DOGWOOD WINNING GREEN!
Since 2010, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has sponsored an award-winning Green Event Initiative Program. For the 77th annual festival, the festival will work with Live Thrive to continue sustainable operations including using compostable utensils, recycling cooking oil and onsite assistance with recycling by the Girl Scouts of America. The festival will also continue our Eco-Village with exhibitors providing everything from helpful products to keep a home more energy efficient to showing children how to plant herb gardens.
The Live Thrive and Atlanta Dogwood Festival partnership is setting a new standard for making festivals environmentally friendly and has become an example for other events to follow.
Aspects of the Green Event Initiative include:
- Requirements for food vendors to sell all food in recyclable and compostable bowls, plates, cups, and utensils. This commitment avoided sending tons of petroleum-based plastics and/or styrofoam - both of which remain in landfills for hundreds of years - to the Atlanta landfill.
- Waste Recovery & Recycling Centers throughout the park to collect compostables, recyclables, and landfill waste. These centers were staffed by the Girl Scouts as part of their “Forever Green Initiative” in order to assist and educate festival-goers on which materials go in which containers and why. The Girls Scouts Greater Atlanta Council provided volunteer scouts and troop leaders to this effort. This commitment allowed the Festival to divert solid waste, deliver compost to commercial composting facilities and recycle materials to a recycling company.
- Use of bio-diesel and/or bio-fuel for all generators. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival has a partnership with a local company that makes bio-diesel from spent restaurant and food vendor grease. Through this partnership, we purchased nearly 800 gallons of bio-diesel for all onsite generators thus powering the entire festival with renewable energy.
- The 2012 Festival Eco-Village was focused on showing the use of everyday products being reused to create new products. A focal point was a carousel created by Live Thrive made entirely of recycled materials. Visitors would pedal an adapted bicycle to turn the carousel thus using natural power to generate motion. Solar panels for home usage were featured. Also included were green builders and home energy efficiency specialists. In addition, the Eco-Village featured an organic & urban gardening activity for kids and the Atlanta Beltline Partnership creating recreational facilities and green space from converted railroad tracks.
- Since the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is located in Midtown Atlanta and accessible by public transportation. MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) is promoted via all avenues of publicity as the best green option for visitors to get to the festival.
- Even our Port-o-John vendor is required to use only bio-degradable cleaning products.
- Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE) operated an onsite wildlife center that offered education to the public concerning environmental stewardship, habitat preservation and restoration and wildlife rehabilitation. It was a major draw for the Eco-Village as people got a close up look at a variety of birds of prey and other animals rescued from severe injuries in the wild.