Front Porch Fest's Green Movement
Today we celebrate Earth Day by highlighting the many ways Front Porch Fest loves our planet. From the beginning, Front Porch Fest has been dedicated to having a small footprint, and minimizing its impact on the environment. In the early years this manifested in naturally sourced fencing and storage of building and infrastructure materials to be reused each year instead of being disposed of. In addition, FPF has been a recycling festival from the early years, with the Green Team taking time and energy to sort recyclables from trash.
As the festival grew, new environmentally friendly measures were taken. One of the most notable was the shift to refillable water canteens around the festival grounds, which the FPF Green Team tirelessly refilled so patrons would have chilled potable water. At this time, there was also a big push toward bringing reusable beverage containers to the festival.
After two years of managing the water distribution independently, Front Porch Fest partnered with Klean Kanteen, becoming a part of its very successful zero waste events initiative. Through this collaboration, FPF was able to offer branded stainless steel pints for purchase, and Klean Kanteen brought in its filtered water station to provide drinking water to festival patrons.
As the partnership with Klean Kanteen strengthened, FPF was able to reduce its single use plastic consumption considerably. In 2015 alone, the water station offset nearly 6,000 single use plastic water bottles. In the past two years, FPF has designed its own water station with the help of sponsor Mechanical Designs of VA, and continues to offer year-specific branded reusable drinkware. By encouraging reusables and not allowing the sale of bottled water, it is estimated that Front Porch Fest has offset over 25,000 disposable water bottles in the past seven years.
In addition to drinking water, the FPF pouring areas also encourage reusable containers by offering stainless pints for sale, as well as for free with the purchase of a VIP ticket. As single use drinking plastic was reduced, the festival was mindful of its footprint in other aspects as well. Plates used in both the VIP and staff hospitality areas are compostable, and both kitchens save food scraps to feed to livestock kept at Spirithaven Farm.
One of the more creative and inspiring low-impact practices at Front Porch Fest was the trash sculpture created by the children of FPF in 2018. For several weeks before the festival, a group of junior FPF staff worked with the Patrick County Green Team initiative to collect trash from local roadways. The items were brought to the festival site, and over the course of the weekend the children designed and built a large narwhal exclusively from the trash they had picked up. After participating in the children’s parade at the festival and being displayed for the weekend, “Freddy the Trash Narwhal” has become an ambassador for clean roadways, for the “Love It Don’t Trash It PC” movement, and for Front Porch Fest.
Front Porch Fest has long been a festival with Earth-friendly practices, from using natural or recycled materials for construction projects to partnering with one of the biggest names in low-impact living. Its commitment to continuing to improve environmentally sensitive practices is obvious, and we are excited to see what new Earth-friendly measures are taken as the festival continues to grow.