The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival recently released its 2015 sustainability report to fans, showcasing the festival’s accomplishments in environmental stewardship over the past year. Bonnaroo remains committed to sustainability through a number of local ecoconscious initiatives and ongoing site improvements, according to Rich Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly,
co-creator of Bonnaroo. Based on the increased number of new programs and the growing level of patron involvement, 2015 was a record-setting year for Bonnaroo’s sustainability efforts. “We’ve been committed to minimizing our environmental footprint since our first festival, and 2015 was our most impactful yet,” said Goodstone. “Our sustainability programs have evolved over the years so that they continue to be relevant and meaningful, and it’s very gratifying to see how committed our fans, partners and vendors are to making a difference with us.” Recycling, energy saving and food waste initiatives will continue in 2016, and festival attendees have many ways to participate on site. Once again, $1 from every 2016 ticket sold will go toward permanent sustainable site improvements at Great Stage Park, and Planet Roo will be full of new and mainstay sustainability education opportunities, including classes at the Learning Garden. The Oak Tree Collective, where a crew of artists and builders use natural and salvaged items to build an eclectic neighborhood of sustainable and shady structures, will offer festival goers a cool sanctuary. The new water filling stations throughout the site will also make it easier for patrons to stay hydrated without bringing in or buying single-use water bottles. Bonnaroo’s environmental programs have earned consistently high marks from A Greener Festival Awards, signifying a well-managed, environmentally aware festival that has taken significant steps to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and engage with its audience. For a full outline of programs and successes, visit:
2015 Sustainability highlights include: Combating food waste: 29,000 pounds of food was recovered during the festival and distributed to Meadow Senior Home, Ridge Crest Mental Health Home, Grundy County Jail and a number of summer programs for kids. 40+ sustainable food badges were distributed to vendors. To earn this recognition, vendors either had to offset their travel to the site or use at least 60 percent organic or local products. A $10,000 donation was made to Eat for Equity and Oxfam after the success of the second annual BonnaROOTS dinner series. Energy Savings Solutions: 9 solar phone charging stations were added to The Farm. Bonnaroo’s solar-powered stage ran on a mobile solar generator for the entire run of show during the festival. Bonnaroo Works Fund and We Are Neutral partnered for a weatherization program. 100 low-income, Coffee County residents received free energy-saving upgrades, including installation of energy-saving light bulbs, low-flow sink aerators and insulation for water pipes. 20.21 tons of cardboard was hauled to Coffee County Recycling, and 2.71 tons of PVC was hauled to Coffee County Recycling. 8.25 tons of tarps, tents and other usable goods were collected and donated to Gear Closet and other local groups for reuse. 4.18 tons of used cooking oil was diverted and collected by Yellow Dog Renewables to be processed into biodiesel.