Music: Coachella

Fest provides showcase for alternative energy

Drawing over 100,000 souls to the desert this year, the Coachella festival was sure to leave an oversized carbon footprint smack in the middle of an Indio, Calif., polo field.

To help combat this, the concert’s organizers worked with such groups as Global Inheritance to minimize the event’s ecological impact with easy-to-use programs like the 10-for-1 recycling effort, in which 10 empty plastic water bottles could be exchanged for one full one (it worked; over 160,000 bottles were recycled by fest-goers), and the Energy FACTory (showcasing the power of wind, solar and man-made energy), where attendees could pedal stationary bikes in order to charge their cell phones.

The group also sold organic bamboo shirts celebrating the event, and carpoolers displaying a “Carpoolchella” sign on their vehicles were eligible to win free tickets to the fest for life.

Likewise, the massive Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., and the forthcoming Lollapalooza festival are also thinking green. Set in downtown Chicago, Lollapalooza is accessible by the city’s mass transit system, an idea not feasible for Coachella and Bonnaroo’s middle-of-nowhere settings. Recycling and carpooling help, but Coachella really needs to cut down on the traffic congestion that comes with the three-day fest.

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