Article

Carbon footprint of a music festival

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Abstract

In an effort to curb CO2 and by extension, greenhouse gas emissions various initiatives have been taken statewide, nationally and internationally. However, benchmarks and metrics are not clearly defined for CO2 and CO2 equivalent accounting. The objective of this study is to estimate the carbon footprint of the Lincoln Park Music Festival which occurs annually in Newark, NJ. This festival runs for three days each summer and consists of music, food vendors, merchandise and a green marketplace. In order to determine the carbon footprint generated by transportation, surveys of participants were analyzed. Of the approximately 40,000 participants in 2009, 3.3% were surveyed. About 30% of respondents commuted to the festival by car with an average of 10 miles traveling distance. Transportation emission amounted to an estimated CO2 emission of 188 metric tons for all three days combined. Trash at the music festival was weighed, components estimated, and potential CO2 emission calculated if incinerated. 63% of the trash was found to be carbon based, which is the equivalent of three metric tons of CO2 if incinerated. The majority of the trash (>60%) could have been recycled, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint. In order to limit the carbon footprint of this festival, alternative transport options would be advisable as transport accounted for the largest proportion of the carbon footprint at this festival.

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