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Guest Post: How To Be Eco-Friendly at SXSW

Today marks the first day of South By, and we have a green guide for this year’s festivities from our friends at

Large crowd of people

Tips for Personal, Sustainable Choices:

  1. Carpool. The Guardian reports that 68 percent of a music festival’s carbon footprint comes from transporting people to and from the festival. Go green by sharing a ride with your friends. Don’t know anyone going to SXSW? Post a rideshare advertisement on Craigslist or Facebook and watch your car fill up with new friends.
  2. Bike. To further reduce your carbon footprint, bring your own bicycle or rent one through SXSW’s collaboration with Austin B-cycle. Thirty-minute and under rides are complimentary and unlimited for 24 hours once activated by SXSW badgeholders with a voucher.
  3. H20. Stay hydrated, as this article from Dish Info recommends, but party on without the plastic bottle waste. Instead, refill a Camelbak or large reusable water bottle. Keep track of your water container by writing your name and number on it, or by clipping it to your belt with a carabiner.
  4. Pack light. Before you pack for the event, consider if you will remember everything in your bag when it is time to leave. If not, take something out. You are much less likely to leave something for the landfill in Austin if you pack less.
  5. Recycle. We get it. The spicy chocolate cake at that awesome food truck was mega-yum. Just make sure you choose food that is served in environmentally friendly containers, such as paper and cardboard. According to Earth 911, the soiled part of your container can be thrown away, and the rest can be recycled or composted.

Itinerary for Eco-Friendly Inspiration:

  1. Friday, March 13 at 11 p.m. Listen to Al Gore presenting “The Climate Crisis: Challenge & Opportunity” in Exhibit Hall 5 at the Austin Convention Center.
  2. Friday, March 13 at 3:30 p.m. Attend “Exploring the Future of Sustainable Fashion” in JW Marriott Room 205 on 110 E. 2nd St.
  3. Sunday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m. Attend “Changing the World Through Food: A Love Story” in Driskill Hotel Driskill Ballroom on 604 Brazos St.
  4. Monday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m. Attend “How Agile Approaches Crack Urban Challenges” in JW Marriott Room 208 on 110 E. 2nd St.
  5. Monday, March 16 at 6:15 p.m. Watch “Bikes vs Cars” at Vimeo Theater on 201 Trinity St.
  6. Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. (pre-party) Attend the Interactive Innovation Awards with comedian James Adomian at Hilton Downtown Austin, 6th floor.
  7. Wednesday, March 18 at 1:45 p.m. Watch the documentary feature “Landfill Harmonic” at Alamo Ritz on 320 E 6th St.
  8. Thursday, March 19 at 11 p.m. Listen to Zionstereo at the Speakeasy on 412 Congress Ave. The band plants a tree for every album sold.

Want to inspire your friends and bring your eco-friendly conscience home? Post a pic on instagram of you recycling or biking during the festival. Start a conversation thread on Facebook or Twitter about best practices for reducing the carbon footprint of music festivals worldwide. Spark the fire for global change, one post or tweet at a time.

Brittany Wren works in higher education. She’s all about backpacking, traveling, poetry and good coffee. On the weekend, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book or working on (a seemingly endless supply of) house projects in her 100-year-old home.

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