The Most Sustainable Festival in the World?

The fact that this argument even exists is a great development.  We at 1to1 have been saying for years that you don’t need to compromise fashion for function in world of sustainability, and the music/art fest world are probably the leaders in making this a reality.  

We don’t know what the MOST sustainable festival in the world is (yet) but there is only one festival which has won the Outstanding Award from A Greener Festival three years running: Lighting in a Bottle.  

Photo: Daniel Zetterstrom

Let’s take a look at the facts…

  • Free water stations (so there’s no need to purchase single-use plastic bottles) 
  • On that note, plastic bottles won’t be available for sale throughout the event 
  • Light towers, generators, camping shuttles, and crew vehicles are run on bio-diesel 
  • LiB requires a Leave No Trace commitment from attendees (Pack it in, pack it out) 
  • Parking is free for those who carpool 
  • And maybe most notably, LiB is billed as an educational event, aiming to change the lives of those who attend through inspiring workshops, inspiring speakers, immersive environments, a learning kitchen, a community marketplace, and art at the heart of every event aspect. 


The CEO (Chief Environmental Officer)

We had a chance to connect with Shena Jade Jensen, LiB’s Sustainability Manager leading up to the event.  We spoke with Shena about the history of LiB’s conservation efforts, the impetus for making these changes, the challenges associated with operating sustainability, and the vision for future events.  

Unlike the cutthroat operate world, Shena and LiB work closely with festival’s like Costa Rica’s Envision festival and even Coachella on sustainability management best practices and resources.  LiB’s efforts are open-source, and they share their Green Report (which is compiled by Shena) with anyone who wants to improve upon their event’s impact.  

The Future

Sustainability is at the heart of everything LiB and their organizing team do, but they do still face challenges (like not owning the land that the event takes place on).  LiB continues to make improvements to their operational and programmatic efforts but they also see a change in adoptability and entry-level access to other events’ environmental plans.  With mainstream adoption of eco-wares lowering prices, consumer demand for eco-friendliness, and a wealth of information from festivals like Lightning in a bottle, it’s never been easier to organize a more sustainable event.