rocking the daisies - how green is green?

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Wed, 2011-10-12 08:42

Conscious Babe believes youth deserve more of a chance at self-responsibility where the environment is concerned.

A punter rocks a can-top backpackA punter rocks a can-top backpack

Seems that Rocking The Daisies are really putting their money where their mouth is regarding green, setting them apart from your average South African rock festival. Reminiscent of the UK festivals I have attended, I saw numerous green initiatives at the festival this last weekend.

Mathias and girlfriend Zola from MLT drives were giving away solar-popped corn next to the dam, you could charge your phone using the wind generator and some of the stalls were powered by solar power (both provided by Earth Power), a team of 15 were sorting much of the recycling on site, the rest of which was sent to the local Malmesbury recycling centre, all the food stalls used

biodegradable/compostable packaging and recycled water bottles and refilling stations were provided by the No Regret Friday initiative.

Nathan, co-ordinator of ‘Walking the Daisies’ says of this years experience: ‘The walk was just beautiful, the weather was perfect and everyone was really happy. Having more people this time (one hundred) was a huge logistical challenge, but much more fun. We are going to try and double the number of people who walk every year.’

Meanwhile much green thought was going on behind the scenes, including an ‘Eco Audit’ by Icologie , generators that used BioDiesel, energy-efficient lights used in some areas, all posters and flyers printed on fully recycled paper, trees planted to offset their carbon footprint and Renewable Energy Credits purchased prior to the festival, as well as much much more (find out more here )

Recycling at Rocking The DaisiesRecycling at Rocking The Daisies

‘I have moments when I feel really overwhelmed at the amount of stuff that’s accumulated at this festival,’ said Phillipa of the recycling team.‘Everything that everybody at this festival consumes comes in packaging that becomes waste and then needs to find a way to be re-used back into the system. I think that at Rocking the Daisies they are creating good awareness as far as recycling and separating waste is concerned, but more creative thought could go into reducing our waste for future festivals.’

During the on-site press conference, a spokesperson for Rocking the Daisies declared ‘We want the most clean and green festival in the country,’ and I heard rumours that it aimed to ultimately become a Carbon-Neutral event. In my opinion, this is setting yourself up for scrutiny of the greenist kind, but I appreciate the ambition.

‘We have been running some of the stalls off our wind turbine and solar panels this year,’ said Heidi Pirie of Earth Power ‘They could definitely do more green advertising… It would be possible to power the entire festival using renewable energy, but it would cost a fortune. You could run all the stalls on renewable energy as the majority are just running lights, and the food stalls all use gas to cook with. Next year we plan to run an ice fridge off solar.’

What I did miss was the strong presence of interactive awareness-raising activities. I believe in prevention, not cure, and so it makes sense to educate our consumers rather than just clean up after them everywhere they go.

You could charge your cell-phone using power from the Wind TurbineYou could charge your cell-phone using power from the Wind Turbine

I believe that youth deserve a better chance at self-responsibility where the environment is concerned. I appreciate that Rocking the Daisies want to maintain their commercial streak so they can be appealing to more people, but I still don’t see why the green thing has to remain simply a footnote.
Fair enough, the emphasis is on the music and the party, not the environment, as most would expect young people to want, but I say – why cut my demographic so short? We have more than enough time and energy to care for more than just our own selfish needs and wants, so why not introduce us into this more sustainable way of thinking?

Green Police at Glastonbury festival comes to mind: the youth are totally used as a resource of spirit and inspiration to spread a strong message of environmental ‘give a shit’. And the uptake? Those ‘green policers’ get a free ticket to one of the largest commercial festivals in the world.

Cycling the DaisiesCycling the Daisies

Sure, there were those who walked and cycled. But I still believe a couple of hundred out of 12 000 to be a simple drop in the ocean. The problem of carbon and enviromental waste is so huge, why not triple our efforts and start thinking bigger, better and more creatively about how we can cut down the damage we cause to our environment, while still having fun.
I know that the transition from our existing reality to that of the ideal will take some innovation and a whole heap of inspiration, so what better way than to involve our youth, who are at the brink of their lives, full of energy and ideas?