Sharing Green Responsibility
20th March 2017
According to Mosise and Macovei (2014), sustainable development and sustainable marketing implicitly depend on the following three factors which are economy, society and the environment. Organizations communicating through events should consider the environmental sustainability portfolio for events (Hart, 2005). Both the event organisers and the attendees have the responsibility to produce a greener impact from a festival. Event organisations have to take into account its impact on the environment, direct and indirect audience. They can do this by eliminating or reducing waste before being created through the use of biodegradable and recyclable products to prevent pollution. The audience should support the green initiatives through adopting a responsible behaviour and mind set towards the environment when making the decision to attend an event. Taking immediate recycling and reusing actions would be very efficient and more eco-friendly to minimise the environmental impact throughout the event’s life cycle.
European countries focus on recycling and it is the norm of European citizen (Jones, 2010). It is a good idea to utilise recyclable materials in the event. There are many event organizations that are aware of the importance of being green and its response on their policies. For example, international Confex 2017 has asked businesses which have a booth to not give out plastic bags. Some events such as Woodford Folk Festival in Australia try to make compost on site in order to reduce waste (Jones, 2010). The Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival also collect food scraps and send it to regional composting facilities, they also work with Eco-products who makes compostable plates and cups (Katsaros, 2014). Food and beverage is a necessary part in an event, but the event organization do not need to reduce their amount of food and drink too much at the same time they will not make much food waste by using compost facilities and compostable items. On the other hand, some events using recyclable items or stuff that able to be recycled in their event, such as Reading Festival uses cardboard cups for beer (Jones, 2010), or a company called Eco event is making furniture from recycled cardboard (Eco event, 2016), it was used in events such as Megabooth in Confex 2016 to assemble their booth (Megabooth, 2017). Some events come up with idea of recycling stuff that cannot be recycled in their industry. For example, musical instrument strings are recycled in XPoNential Music Festival because the strings are not able to be recycled in the US so D’Addario invited a new way of recycle and upcycle the strings called ‘Playback’.
Glastonbury festival produces an enormous amount of waste that is often so great it is featured in national news, this includes 6,500 sleeping bags, 5,500 tents, 3,500 airbeds, 2,200 chairs, 950 rolled mats and 400 gazebos (Churchill, 2016). To further the reputation of Glastonbury and keep public support, it is the duty of event managers to be responsible and show the public that steps are being taken to reduce and minimise waste, while recycling at every available opportunity. In 2016 Glastonbury used an entire team of volunteers to collect, clean and repack all abandoned tents and camping gear, so these could be donated to the refugees in Norther France (Perchard, 2016). Tent recycling will continue through 2017 with designated drop off points to encourage visitors to pack and donate their tents themselves, saving many volunteers hours to focus on the wider clean up. Glastonbury also takes steps to become greener by utilising solar power for the main stage, natural materials in merchandise, hybrid generators for lighting and compostable toilets (Glastonbury, 2016). Recyling is heavily pitched directly to the visitors and various means of recycling services are provided, such as food waste bins, mixed recycling bins and donation drop off points. Glastonbury’s tag line of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” not only applies to the festival itself but to the event visitors and the choices they make before, during and after then event (Glastonbury, 2016).
As mentioned, both side of the participants of event have the responsibility to make an event as green as possible but it will be better if organizations can encourage their attendees to be eco-friendly. A good example of Bonnaroon Music and Art festival got the idea of ‘Clean Vibes’ which they give out recycling raffle to their attendees. The attendees can collect points if they turn in recyclable items to the organization then they can use their points to exchange for some memorabilia or tickets of future events (Katsaros, 2014).
To conclude, there are many ways to make the event green and there will be suitable methods of reducing waste for different kinds of events. The event organizations should know that they can motivate their attendees to help them hold a green event as well. The responsibility of a green event is divided between both the event managers and an event can only truly be green if both parties make a conscious effort and responsible choices.
- Churchill, L. (2016). Glastonbury Festival: Clear-up of 5,000 abandoned tents begins. [online] Bristol Post. Available at: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/glastonbury-festival-clear-up-of-1-650-tonnes-of-waste-and-around-5-000-abandoned-tents-starts/story-29448005-detail/story.html [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].
- ‘D’Addario String Recycling at XPoNential Music Fest’ (2016) Jazzed: The Jazz Educator’s Magazine, 11, 4, p. 12
- Eco event (2016) Eco event. Available at: http://www.ecoevent.com/ (Accessed: 09/03/2017)
- Glastonbury, (2016). Glastonbury Festival – Our green policies. [online] Glastonbury Festival – 21st-25th June, 2017. Available at: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/green-glastonbury/our-green-policies/ [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].
- Jones, M. (2010) Sustainable Event Management: A practical guide. Earthscan: London.
- Katsaros, S. (2014) Music Festivals Keep Beat With Composting, Biocycle, 55, 8, pp. 80-86
- Megabooth (2017) Eco Photo Booth. Available at: http://megabooth.com/photo-booths/eco-photo-booth/ (Accessed: 09/03/2017)
- Moise, D. and Macovei, O. (2014) ‘Green Events – The New Responsibility of the Organizations’, Romanian Journal Of Marketing, 3, pp. 35-39
- Perchard, E. (2016). Discarded Glastonbury tents to be donated to refugees. [online] Resource Magazine. Available at: http://resource.co/article/discarded-glastonbury-tents-be-donated-refugees-11204 [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].