The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

August 28, 2009

Music Festival Dilemma – Drinking Wine Without Plastic

Remember last year when I blogged about my difficulties filling up my Klean Kanteen at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival? If you haven’t read the post, be sure and check it out. It’s pretty outrageous.

Well, this year, Outside Lands is supposedly making a big change. They’ve announced they will provide water refill stations and encourage festival participants to bring their own bottles. I’ll let you know how this works out because I’m going to the festival this Saturday. By myself. Why? Because no one else I know is up for spending 100 frickin’ dollars to join me for Jason Mraz, Black Eyed Peas, TV on the Radio, and a whole host of other bands plus food and art and wine. I know it’s not Radiohead this year, but still fun, right? (Oh, and some guy named Dave Matthews who is the headliner. Meh. [Although I could be convinced otherwise.])

Anyway, the water situation seems to be covered, but last year, as I mentioned in my post, I also had problems finding a plastic-free way to taste wine. At the Winehaven tent, each attendee was handed a “recyclable” plastic wine “glass.” Now, I understand the reason an outdoor festival hosting thousands of guests would be averse to using actual glass. Dangerous! But I thought, there has to be another alternative.

So a few weeks ago, I Googled “Stainless steel wine glass” just on the off-chance that such a thing existed. I mean, after all, many wines are aged in stainless steel tanks. In fact, Klean Kanteen advertises its 27-oz bottle with flat cap as a wine “karafe”. (Go marketers!) But I need my Klean Kanteen for water. And it’s not really useful for tasting small amounts of wine. Hence, my Google search. And that is how I stumbled upon stainless steel wine glasses.

I ordered a set of four because I just know some of you guys are going to want to come with me next year!

2016 Update:  I had no problem using my stainless steel wine glass at OSL in 2009, but since then, OSL has refused to allow attendees to use their own glasses for wine.  They say it’s because they can’t see through them to know what’s inside, which seems ridiculous to me since they have no problem allowing attendees to carry stainless steel water bottles.

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Beth Terry
10 years ago

Maggie A SFOutsideLands I agree with you! I was also very frustrated this year that there were so few reusable bottle filling stations. And the situation for beer and wine was bad too. They would not let you use your own cup at all but insisted that you take a PET plastic cup for wine or a new compostable plastic cup for every refill of beer or cheap wine. It was ridiculous. I have contacted the organizers. It would be great if you would voice your concerns to them as well. I believe there is a place to give feedback on the website.

Maggie A
10 years ago

Beth – I would argue that the water situation at SFOutsideLands is not “covered.” It was so difficult to get to the only 3 refillable water stands this year, that many of my friends (carrying empty reusable bottles) resulted to buying plastic bottled water. A number of other music festivals now offer free refillable water in the name of safety and sustainability (NYC’s Governors Ball and Miami’s Ultra, to name a couple). I don’t know why Outside Lands hasn’t follow suit!! I’d love it if you signed and shared my petition asking them to join this green trend for music festivals:

Patti Jo
11 years ago

I’d join you at the concert if I were closer! My daughter and I go to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival every year for a weekend….it’s in Hillsdale NY. Thanks for all you do….the inspiration you give. And LOVED :)

13 years ago

Those stainless steel wine glasses look awesome! And a bit medieval… I love that you do so much to take care ofthe environment, if everyone did the same the world would be a better place!

13 years ago

You can get those same stainless steel wineglasses at West Marine or REI a lot of the time! 8-)

13 years ago

I just bought these wine glasses and was dismayed to find out they have plastic bottoms!! Bummer!! They’re still better for wine tastings than what I currently have, so I guess I’m keeping ’em.

13 years ago

I love your efforts in making sure everything you use are eco-friendly. Of course it is tough to always consider that when making choices, I salute you for being so concerned about earth and the environment and for directing to people your concerns. May we all have this kind of attitude fo a clean and beautiful earth in our entire lifetime.

14 years ago

Thanks for sharing this info. I love the stainless steel wine glasses!

14 years ago

Thanks for posting about the issue of wine samples and "recyclable" wine glasses, because I've been there and done that a number of times, and always ended up with the plastic glass.

One way several wine festivals I've attended have dealt with the problem has been to offer patrons a commemorative glass that you just refill as you get your samples. Works for me.

But I'll try to remember to bring my own glass next time I attend a festival, which will be after my Year On Tap Water! So it will be a while yet!

Thanks for another thoughtful post.

Lisa Sharp
14 years ago

Thanks for sharing!!!

Also I would go with you to the music festival!!

14 years ago

I bought lamps from Greenboatstuff I found them totally incompetent. First, parcel not delivered when they said, second not enough postage, then finally no invoice included. While all of these things are minor if your post office is around the corner I was driving over one hour each way and across the border to pick up (which they knew). Very expensive when my time and efforts are included (three trips to get the parcel). Only the lamest of apologies offered.

That said the lamps are nice and so is some of their other stuff.


14 years ago


cool-a-mundo with the grenn boat site- I'm hepped up aboput the martini glasses- now martini madness can feel even better!

kale for sale
14 years ago

Thank you!!! My guy has a sailboat and will love this site and your interview of the owner. Cheers to you at Outside Lands.

John Costigane
14 years ago

Hi Beth,

Another fresh take on sea matters, including plastic, and other thoughtless, waste there.

Zero Waste SeaGoing is much like our Zero Waste trend with steel goblets and canvass buckets excellent alternatives to plastic waste.

14 years ago

Me and my reusable water bottle will be volunteering at the San Francsico Surfrider booth in the Eco Lands area so stop by and say "hello." I'll sneak away for a glass of wine.

Beth Terry
14 years ago

Linda, I thought of you while I was writing this post! I wonder if Joel has ever heard of a canvas bucket.

14 years ago

I am so glad to learn about My son lives on a boat and now I have ideas for gifts for him!