Nationally Recognized Eco-Conscious Event
You might have noticed, at Arts Council Oklahoma City, we are committed to making Festival of the Arts a sustainable, zero-landfill event. Since 2009 the Go Green Committee has made monumental changes to the event, earning national recognition and achieving its goal of being one of the largest events in the nation to be eco-conscious! Over the last few years, the green team has executed a program where festival food vendors donate extra food to local homeless shelters. They also oversee a recycling program and organize exhibits that promote eco-friendly practices. This upcoming Festival of the Arts, entirely compostable or recyclable materials will be used at every food location!
While we all enjoy the spectacular art, delicious food, and exciting entertainment during Festival, many of us do not consider the amount of waste a festival of this size generates. The Festival sees well over X number of people per day on average- which can add up to a lot of trash! The Arts Council of Oklahoma City believes the earth is a work of art and effort should be taken to minimize the effects of the Festival on our planet. The Go Green committee works to put this in action through food donations and composting and recycling efforts:
Food vendors that have left over food at the end of the day can choose to donate to a local homeless shelter rather than throw away the extra food. All materials provided at the Festival are composted or recycled. You may be introduced to new materials as you enjoy the different food options throughout the week, such as wood forks or potato starch spoons. These materials, and some more familiar ones such as paper, are able to be broken down, or composted, into a rich supplement to support soil. Much like recycling takes a product and turns it into something new, composting takes our waste and turns it back to being beneficial to the earth! Stop by the Go Green tent to learn more about the Festival’s efforts to reduce and reuse waste.
The trash that we generate is not the only source of pollution at Festival. Transportation is the largest single source of air pollution in the United States! The Go Green committee encourages individuals to consider their means of transport to the Festival. Some eco-friendlier options include:
The Go Green Committee works with a local grower, Prairie Wind, to source beautiful native wildflowers available for purchase at the Festival! The benefits of choosing native plants for your landscaping are immense:
Native plants are adjusted to our Oklahoma climate. They are often drought resistant, and are accustomed to the soil. Also, many of the plants have built in resistance for pests that are common in the area. Because of these traits, native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides to keep them looking beautiful all season long. Native plants also work to support the Oklahoma ecosystem. The birds, butterflies, and other creatures that we love depend on native plants to survive as they do not always recognize non-native types as food sources.
For example, monarch butterfly larvae only feed on milkweed. Without milkweed, the butterflies never mature into adults. There is increasing concern over the ongoing decline of the monarch butterflies- the US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that nearly a billion monarchs have vanished since 1990. Much of this is due to the loss of milkweed as a food source.
Please stop by the Go Green tent at the festival to learn more and to purchase some stunning native natural works of arts to enjoy for many years to come!
More information on Go Green resources can be found at the following links. Thank you for your support!