A second stage next year, perhaps?
A second stage next year, perhaps?
Rock the Green goers braved the rain.
Rock the Green goers braved the rain.
The Fray's Issac Slade singing his heart out as usual.
The Fray's Issac Slade singing his heart out as usual.
The food was local, organic and eco-friendly.
The food was local, organic and eco-friendly.
Rock The Green took place at the lakefront, in Veteran's Park.
Rock The Green took place at the lakefront, in Veteran's Park.
Ben Folds at the mic.
Ben Folds at the mic.
The lovely Michelle Branch.
The lovely Michelle Branch.
Fitz & The Tantrums stormed the stage at 1:30 p.m.
Fitz & The Tantrums stormed the stage at 1:30 p.m.

Rock The Green weathered the rain

Over the last six years I have personally spent a couple months of my life living at music festivals in the Midwest and beyond, some of which claimed to be "green" festivals.

While more often than not the festivals I attended truly did their best to minimize and recycle waste, it can become difficult and unmanageable when 15 to 35 thousand campers show up for a four-day music festival and bring with them an incredible amount of items that end up as trash, which gets left behind for the festival to deal with.

Rock The Green, a near-zero waste concert event, is leading the way to change the formula in a way that assists and educates the festival attendees on how to maximize their experience while minimizing their carbon footprint in the process. From my experience at the event yesterday, they are on the right track. It was one of the cleanest and well-run music events I've been to.

Veolia Environmental Services was the title sponsor of the festival, and did a remarkable job implementing the recycling and composting program. Staffed stations throughout the festival grounds ensured that materials reached their proper destination through a system of clearly marked and color coded containers. Trash containers on site were strictly for things brought into the festival by attendees, as everything on site was recyclable or compostable. MMSD will be taking the materials gathered from the waste recovery stations and creating milorganite from them, an organic nitrogen fertilizer.

Free filtered water was given away at filling stations, as was a reusable BPA-free collapsible water bottle upon entry. The food on site was local, organic and eco-friendly. Signs posted around the booths gave patrons information about how far their food had traveled from farm to fork, as well as how many local ingredients were used. This wasn't your typical fried-butter-on-a-stick event. With so many options, I saw some people walk up and down the line of choices a couple times just trying to decide…

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