One year ago today, as members of the Live Earth Sustainability Expert Team, we were feverishly developing the “Green Guidelines for the Live Entertainment & Events Industry” for use in all eight concert venues.
Shortly thereafter, we began working to “green” the Giants Stadium venue in New Jersey for the 07/07/07 Live Earth Concert Series. The process was a bit like Jane Goodall meets The Sopranos. With a combination of education, resources, and sheer tenacity, we convinced the Giants Stadium management team, cleaning company, parking lot crew, multiple caterers, and union folks that three streams of waste–recyclables, compost and other waste–could be separated by the audience (with the help of 800 volunteers—at least until The Police came on stage—but that’s another story). The Stadium crew became enrolled in the process and were champions for the cause right along side our team.
Three short months later on a hot, humid Saturday, we were all standing on the 50 yard line among over 51,000 screaming fans with the task of bringing recycling and composting to the largest, most complicated concert ever to take place at the Stadium. And by the way, we were told, “Al Gore will be here.” No pressure.
Thanks to the efforts of thousands of people who made a real difference, we were able to divert 76% of the waste from the landfill to recycling or compost. A sweet success!
It is spring once again and time to green this summer’s outdoor events. Where to start? Use the guidelines, ask vendors and sponsors to partner with you, enroll the artists and audience, and prepare to be amazed!