Hey music lovers, I know this might sound a little off-topic right now but it’s 2019 and trash in the ocean is still a problem. Trash on our streets is still a problem. Whole countries without accessible clean water is still a problem. This summer for everyone in Europe has been hardly bearable, and did you know – Coachella festival-goers contribute to a collective amount of 107 tons of solid waste in a single day? The festival is two weekends long.
I’m saying our Earth is dying and we’re the ones killing it.
So, I think it’s about time we take social responsibility.
Going to see live music is, in my opinion, one of the only things that makes me think life is worth living. It is the only thing I do. It’s the only thing I willingly spend my money on (except maybe, coffee), and I completely understand how important it is to spend a night out screaming your favorite songs back to your favorite performers surrounded by thousands of people who are just like you, but we don’t have to push away our responsibility of being good humans to do it.
Be careful or you’ll drown.
– She’s American by The 1975 –
I know words like “climate change,” or “global warming,” or “environment” sound like these big overwhelming ideas. They sound like these gigantic untouchable things that can’t possibly be affected by how much we use straws, but when there’s seven billion of us on this planet, they are. When words sound that big, when responsibilities seem so global like that, I know it’s easy to feel like we should just push that responsibility onto our political leaders and wait for change, but doing that is the furthest thing from what we should be doing – and sadly, some leaders aren’t doing a great job at leading.
So, I encourage you to read up about the latest news on the Earth’s climate and how our actions are vastly enhancing the effects of global warming if you don’t already know how serious it is. I won’t preach to you because I know I came here to write about music, but if you go to concerts often, or if you go to concerts at all, please just keep in mind that a night out isn’t any excuse to not try to protect the very place where we live – the very place that allows you concert environments to begin with.
Hear how The 1975 enlist climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, for their new song.
I worked at a concert venue as a staff member for a little while and witnessed a few things that people do that – when it turns into 500 people doing it – it’s just so detrimental to this planet. Just like being in the middle of the pit doesn’t excuse you from pushing and shoving the people around you for no good reason, attending a concert with thousands of other people doesn’t excuse you from making sure your plastic beer cups end up in the trash cans.
Here are ten ways you can be an eco-friendly concert goer.
GET YOURSELF A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Reducing the use of plastic is something we can all easily commit to, and I think this is one of the most important things you can do as a concert goer. If you have money to invest in a ticket to a show, you will most likely have a few dollars to spend on a reusable water bottle. So buy a reusable water bottle! You can get the kinds that keep your water cold for the entire day which is great if you’re going to a festival, all-day show, or if you’re camping. You’ll be able to refill it with water fountains or nearby restaurants that give out water for no charge instead of investing in buying plastic bottles. It’ll save you money too since venues are charging the downpayment on my car for two water bottles. Maybe you can invest in water-resistant lipstick, so you can skip the straws too.
Wait! What if the venue doesn’t allow our own liquid containers? Security at concerts has increased, as it should, but many venues may not allow you to bring in your own liquid containers. If that’s the case, you can take in unopened water bottles with you. Keep them unopened until you pass through security check. That way, you’ll save yourself from having to buy water at the overpriced bar. If you’ve no choice but to take in a plastic water bottle, that’s okay! Just don’t leave your empty bottles on the floor. Make sure they make it into trash cans or recycle bins if they’re around!
WATCH THOSE WRIST BANDS
You waited in line all day to get a good spot in the pit, and you have an exclusive wristband tied around your wrist. Usually, wristband distributors are good at making sure they’re on tightly and securely because it is a closed-off space and only allowed to people with special tickets, but sometimes they do fall off.
I get that you’re dancing and moshing and having the time of your life or whatever, but don’t forget to check once in a while if your wristband is still on you throughout the night and that it didn’t fall off somewhere. Just in case you have to leave the pit and come back, it’s your only way to get back in! Oh and after the show’s over, don’t just throw it on the ground either. Put it where it belongs. In the trashcan, or in a framed photo box hanging on the wall in your room. Your choice.
GET PDF TICKETS AND DOWNLOAD THOSE APPS
The concert industry has been trying to make it a point for years to reduce waste as it’s no surprise that this huge coming together of people generates a lot of pollution and trash. Turning to electronic ticketing has been one way they’re trying to conquer it.
When you first purchase concert tickets, you’ll have the option to select paper or e-delivery. We’re using technology to its fullest anyway. Save a tree, and download your e-tickets. Make sure you download the appropriate apps (Ticketmaster, AXS, LiveNation) so that you can get into the venue with the right codes downloaded.
Many venues may only offer paper tickets, especially if a show has a general admission section closed off, like for a pit. This is because many people tend to photoshop their e-tickets to say, “Floor,” or “GA,” so if you’ve got no choice but to use a paper ticket, I get it. I’m an old soul and love old things so I totally understand the romanticism in keeping physical tickets for the memories. It’s awesome, and I own a scrapbook of tickets from when I was little. As long as you don’t leave them lying on the ground, I’m cool with it.
MAKE SURE YOUR TRASH GOES INTO TRASH CANS
How much simpler do you want this to be? Litter is disgusting and if you litter, you’re disgusting.
DON’T DESTROY THE FUCKING GRASS
This sounds ridiculous but I swear, I’ve seen people do it. I’m not talking about if you accidentally drop your cheese fries or spill your alcohol onto the lawn. I’m a klutz, so I get that. What I’m talking about is if maybe you got super drunk or too high or I don’t know, maybe if the music makes you feel like the need to pull out the grass on the lawn – How about you don’t do that? It costs money for cities to maintain their landscapes the way they do. Let’s just keep the nature that we still have around us as alive as possible. Thank you.
THE FLOOR IS NOT AN ASHTRAY
Many venues don’t allow smoking anymore, but at a lot of outdoor concert stadiums and arenas, you’re pretty much free to do so in designated areas. If you’re gonna smoke, just remember that the ground is not really your ashtray, even though there may not be anywhere else to dispose of your cigarettes. Sometimes booths around the venue will give out personal ashtrays for free. Sometimes actual ash trays are located near the bar or tables and chairs near it. You can utilize them.
CARPOOL WITH A FRIEND OR TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
If we all drove one less car on our way to concerts, we’d save our air from a lot of pollution. Parking for stadiums and arenas many times cost an arm and a leg. If you take a friend with you, you can make them split this price! By taking public transportation like the subway, bus, or train ticket to your venue, you’ll help reduce the use of cars and in turn, the air pollution that they cause. You will also save money by avoiding paying for parking, I promise.
TAILGATE BEFORE YOUR SHOW
Something that many concert-goers forget is that the parking lot is open to everyone. If you and your friends like hanging out a little before the show, tailgating is a great idea. It’ll save you money on drinks and food. You can buy take out and bring your own drinks to have in the trunk of your friends’ cars. Pull out lawn chairs and hang in the parking lot until doors open.
Trash cans are almost always located in parking lots, just make sure your to-go boxes end up in there, and what’s awesome is that you can keep your finished beer cans and bottles in your car, and take them home to recycle and keep the money you make from recycling them.
We only see what’s in front of us
We only see straight ahead.
– Fast In My Car by Paramore –
These aren’t hard things to do. I’m not asking you to make huge lifestyle changes or anything, but in the long run, it just might bring about the huge kind of changes we need.
Have fun at your next show! Be kind. Recycle what you can, but not your creative ideas. I love you for reading this, and I leave you with Idioteque by Radiohead which is the solemn reminder we all need sometimes.
Let’s stay loving what we love, but let’s be smart about it, okay?