Coachella: Music Going Green?
In April, the first signs of Spring start to appear—and with that, music festival season is upon us! To kick things off, Coachella—one of the largest music festivals in the world—is back after a two-year hiatus. With so much anticipation and last minute changes happening, there are bound to be a few surprises. And whether it’s your first rodeo or you’re several years into the festival circuit, there is so much to love about coming together to see your favorite artists take the stage in the open air. But we should also consider how our environment is being impacted by these large-scale events. The Burning Man festival, which is small scale compared to Coachella, released an estimated 27,000 tons of CO2 in 2006, and since then these festivals have more than doubled in size. For example, if Coachella produced CO2 at the same rate, it would more than triple that amount over the two festival weekends. We must also think about the excess waste generated by these events, which is rarely recycled. Even the overflow of glitter that make us sparkle adds to the pollution that eventually makes its way into our oceans and waterways.
Sk*p is proud to report that Coachella is leading the charge to make music festivals more sustainable. With For Our Planet, Coachella has committed to launching environmental initiatives for the 2022 festival to account for emissions, save water, and divert waste.
Coachella promises to do their part first by minimizing single use plastics—they will donate all unutilized goods to local community partners—and deploy a “Waste Gang” to increase recycling and composting. All food services are required to have compostable service ware, and excess food will be donated to the Gailee Center. Coachella even found a way to make recycling more exciting through the Trashed initiative, where talented artists can turn ordinary recycling bins into works of art. More importantly, as one of the largest music festivals in the world, Coachella has a responsibility to set the sustainable stage for other music festivals to follow. By speaking up about the impacts of climate change and sharing best practices—which it has promised to do— Coachella can educate others and lead a movement for change in the industry.
As participants, we are not off the hook in making a change. We can reduce our footprint by bringing a reusable bottle and utilizing shuttle services or carpooling for transportation. Camping is always popular when festivals are spread out over several days. Through the initiative Carpoolchella,attendees are encouraged to fill their car with four or more people to win prizes such as VIP tickets. In addition, attendees must properly dispose of waste by following Coachella’s recycle and compost signs. Finally, even though it’s fun to dress up, try and reuse clothes you already have in your closet; and, if you need to sparkle, consider using biodegradable glitter or eco-friendly body paint.
If you’re attending Coachella or another upcoming music festival, learn more about how to be an agent for change right here. Remember to have fun and enjoy the music, but not at the expense of our planet!