Jennifer: I returned to Perth yesterday after a weekend of basking in effulgent sunshine and the eminent presence of Australian and international musicians at the 2009 Southbound Music Festival. Principally I was there to catch a glimpse of my favourite local artists, Rachel and Henry Climb A Hill. Upon arriving, I found an additional meritorious cause to which to lend my support- EcoBound, the festival’s very own environmental program.
In fact, as a result of Southbound’s environmentally efficient practices, the festival has been named the most eco-friendly major festival in Western Australia, and was a recipient of the 2008 International Greener Festival Award. In 2009, Southbound’s aim was to achieve zero waste with the help of the Green Team- environmental crusaders who assist with on-site recycling and composting. Members of the Green Team were out in full force this year and recycling stations featured prominently throughout the festival grounds.
My passion for scientific art was further fuelled by the Recycled Art Exhibition; massive empty wire sculptures which ‘grew’ during the festival with the addition of aluminium cans. Festival goers participated in the creation of mythical and endangered sea creatures in a convivial process which contributed to recycling efforts.
I was rewarded for my own recycling efforts with Green Money. For each biodegradable recycling bag I filled, I earned five dollars in Green Money vouchers to be redeemed at the festival. Accompanied by many fellow festival-goers, I raised fifty dollars which kept me fed and hydrated over the course of the weekend.
I was amazed to learn that the thousands of plates, food boxes, straws, cups and cutlery used by patrons were 100 % biodegradable and 100 % compostable, thanks to the Southbound Environmental Packaging Policy. All packaging waste made of pseudo-plastic was to be combined with food waste before being mulched and composted.
With the help of Greening Australia, Southbound 2009 was aiming to be completely carbon neutral and will purchase verified carbon credits to offset all carbon emissions. Greening Australia implemented the tree-per-ticket policy for the second consecutive year to focus on restoration of the Gondwana Link, a re-vegetation project stretching from Kalgoorlie to the Karri in WA.
I returned to Perth very dirty and rather sore, but elated. My first weekend for 2009 as a festival reveller stands me in good stead to attend the West Coast Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival in April, which also happens to be a recipient of the International Greener Festival Award. In fact, WA nabbed two of only 24 such accolades to be awarded internationally in 2008, which makes me proud to be a sand-groping festival-goer.