Bonnaroo Announces Refill Revolution

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Bonnaroo's sustainability team announced Tuesday the launch of Refill Revolution, a festival-wide pilot sustainability project designed to keep fans hydrated while encouraging them to rethink plastic consumption habits and reduce disposable cup and bottle waste at the event and beyond.

Bonnaroo is teaming up with Steelys Drinkware and the Plastic Pollution Coalition to encourage fans to join the Refill Revolution by switching from conventional single-use plastic and compostable cups and bottles to reusable ones made of food-grade stainless steel. Festival goers will have access to more than 20,000 Bonnaroo-themed stainless steel water bottles and beverage cups that can be reused endlessly. Fans will be able to hydrate with their Bonnaroo drinkware at free water wells and free filtered drinking water stations positioned throughout the festival site as well as participating beverage service venues.  

"This project is a huge step toward furthering our goal to become as sustainable as possible as a festival," said Laura Sohn, Bonnaroo's sustainability coordinator. "It empowers and encourages fans to take steps to be part of the festival waste solution."

The Refill Revolution water bottles with carabineer clip carriers will be available for $5 at all concession stands and additional vendor locations. The wide mouth vessel is designed for easy refills at the free water stations, and participating vendors will also accept them for serving select beverage purchases. The custom steel pint cups will be sold for $15 wherever draft beer is available on-site. The price includes the cup, filled with a cold beer, plus an insulated scuba foam carrying strap for transport. As a further incentive all attendees with a Refill Revolution cup will get an automatic $1 discount on all subsequent brew purchases for the remainder of the festival (except in the B'rooers Fest area). 

“We’re excited to help Bonnaroo ignite the Refill Revolution and showcase creative new ways for individuals and events to approach waste diversion,” said John Borg, founder and CEO of Steelys. “Bonnaroo has extraordinary relevance to thousands of music fans and presents a tremendous opportunity to rethink the disposable mentality that’s engrained in our culture.”

The goal of Refill Revolution is to raise awareness about waste and to reduce bottle and plastic consumption associated with the tens of thousands of beverage servings made during the course of the festival. Cold beverages served during hot summer events create a spike in single-use cup and bottle consumption annually. Glassware is typically too fragile to use at events. Single-use plastic cups and bottles can’t always be recycled (and when they are, the reclamation process uses large amounts of water and energy). A single steel cup or bottle can be reused thousands of times, saving resources with each reuse over time, said officials.

“Consumption of disposable plastic cups and bottles has spiraled out of control,” said Dianna Cohen, co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of organizations and businesses working to stop plastic consumption and pollution and its toxic impacts. “The trend toward reusable steel cups and bottles is an important development in source reduction and waste diversion that can make a real impact.” 

As a pilot program, the use of alternative bottles and visits to the filling stations and reduction in waste will be tracked so the program can be tweaked next year. The goal is to significantly reduce festival waste over time.

"We believe our fans will embrace this program as we strive to reduce our impact," said Ms. Sohn. “Our hope is that we'll raise awareness so that Bonnaroovains will take these home and re-use them to cut daily waste and spread the refill revolution."

One of North America’s largest music festivals, Bonnaroo also is recognized as one of the most sustainable, thanks to pioneering event greening practices such as promoting ride sharing, providing extensive environmental outreach and education, generating power from a permanent solar array, and initiating ambitious composting, recycling and upcycling programs. Last year alone Bonnaroo diverted more than 366 tons of landfill waste.

Dalton State Presents Pianist Jerico Vasquez In Concert Sept. 8

Dr. Jerico Vasquez will kick off Dalton State’s Concerts on Campus series with a free piano concert Monday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Goodroe Auditorium. Dr. Vasquez, artist in residence and coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Shorter University in Rome, has been called a pianist “of intelligent ardor and exceptionally clear and bright technique.” According to Dr. Ellie Jenkins, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Selected For U.S. Navy Band's Tour Sept. 13

America's Navy is coming home to Chattanooga, one of 13 cities to host a performance by the United States Navy Band Country Current during its 2014 tour -- one of the Navy's signature outreach programs.  The United States Navy Band Country Current’s performance is scheduled for Sept. 13, 7 p.m. at the Soldier and Sailor Memorial Auditorium. Review for the United States ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)