Going green at the GSB Music Fest

GSB and PEP project collaborates for first sustainable music fest.

Less plastic waste, recycled grease and straw requests are all on the table for “greening” the Great South Bay Music Festival. For years, festival founder Jim Faith has made strides to lessen the festival’s carbon footprint and now, with the help of the Village of Patchogue’s Protecting the Environment Committee, the attempts are becoming reality.

The GSB-PEP project will showcase at this year’s 17th annual festival to be held at Shore Front Park from July 18-21. The collaboration will reduce the festival’s footprint while also bringing awareness to the importance of developing sustainable communities and providing the foundation for other festivals and events regionally to go green. Faith said he expects over 20,000 people.

“Creating a sustainable festival has been a goal of mine for a very long time. This partnership will ensure that we can reduce the festival’s footprint and create a buzz for festival-goers to make smarter everyday eco-choices,” he said.

The project will include various measures aimed to reduce, reuse and recycle by first reducing waste and carbon emissions and then spreading an awareness campaign for everyday practices. The overall goal of The GSB-PEP project will be to work towards reducing incrementally over the years by 25 to 50 percent, with a 75 percent overall reduction by 2025.

“After the enthusiasm to the launch of the Green Business Program in Patchogue Village, expanding common-sense sustainable practices to events was the next logical step,” said PEP chair and village trustee Joe Keyes.

Last year, recycle bins were placed throughout the festival to help reduce plastic trash. This year, eco-art will be featured to make the bins more present.

In an attempt to limit the largest amount of plastic thrown away at the festival, Faith and Keyes decided to try to hire a company to provide reusable cups. In theory, if adapted, people would be able to purchase a cup for $3 and either keep it as a souvenir or return it for a refund, rather than trash it. Keyes estimated about 15,000 plastic beer cups are used over the course of the Great South Bay Music Festival weekend.

“It’s sad actually, because most of them end up in a landfill,” he added.

HIGHLIGHTED EFFORTS

  • A reduction in plastic through the possibility of reusable cups for beer and beverage sales, and a water refilling station.
  • A “straw by request” policy, and biodegradable/compostable food containers.
  • Grease recycling and promotion of public transportation.
  • Eco-art will also be used through a public awareness campaign. Local artists and students will work to create the artwork to be on display showcasing the need to recycle and where to do so. Public awareness campaign through eco-art created by local artists, students and community members.

YOU CAN HELP| Those who are interested are encouraged to share their eco-message through art by creating posters, canvas, cloth, photography or sculptures that feature a message of sustainability to be displayed during the festival. Recycle station designation is needed. Email GSBPEP@gmail.com for more information or to get involved.

For more information on The GSB-PEP project and what to look for at this year’s festival, please visit www.greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com.

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