The Climate Crisis poses an immediate and unprecedented threat to human and wildlife communities locally and globally. At Mass Audubon, we are dedicated to making real progress to both reduce carbon emissions and adapt to changes that are already happening.
Addressing the crisis is a challenge because it is deeply intertwined with all aspects of our lives. From the food we eat, to the way we travel, to our recreational activities, everything impacts the world around us. This, of course, also includes music festivals. While they have many positive impacts on the community, they often generate large amounts of waste, use lots of energy, and have an outsized ecological impact. Music festivals do not need to be operated in this way though, and that is where Arcadia Folk Fest comes in.
Arcadia Folk Fest shows how a music festival can not only implement sustainable practices, but actually have a positive impact on the planet! Our event is solar powered, zero waste, and carbon neutral while providing amazing music, delicious food, and an unforgettable experience to our visitors.
To learn more about the steps Arcadia Folk Fest is taking to be a model sustainable community event, continue reading below. To learn more about the Climate Crisis, how it is impacting the region, actions being taken by Mass Audubon to make real progress, and ways you can get involved, click here.
•Arcadia generates 100% of the electricity used via on site solar arrays - A fixed, ground mounted 10.2 kW solar photovoltaic array, and a tilting, rotating solar photovoltaic array - Our rotating array tracks the sun across the sky throughout the day to maximize energy intake, generating 45% more power than fixed panels - Data on how much energy is generated by these solar panels is tracked and made publicly available on the Mass Audubon Arcadia website •In the event that the panels are not able to produce all of the power needed for the event, electricity will be purchased from 100% renewable sources via the Green Energy Consumers Alliance •No generators are used for this event
•One of our key goals for Arcadia Folk Fest is to operate with zero waste, not only for our visitors but also for our vendors and performers •All of our vendors are required to implement either reusable or compostable utensils and dishware •For our visitors, this means that things like bottled water and other pre-packaged goods will not be available for purchase •In an effort to keep guest waste at a minimum, we ask guests to pack in and pack out any trash •In past years of the event, the only large amount of "waste" was compost. Very small amounts of of recycling and trash have been produced
•All of the food and drink available for purchase at Folk Fest is 100% plant based •From the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: "Globally, food is responsible for about a quarter of carbon emissions. More than half of these food-related emissions are from livestock production. Thus, shifting diets from meat and dairy towards plant-rich foods is a key opportunity to help reduce climate change and improve health." •We encourage you to try out the delicious options from the food vendors and see just how amazing a plant-based meal can taste •Our goal is not to make everyone become vegans, but to inspire people to try out more plant-based options at home and when eating out, which can significantly reduce the impact of your diet
•The best way to access Arcadia, both for the Folk Fest and throughout the year, is by bike •Arcadia is easily accessible via the Manhan Rail Trail which runs through both Northampton and Easthampton •There will be a free bike valet right near the event gate to make parking easy and allow you to avoid the half-mile walk from our off-site parking location •Local bikeshare program ValleyBike will also have a temporary station on site so you can pick up a bike from any of their local stations and ride over •In an effort to further encourage biking, everybody who rides to Folk Fest will be entered to win a variety of prizes •Biking is also a fantastic way to reduce one's carbon footprint, and we live in an area which is uniquely bikeable for local transport (it is better for your health, better for your wallet, and better for the planet) •For those who are not able to bike, we will be contributing to carbon offset projects
•An important component of the event's sustainability plan is to educate people about the steps we are taking listed above. We hope to increase our community's understanding of actions that can be taken and inspire others to take similar steps in their lives •We see Arcadia Folk Fest as a model for others to help reduce the impact of music festivals and community events
•One of the most impactful ways for us to address the Climate Crisis is through legislation. At the event we will be encouraging everyone to stop by the Mass Audubon and Mothers Out Front booths to add their names in support of strong climate policies •We invite everyone to stay engaged and consider joining Mass Audubon's Climate Champions. To learn more and sign up, click here •We see Arcadia Folk Fest as a model for others to help reduce the impact of music festivals and community events
•The proceeds from folk fest help to fund Mass Audubon's action agenda, a complete rundown of which can be found here