Leading a Sustainable Lifestyle in 2020: Our New and Improved Concerts without Waste

Leading a Sustainable Lifestyle in 2020: Our New and Improved Concerts without Waste

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum: Concerts Become Eco-Friendly

Summertime comes and our break plans have been minimal or non-existent. We all had plans to travel, visit family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and attend concerts of our favorite artists. Those were my plans, at least. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put a solid halt on all social gatherings. All types of industries have been hit hard by the massive decline in consumers. The live music and entertainment industry wasn’t spared as concerts and festivals were among the first things to go when social distancing was strictly enforced.

The Rise of Software Solutions causes Awareness

Gathering with friends in an outdoor setting is a staple of summertime fun. Thankfully, emerging software that utilizes video and sound connectivity has stepped up to fill the gap. Artists around the globe have quickly picked up on performing their gigs in an online setting, allowing multiple viewers to enjoy the songs they love most from the comfort of their own home. 

What’s this have to do with sustainability? Let’s think this over. 

Pre-COVID has shown us that when mass social events happen, (like festivals, vacations, and concerts) typically no one is concerned with recycling their beer cans and single-use water bottles while enjoying themselves with company. Concert grounds and public areas hosting entertainment events emit tons of waste each year. The clean-up efforts post shows are usually not taking recycling seriously since everyone is exhausted and ready to go home. 

As shows have become virtual, however, the music and entertainment industry is beginning to transform for the better. Now that concert-goers are more concentrated and aware at home, waste emission has decreased significantly. 

This is fantastic news--while there’s a pandemic looming. 

But what happens when the world goes back to normal and social distancing is no longer a concern?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been thinking ahead. Starting up a partnership with a non-profit organization called REVERB, they have begun to unite venues and artists in keeping these events completely green. They have been taking practical steps at changing the industry for good, such as: 

  1. Pushing for the total elimination of single-use water bottles
  2. Having local food options who practice healthy sustainable habits
  3. Diminishing the use of biodiesel in transportation

#RockNRefill---Eliminating Single-Use Bottles

Since 2013, REVERB has started an initiative to promote reusable water bottles and have ultimately reduced the single-use bottle at concerts by more than 2.4 million in North America alone. Their campaign is now focused on all aspects of live entertainment such as reducing carbon footprints, studying energy usage at venues, and funding waste recycling projects around the world. 

Our Move Towards Normal

In 2020, REVERB is hosting events online for music performances with good causes like:

  1.  Supporting healthcare workers during the pandemic
  2. Producing a sustainable cooking series called ‘Quarantine Kitchen’
  3. Setting up virtual discussions on issues facing the economy today

As we look forward to re-building a better post-pandemic world, businesses everywhere should be focused on revamping their policies and procedures to become 100% green and sustainable. The move to virtual concerts has shown us that our previous summer entertainment plans don’t have to make us feel guilty about the environment because major changes are already happening.


Sources: REVERB ; “Greening the entertainment industry is music to our ears” published by the UN Environment Programme on July 1, 2020

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