10 Festivals that Lean Green

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Fri August 30, 2013 | 00:00 AM

Kermit was wrong...these days, it is easy being green. Some of the world’s biggest arts, music, and lifestyle festivals represent the vanguard of how a gathering of humanity doesn’t have to mean tens of thousands of discarded plastic bottles. Transformation is in, and here’s our shortlist of festivals that are going out of their way to reduce their footprint. For more info on green festivals, go to  agreenerfestival.com .

Lollapalooza (US)

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Photo by Elizabeth Harper

There was a time when the only green happening at this festival was Green Day, the band. But, now they have a Green Street Art Market, a Lolla Cares way of giving back, and a collection of environmental efforts that includes Camelbak filling stations and carbon offsets provided by Green Mountain Energy.

Beloved (US)

This sacred arts and music festival, popular with the transformational crowd, is proving that a “sustainable festival” is not an oxymoron. The intent is to give back to the gorgeous Oregon coastal mountain range where the festival is located. This event defines hippie life in the 21st century.

Latitude (UK)

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Photo by Danny North

This midsummer music festival in Suffolk is the only UK festival to receive a three-star Industry Green rating for festivals, a far cry from how music festivals have historically left way too big of a trace on the landscape.

Envision (Costa Rica)

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Photo by Daniel Zetterstrom

Envision is one of those festivals that walks the walk when it comes to ecological measures. Its location offers a natural limitation to its size and ensures that it remains sustainable for all parties—including the community.

Lightning in a Bottle (US)

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Photo by Art Gimbel

The Green Report for many festivals is all about how much money they’re making, but for this lifestyle festival, their Green Report impressively outlines all that they do including providing free filtered water for all attendees as well as creating stages and art from rapidly renewable and reused materials such as bamboo, rattan, and trash.

Boom (Portugal)

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Photo Courtesy of Boom Festival

This well-respected music festival organized around a summer full moon celebration believes that we are a tribe interconnected with the sacred earth and “boomers” (sort of like “burners” at Burning Man) are vested with the responsibility of helping the world understand the oneness that connects us.

Symbiosis Gathering (US)

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Photo by Art Gimbel

With a location that shifts around the Western US, this gathering of mad scientists and glad dance-aholics is dedicated to creating peak experiences through a synaesthesia of art, music, transformational learning and sustainable living, all seen through a green lens.

Øya (Norway)

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Photo by Øya Festival

This summer music festival that takes advantage of the 20 hours of sunlight has a strong environmental program as you’d expect from a Scandinavian country that is in trouble if global warming accelerates. Ten years ago, way before most festivals, they created an environmental guidebook for festival producers.

Bonnaroo (US)

$1 per ticket goes toward permanent sustainable site improvements to the Tennessee farm where this music festival is located, in order to reduce Bonnaroo’s carbon footprint. They’re serious about carsharing to the festival too, so much so that you get a better campsite if you hitch a ride with someone else.

Wanderlust (US, Canada, Chile)

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Photo by Ali Kaukas

With eight weekend yoga and lifestyle-oriented festivals and several day-long Yoga in the City events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, Wanderlust has become the green festival standard for sustainability–both for the planet and yourself.