Contributing author: Ali Bates


Prioritizing Eco-friendly Habits at the Pecan Street Festival 

Around 32 million people attend a music festival in the United States annually, according to research by Billboard. That can lead to a vast amount of environmental damage if organizers and festival-goers aren’t resourceful and respectful to the site or to the event. Being an eco-warrior, stall-holder or someone who doesn’t think about ways to be green in a festival, lowering the carbon footprint of Pecan Street Festival, one of the largest and longest running arts and crafts festival, is high on the list. With today’s awareness combined with alternative, eco-friendly solutions, there are many ways to reduce waste, be kind to our planet and have a fabulous time in Austin.  

Be more energy-efficient

Many festivals are making energy-efficient changes to their practices in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Using compost or portaloo toilets at festivals is considered one way of the beneficial alternatives to lessen water waste. Designed to handle large numbers, they won’t compromise on hygiene and are an excellent way to use water responsibly at a festival. Additionally, organizers are using biodiesel fuel in generators as a contribution to being more energy efficient.

Support for local businesses

Stall-holders in a festival, particularly in a street festival are likely to be local businesses dependant on support for helping the local economy grow. Showing collective encouragement by purchasing food and other items such as art and crafts, will also help the local community at the same time. Many businesses in Austin  pride themselves on being sustainable, and there are a range of reasons to buy local that can play a positive part in supporting businesses in the area.

Aim for zero waste

Zero waste implies only using items that are biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. There are plenty of times in a festival where people will end up throwing away sustainable items but by having recycling stations set up means waste can be disposed of responsibly. Recycling areas are clearly signed for glass, aluminum, plastic and other recyclable materials to be carefully discarded. Similarly, having a composting area for food waste is equally important to help achieve a zero waste festival.

Choosing green transportation

This free festival brings in thousands of locals and visitors each year so in order to cut back on gas, organized bus rides or carpooling can help solve the problem of producing too much carbon emissions. The Pecan Street Festival provides a local bus service to ease congestion from people arriving and leaving the festival without leaving a drastic carbon footprint. Alternatively, using a local bike map or taking a ride on the Metrorail to help navigation to and from the festival will additionally help to impact less on the environment.
Collectively, these practices will go a long way to keeping the festival area clean while offering continued awareness about waste management and energy-friendly alternatives. Making a valued contribution will help to leave a positive and lasting impression in Austin, Texas.