Make it a Good Trip
If, like us, you're headed to Bonnaroo this weekend -- the granddaddy of American music festivals -- it probably has something to do with the fact that Phish, Bruce, Snoop, Erykah and David Byrne are headed there too. Or maybe it's just all that green: last year, Bonnaroo won the "Outstanding Greener Festival" award, the highest eco-accolade that a huge festival can receive.
As organizers turn up the green to 11 -- and as everyone from west coast hippies to east coast hipsters seeks to economize -- getting there in smart, green fashion is key. (And sorry, telecommuting is not an option.)If you're renting a car like us, and your car isn't green, you might consider paying a little more for carbon offsets. It's no bicycle and it won't cure all of our climate ills, but for a dollar and a quarter at Enterprise, National or Alamo, you can contribute to a fund run by Terrapass that has already saved the equivalent of 42,000 metric tons of CO2, or 4.8 million gallons of gasoline. (You can also rent a hybrid.)
Elizabeth Seward at Planet Green suggests staying away from the mainstream and going local on the way (not that Roo'ers need much advice about that).
Why not hunt down some anti-tourist spots this year if you're going to road trip? Find a remote beach to clean up. Dine at a more-or-less unknown restaurant—the kind that uses fresh organic and local food. Grab some drinks at an under-the-radar brewery in order to avoid drinking transported beer for a night.(Kristin Underwood goes into some more detail here.)
If you end up in serious traffic near the festival, and it makes sense, don't idle your car -- turn off your engine. It will help everyone breathe a little easier.
Pack lightly. The less you carry, the lighter your load, the less fuel you'll burn. It's gonna be hot and sunny, so don't forget your light clothing and sunscreen (or the green stuff). A good cooler and beer cozies will help keep your drinks as cool as possible. And the less stuff you have, the less trash you'll make.
(Oh, and for late night jam sessions, maybe bring some green toys?)
Packing lists abound online -- see this post on the Bonnaroo message board for some packing wisdom.
Drink lots of water (lots) but forget the plastic bottle. This year, Bonnaroo is focusing on the world's water crisis, with the help of non-profit Global Water Challenge. And given the notorious heat, festival goers will likely learn something about what it's like to be thirsty for good, clean water.
If you've got a reusable bottle, or if you buy a souvenir bottle at the fest, Stanley is providing bottle-less water via pumps, wells and filters, available at 4 drinking stations.
See you at Bonnaroo -- and stay tuned!
More on Green Road Tripping and Bonnaroo at TreeHugger and Planet Green:
Planet Green: How to Go Green: Travel and Outdoors
Planet Green: How to Go Green: Spring Break
SustainStyle: Road Trip Preparation
Planet Green: 5 Easy Eco Travel Tips
Bonnaroo Gets Even Greener