Everyone knows festivals aren’t the most sustainable public gathering out there. It’s no surprise that thousands of people gathering in a confined space with an excess of plastic, electricity, sewage, and all the other forms of waste you can think of, is not going to be great for the environment. While we’re not trying to harp on anyone’s parade, there is something to be admired in a festival like Pickathon, which goes above and beyond to make sure it’s impact is minimal. Here’s some things Pickathon is doing to make their festival more friendly on all fronts:
Since 2010 Pickathon has been committed to eliminating all plastic at the festival. Pickathon eliminated all single-use cups, bottles, dishes, and utensils, meaning it’s the only outdoor music festival in the US to minimize single-use cups, dishware, and utensils.
Recycling & Renewable
Pickathon’s recycling and compost staff is made up of volunteers who spend most of the festival rounding up everything that can be either recycled or composted. Obviously they aren’t the only festival to offer recycling, but their priority in making sure that all waste is being properly disposed of is unprecedented. In addition they also use a renewable energy source, solar panels, which provide the festival with it’s power. Supposedly the energy generated by the panels during the year offsets all of the energy used during the entire festival, including electricity used by vendors. Not to mention all their generators are solar.
While this might seem obvious, water is actually a huge commodity at outdoor festivals, often times people at Burning Man pack in cases upon cases of drinking water just to have stock for the whole festival. At Pickathon there is plenty of free drinking water throughout Pendarvis Farm. Just don’t forget to bring your own containers. Kleen Kanteen also sponsors the festival and gives every attendant a signature Pickathon cup to use while at the festival.
While yes rules might not always be fun, sometimes they’re necessary, especially if you’re trying to minimize your impact you’re going to need some serious restrictions. Pickathon has a handful of rules which all contribute to their sustainability efforts in their own way. For instance all alcohol must be bought within the festival and while this might obviously benefit the providers it’s also an easy way to control the waste. In addition, it’s illegal to destroy any native plants, pets are not allowed, smoking is designated to small areas, and there are no firearms, fireworks, or fires.