[ Bjarni R. Einarsson / blog: IS EN ]

My green Electric Picnic

2007-09-05 23:42

I guess things are what you make of them.

I spent this weekend at the Electric Picnic which, like many other similar festivals (including my beloved Roskilde), had a lot of hype about greenness and eco-this-and-that.

On the way we scoffed at the so-called greenness of festivals like this.

How could there possibly be anything "green" about getting 30000 people to drive for hours to and from a temporary civilization consisting of diesel-powered light and sound systems, disposable tents made out of petroleum filled with petroleum mattresses, and potties made out of petroleum and filled with chemicals strong enought to neutralize the stench of 100000 poos?

But hey, the food stalls used biodegradable plates!

Biodegradable plates!!


But, cynicism aside, there was actually a fair amount of education, green and otherwise, going on.

There were interesting booths where you could read about bicycle clubs and environmental issues. Amnesty and Oxfam both had a strong presence. There were lectures and workshops and little skits to make people think.

I spent almost about as much time at this festival doing things and learning things as I did at concerts.

I spent over 2 hours in a little tent watching anarcho-hippy-leftist propaganda about factory farming (The Meatrix), eco-villages, the history of oil, how to plan for the collapse of our civilization and other fun things like that.

It really made me think. I may make some minor lifestyle changes as a result; for one I'm seriously considering avoiding meat to a larger extent than I have to date. I don't think I'll ever go strictly vegetarian, but when given the option I'll choose free-range (or wild: seafood) and locally sourced products. If I don't have the option, I should probably choose veggies.

I also took an introductory capoeira class and plan to see if I can fit that into my schedule. While not obviously green, as I see it, anything which keeps me fit also keeps me out of hospitals and reduces my reliance on expensive drugs and polluting transportation. That makes it green to me.

If the Electric Picnic had the same effect on a reasonable fraction of the other festival-goers, then just maybe their so-called greenness is more than youth-pleasing hype.

And even if it didn't... well maybe after a few more festivals like this it will start to sink in.


Oh, and aside from all the green soul-searching, I also had loads of fun, as did most people I talked to.

For that matter, as modern holidays go, that one probably ranked near the top on the fun vs. carbon footprint scale. Compare it with 30000 people jetting back and forth to Iceland and suddenly it seems very green indeed.

Unfortunately, the festival now has me making exactly that comparison.

     Re: My green Electric Picnic (Nori)

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