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Lightning in a Bottle even plays a song with lyrics encouraging folks to pick up their junk after the music ends each night, which ensures the grounds are kept fairly tidy. Festival organizers are looking into options for algae generators and—brace yourself—turning human waste into energy.
While such initiatives might sound daunting, to say the least, for $350, A Greener Festival will come to an event and assess what can be done to make it more eco-friendly. The nonprofit emphasizes that these types of programs can help generate long-term savings and, considering that it can't be cheap to move giant piles of garbage out of exceedingly remote locations, this isn't hard to believe.
Of course, much of this is in the hands of those in attendance; not surprisingly, attendees at the hippie-dippier events tend to be the best about cleaning up after themselves. But it's clear that organizers can change folks' behavior patterns. It involves providing the right incentives, the right penalties, and, perhaps more than anything else, making it easy to be green.
"Thousands of people are coming to an event that's going to be one of the most memorable experiences of their year," Jensen says. "It's up to [festival organizers] to decide what kind of legacy they want to create in the world out of that."