7 Ways to Keep the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival Green
June 5, 2017
When the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust first started to present the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) in 2009, we made sustainability one of our top priorities. With support from numerous organizations around Pittsburgh, we have been able to take initiative in minimizing our environmental footprint through reducing waste, providing reusable materials, and recycling whenever we possibly can.
Since 2009, we have successfully been able to reduce plastic use at the Festival by 70% through using plant-based cups and compostable cutlery. Additionally, we have stopped nearly 270 tons of waste from entering landfills. In 2016 alone, we were able to divert 74% of materials from becoming waste, which has put us one step closer to our goal of creating and sustaining a zero-waste Festival.
Together, we can make the Festival a zero-waste event and keep Downtown and Point State Park beautiful. Help us keep our environment green by participating in these 7 simple initiatives at this year’s Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.
1. Plan Your Visit Online
Planning to attend the Festival but don’t know what to see or where to go? All of the information you need is right here! Whether you’re on your laptop or your smartphone, daily schedules, food vendor information, event descriptions, and a map can be located on the website. By using the website to help you plan your visit, you eliminate paper waste and the possibility of littering. If you do pick up a physical guide book, rather than throwing it in the trash, return it to the Information Tent for others to use or toss it in the compost bin at the Zero Waste Stations!
2. Travel Green: Bike to the Festival
Help eliminate emissions. We encourage all of our Festival-goers to ditch their cars and participate in Car Free Fridays at TRAF! Leave your car at home and bike to the Festival. Once you arrive at Point State Park, we’ve made it hassle-free for you to store your bike with complimentary Bike Valet parking sponsored by Green Mountain Energy and Colcom Foundation. Bike Valet is available every day of the festival between 12 – 9 pm.
Don’t have a bike? Consider jumping on the T and riding to the Gateway or Wood Street stations. It will put you right in the heart of our Festival grounds.
3. Be On The Lookout for our Zero Waste Stations
Learning the difference between creating waste and eliminating waste takes only a few seconds! Last year there were a total of 25 Zero Waste Stations, so be on lookout for the numerous stations throughout the Festival grounds. The signs at the Zero Waste Stations will help you determine whether your waste is compostable, recyclable, or should head to the landfill. Your empty cups will become recycled material, leftover food waste will become composted soil, and landfills will be more barren. By throwing your waste in the appropriate bins, you are directly contributing to keeping our environment green!
4. Compost With Caution
As we mentioned up above, composting your leftover food can make for nutrient-rich soil. However, not all food is compostable—some just belong in landfills. By adhering to the guidelines of composting, you can avoid contaminating the compost and ruining the batch of what is soon to be soil. Additionally, you’ll also save a lot of useful scraps from entering landfills. Not sure what to compost? Feel free to toss things like paper or cardboard in the compost bin. If you eat at the Festival and have leftover food such as fruits, veggies, bread or grains, make sure to compost it.
5. Reuse your own materials--and some of ours too!
Reusing is better for the environment, and better for you, too. Try bringing a reusable water bottle to the Festival. Not only does bringing your own bottle eliminate the use of plastic, but it will help keep you hydrated throughout your stay at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The water stations scattered across the Festival are for your use: fill up your bottle whenever you want!
If you’re planning on shopping at the Artist Market, make sure to stop by the Information Tents and grab a free Dollar Bank reusable bag, or simply bring your own from home. Reusable bags will come in handy to store your purchases and belongings.
6. Educate Yourself on Being Green On-Site with the Pennsylvania Resources Council
Going green can be confusing or daunting at first, but everyone can play their part by making small adjustments. Through educating yourself on how to maintain a sustainable life, reduce your waste, and condense your footprint, you will greatly impact our environment! Take initiative with us this year at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival by participating in resourcefulness, and don’t forget to visit different booths throughout the Festival to learn about sustainability and living green.
Interested in learning how you can reduce your waste? Our friends at the Pennsylvania Resources Council will be on-site to help and answer any of your questions. Our environmentally friendly staff, The Green Team, will be around the Festival to answer any green related questions, as well as help you sort your waste.
7. Set Some Environmental Goals
Our goal each year of TRAF is to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to create a sustainable environment. When visiting the Festival this year, try setting a goal using some of the initiatives mentioned above, or get creative and come up with your own! Goals can be as small as purchasing one less plastic bottle of water per trip and recycling it when you’re done, or as big as participating in Car Free Fridays. Every action, small or large, makes a difference! Check out the Green Machine periodically throughout the Festival: it tracks the progress of how “green” our behaviors are.
Together we can make this year’s Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival the most environmentally friendly Festival yet!
Author note: Meaghanne O'Connell is the Festival Marketing Intern for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She is a student at Duquesne University.