Going Green at Cali Roots Music & Arts Festival


Feature photo of Redwoods Forest | Downloaded via Shutterstock
Written by Mark Apuzzo

There’s a big emphasis on making things “green.”

Environmentalists all over the world have been warning us. If we don’t start taking better care of our planet, we won’t have a planet to call home for much longer. With this, the founders of the California Roots Music Festival have committed to creating a zero-waste event. This festival has been a global leader in green initiatives and was recognized for its efforts. For example, Cali Roots was nominated for “Outstanding Green Event” at the Fest X awards. Festival founder Dan Sheehan has thought of everything. For example, they’ve eliminated single-use plastics and included reforestation efforts to the ticket sales of their “Redwood Passes.”

Here are some of the ways Cali Roots is leading the change in festing responsibly.

One of the biggest components of a festival is the drinks. From water to beer, attendees are drinking all day long creating a lot of unnecessary waste production. Cali Roots has tackled this problem with several solutions. For your water needs, they have teamed up with Reverb and Nalgene to produce reusable water bottles. These reusable bottles can be filled at the water refill stations they will have throughout the venue. There will not be any disposable bottles sold at Cali Roots, which cuts a ton of plastic out of the festival. For 21+ attendees who want to enjoy a nice cold alcoholic drink, Cali Roots has established a Steel Cup Program. These souvenir cups not only look awesome and help the environment, but they also score you a discount on future drink orders. So it’s a win-win however you look at it.

Infograph of Cali Roots Festival’s Waste Diversion

Don’t have the extra few bucks to spend on a metal cup? No worries, they’ll still have single-use compostable cups. Along with the cups, the vendors have gotten on-board with all compostable “greenware.” With this, festival utensils and dishes are also made of compostable materials. Cali Roots’ partnership with Blue Strike has played a major part in all this. This organization helps set up the necessary framework to compost and recycle just about all of the waste created from the event. With their help last year Cali Roots was able to divert 4.3 tons of food waste from a landfill and collected 24 tons of recyclable materials. In addition, there are no plastic straws being used, so yay for the turtles! By responsibly changing and collecting the waste produced here, Cali Roots has done an amazing job of offsetting their carbon footprint.

Screenshot of Redwood Forest Foundation’s Website

The producers of this event weren’t satisfied with only with the immediate impact of the festival. They’ve also taken bigger steps to help our beautiful Earth. Instead of a standard VIP package is the “Redwood Pass,” It has all the typical perks of a VIP pass as well as a partnership with the Redwood Forest Foundation. This foundation will plant 2 redwoods for every pass sold. With the passes from last year’s festival, the foundation was able to plant 900 redwoods. In addition, they’ve also partnered with TripZero, an organization that seeks to offset the carbon footprint from travelers. Guests can book a discounted hotel through the festival and TripZero will calculate and offset the carbon footprint your trip will create. If you’re local, they’ve even got a free bike and skateboard valet service for you. No matter how you get yourself there, Cali Roots has you covered.

Screenshot of Cali Roots Travel Website

Cali Roots has managed to almost completely eliminate its carbon footprint. With this festival in its 10th year, it is no small fest either. Seeing the steps these people have taken to create an eco-friendly festival experience makes me want to see more festivals adopt greener changes. I think we can all agree that a sustainable festival is way better than one that’s going to leave mountains of garbage behind. And we’ve all seen that before.

Get your passes today and see what a green festival looks like.


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