and all-around green guy
- Adrian Grenier – from “Alter Eco” on Planet Green, to co-founder of SHFT.com
- Grist – the best in environmental news, commentary and advice
- Daryl Hannah – doesn’t mind going to the slammer in order to support her green causes
- Inhabitat & Ecouterre – green design mavens, highlighting sustainability trends & issues
- Bill McKibben & 350.org – an icon among the highest echelon of green activists & gurus
- Natural Resources Defense Council – in the trenches, fighting to save the planet
- Nature Conservancy – classy environmentalists and conservationists
- Brad Pitt – to the rescue in New Orleans, (NOLA) and supporter of green building initiatives
- Rainforest Alliance – fighting to save our ecosystem & planet from utter destruction
- Mark Ruffalo – tirelessly fighting for a ban on hydrofracking
- Michael Pollan – food writer and activist
- Robert Redford – indie film activist and leader in the green movement for decades
- Sierra Club – around since 1892, one of the most powerful grassroots environmental champions
- Marina Silva – Brazilian environmental activist and leader of the Brazilian Sustainability Network
- Treehugger – seminal green blog
- Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd – fighting to save the world’s marine wildlife
heart-shaped island photo via shutterstock.com
Earth Day is coming… our latest roundup of annotated eco news.
KOR unveiled its latest innovation , the Nava: a sexy and convenient reusable water bottle for those seeking an alternative to expensive, bottled water in plastic containers. Nava contains its own replaceable filter that lasts 3 months under normal use. KOR estimates that by using the Nava a consumer can replace 300 disposable bottles and save up to $400 in bottled water purchases. With Americans consuming and disposing of 20 billion plastic bottles each year – only 25% of which are recycled – the need for alternatives is greater than ever.
Innovation: Nava’s filter is made from renewable coconut shells, widely recognized as the most effective material for carbon filtration. After harvesting, the shells are converted to activated carbon using a proprietary process that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike coal, which takes millions of years to form and may contain heavy metals, coconut is a renewable and health-safe resource. Nava’s filter has been independently tested to exceed NSF 42 standards for chlorine taste and odor removal.
- Nava’s ergonomic mouthpiece is the result of over a dozen prototypes.
- Optimized water flow – Nava’s filter system was carefully designed to make drinking feel natural. Unlike other bottles, drinking from Nava doesn’t require squeezing, biting or heavy sucking . You sip naturally as you would from a straw.
- Hands-free and splash proof – Nava features a flip top push-button cap. Perfect for driving, working out or other situations where your hands are tied up and you want quick, splash-free hydration.
- Foolproof filter replacement – Nava is the first bottle with its own online filter subscription service. (more…)