After waiting for what felt like a lifetime, I finally got to experience the magic and wonder that is Coachella this past weekend. The music, fashion, lights, and overall energy come together to create an environment that is unparalleled. The brilliant minds behind this one-of-a-kind festival have taken the liberty to use their immense platform to give back. Coachella is a big advocate for philanthropy and environmental sustainability. In addition to your everyday recycling bins and compostable materials, there were numerous unique ways in which you could participate in the initiative.

Coachella Green
Coachella Green

Carpoolchella was started to promote the reduction of gas emissions by traveling in as few vehicles as possible. If your party consisted of 4-6 people, you were eligible to enter  into a fabulous contest simply by decorating your car or by writing “Carpoolchella” on a piece of paper on your dashboard. Designs varied from simple doodles to intricate graphics but overall there was definitely no lack of creativity. Prizes ranged from merchandise vouchers to wristband upgrades, or if you were lucky enough, the Grand Prize of VIP FOR LIFE! Pretty amazing, huh?

There are often times during the festival that you either have no particular acts you want to see or that you just need a break from standing in the crowd. The Energy Playground was created so festival goers would have a fun, non music-related activity to enjoy with added benefits. Not only can you power up your phone there (a must), but the energy created by playing on the various apparatuses is what fuels the charger. Sustainable energy, full batteries, and fun: so many birds, only one stone.

Staying hydrated at a day-long festival in the desert is crucial. While it is recommended that you bring a refillable water bottle, not everyone follows. That’s where the 10 for 1 Bottle Exchange comes into play. Attendees are bribed with “VIP upgrades, refillable Coachella bottles, cold waters, Coachella tees, sunscreen, ferris wheel passes plus more” as incentive to recycle their bottles. 10 bottles gets you 1 prize, which in my case added up to a prize a day. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Hydrated.

The TRASHed :: #ArtOfRecycling campaign is “an ongoing recycling education program that redefines the way people view recycling and trash collection. Global Inheritance collaborates with artists to redesign recycling bins, then integrates them at high visibility events to encourage recycling and provide additional outlets for people to appreciate and interact with the artwork.” Festival goers were able to submit designs in the months prior to the event, and winners were chosen to have their bins on display. In addition to these gorgeous works of art, there was an endless supply of regular recycling bins scattered around the festival grounds.

The Saving Nature Arcade was another creation of Coachella’s partnership with Global Inheritance. The solar-powered arcade contained video games which highlighted various environmental challenges. Some of the creative ways you could win free tokens to play the games were to show a photo of your Carpoolchella , roll dice and answer a trivia question on one of the Saving Nature issues, vote on your favorite TRASHed Coachella bins and tag #savingnature, charge your phone on the energy seesaw, purchase an organic Coachella shirt or organic food item or show them your refillable water bottle and much more! The best part is that your scores in the games were ranked against other competitors in an effort to win fun prizes.

Coachella is a festival that promotes peace, love, unity and respect for both people and our environment. It’s a great example of how giving back and treating our earth with respect doesn’t have to be a chore. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to take a look at what you can do differently everyday to promote change. Don’t wait until next year’s Coachella to join the movement!

Comment below with any fun suggestions you’d have for next year’s Coachella/Global Inheritance sustainability initiative!


By Ayla Erdos-Steinberg: Owns more beanies than pairs of pants. Amateur Human, Professional Mermaid.

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