Event increases on-site sustainability practices, local partnerships
Rock the Green presented by Veolia Environmental Services will raise the benchmark for eco-friendly music festivals at the second annual event on Saturday, September 15, at Veterans Park in Milwaukee, Wis. A world-class concert – featuring Third Eye Blind, Metric, Switchfoot, Morning Parade, Imagine Dragons, and Atlas Genius – will set the stage for an interactive sustainability experience featuring green practices and technologies that cannot be found at other large-scale music festivals.
“We look forward to once again engaging attendees on the different ways we can minimize our collective environmental impact,” said Lindsay Stevens Gardner, founder and executive director, Rock the Green. “We’re thrilled to have the support of these internationally-recognized bands, as well as FM 102.1, to set the stage for a day of helping to build a greener community.”
This year, Rock the Green continues its support for local music with the addition of a side stage featuring local Milwaukee artists, including I’m Not a Pilot, Evan Christian, Crooked Keys, Fever Marlene, and Ikarus Down. The stage’s sound and lights will be powered by bicycle pedal power supplied by Power by the People.
Also new in 2012, Rock the Green will utilize a paperless ticket option through a partnership with Eventbrite. Electronic tickets will save hundreds of reams of paper and thousands of dollars in manufacturing resources. To encourage attendees to utilize paperless tickets, Rock the Green will offer exclusive express entry for fans who present their QR code ticket on their smartphone.
Rock the Green will also introduce a new Eco-Champions area to showcase the missions of local nonprofit pioneers in sustainability to educate attendees on ways to build a more environmentally friendly community. These nonprofits will receive free booth space and power.
Raising the bar on near-zero waste efforts
Rock the Green exceeded its near-zero waste goals at the inaugural event in 2011, sending just 440 pounds of garbage, the equivalent of just 10 traditional trashcans, to the landfill.
Veolia Environmental Services will again take an active role in on-site waste composting and recycling with its innovative, color-coded recycling system at waste reclamation stations throughout the grounds. Volunteers from the company will aid attendees in disposing of their by-products in four bins labeled for Compostables, Food and Organic, Mixed Recyclables, and Trash. Trash bins will be provided only for items guests bring to the event from home. Nothing provided to guests at Rock the Green will produce waste.
“In 2011, Veolia Environmental Services was proud to have helped Rock the Green set a new standard for eco-friendly music festivals,” said Jim Long, president and chief executive officer of Veolia’s Solid Waste division for North America. “In 2011, we were able to reduce, reuse or recycle 92 percent of waste at the event, and this year we will strive to exceed those numbers.”
Transportation options reduce motor vehicles traveling to the event
Rock the Green will influence guests with eco-friendly practices before they enter the festival grounds. All guests arriving by bike will have access to a free bike valet, and Milwaukee Bicycle Collective will provide free bicycle tune-ups to those who ride in for the event.
Additionally, an online ride-share program through ZimRide.com will provide carpooling options and parking discounts will be available to guests arriving in groups of four or more.
Increased partners in sustainability amplify on-site experience
Rock the Green will achieve its heightened near-zero waste goals this year with additional on-site sustainable practices and the use of renewable energy to minimize the concert’s carbon footprint.
Local food and beverage partners will share eco-friendly stories and locally grown ingredients. Vendors will provide guests with sustainable and healthy food options served on compostable plates and napkins.
To eliminate food waste from vendors and attendees, InSinkErator will supply stainless steel sink units with commercial disposers for food leftovers. Veolia Environmental Services transport the food matter to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), where it will be converted to an organic fertilizer. The fertilizer will be returned to the earth at Veterans Park to complete a recycling process that is a festival first and unique to Rock the Green.
Additionally, The Campus Kitchens Project of Marquette University, a student-powered hunger relief organization, will recover usable food from Rock the Green’s vendors. The food will be combined and prepared into nutritious meals, which will then be provided to local nonprofit organizations that serve the hungry.
Signage on the grounds will also be eco-friendly. High-density polyethylene banner material donated by HP Eco-Solutions (HP) will minimize raw material consumption and reduce the carbon footprint of the signage by more than 80 percent. To further reduce those numbers, Rock the Green reuses as many of the banners as possible. Big Systems, who will donate the printing of the banners, will use HP’s large format sign take-back program to recycle any signage that cannot be reused.
All guests will receive a complimentary, BPA-free water bottle, which can be refilled by Badger Meter employee volunteers at fresh water stations throughout the day at no charge. Water flow will be tracked to determine how many plastic water bottles were spared from area landfills during the event.
Additional branded festival merchandise, such as t-shirts made from recycled Goodwill inventory, will be available for purchase during the event.
To accommodate the shift to a later time slot this year, Rock the Green will implement energy efficient LED lighting for the festival grounds at sundown. Clearwing Productions will provide LED stage lights, Rayovac will donate LED lanterns for ambience in tents and VIP areas, and Rock the Green volunteers and security staff will walk the grounds with LED flashlights and headlamps.
Aggreko generators will use bio-diesel fuel to provide additional power for the festival’s stage and interactive areas.
“It is Rock the Green’s mission to produce a large-scale event that leaves the festival grounds better than the way we found them when we arrived, while making a lasting impact on the community,” said Stevens Gardner. “We’re fortunate to have Milwaukee’s support as we help make it a more sustainable place to live, work and play.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.RocktheGreen.com.