Don’t get me wrong. There was still a ton of plastic waste to be recycled from the Outside Lands Music Festival that took place this weekend in Golden Gate Park.
But less than last year. Because instead of providing only bottled water, the festival organizers listened to the feedback from last year’s attendees (like me!) and provided water refill stations as well.
I was heartened to see the stations being used by many people who brought their own bottles. That said, the system was not all I could have wished for. True to a festival guard’s declaration to me last year that they had “no intention of providing free water to everyone,” Outside Lands brought in 5-gallon jugs of Arrowhead water and sold each 20-ounce refill for $1. Or if you bought an Outside Lands branded reusable bottle, refills were free throughout the festival.
Now certainly, these jugs produce much less waste than individual plastic bottles because they are reused over and over again. One problem, though, is that they are made from polycarbonate, the kind of plastic that contains and can leach BPA. But an even bigger issue I have is with the idea of shipping in water from somewhere else and charging for it.
Now, I’d understand if the festival were taking place out in the desert where water is unavailable, but there IS potable water and water fountains throughout the park. Just not accessible in the fenced off festival area. I’m wondering if there isn’t a way to tap into the great San Francisco water already available to quench attendees’ thirst. And if there is, I’d love to see the City that leads the way in so many other areas require SF festival organizers to provide (or allow access to) free water at all times. Food is one thing. You could bring in some of your own. But water, I feel, should be a human right and available to anyone who needs it. Call me a socialist it you want. I don’t mind. :-)
And don’t think for a second there wasn’t a whole lot of plastic bottle waste generated for and by those who preferred not to carry their own bottle and drink plain H20.
By the way, who allowed Whole Foods to come in and hawk all this plastic-wrapped crap food? Didn’t John Mackey himself say (among other inflamatory statements unrelated to this post) that Whole Foods was going to stop selling so much junk? Maybe I’m just bitter. Pirate’s Booty used to be my all-time favorite munchy food before I stopped buying plastic. Darn you, Whole Foods and Pirate’s Booty!
Still, I feel like progress was made.
I was a little concerned about the size of the goblet because it seemed kinda small. But it turned out to be six ounces, larger than the amount being poured. And a little Googling this afternoon reveals that one official serving of wine is actually between 4 and 5 ounces. Who knew? (And how many of us are actually drinking several servings each time we pour ourselves a glass?
The goblet was a great conversation starter, by the way.
A few other things that rocked at Outside Lands this year:
Local moreTrees clothing company produces streetwear made from organic cotton, hemp, & recycled PET and designs and produces it all in the United States.
Street Sweeper Social Club was an awesome discovery…
Jason Mraz suggested we might all say thank you each morning to our source… (our favorite G2 star)
And the Black Eyed Peas were smokin’ hot!
(I was afraid I’d damaged some discs in my back from jumping up and down for an hour, but it feels better today. Getting old sucks when I still feel like a teenager most of the time!)
Conclusion: Music makes everything better!