Fes­ti­val go­ing sus­tain­able

Hamilton Metro News - - Front Page - Gary Far­row

Sound­splash Fes­ti­val is re­turn­ing to Raglan fol­low­ing an eight-year hia­tus.

With the sec­ond line-up an­nounce­ment hav­ing just been re­leased, the three-day ecofriendly event looks to make a spec­tac­u­lar come­back in Jan­uary.

On the top of the bill are renowned lo­cal artists Tiki Taane, Hol­lie Smith, Six60, Lit­tle Bush­man and State of Mind, to a name but a few on a solid list of more than 30 acts, in­clud­ing over­seas per­form­ers and DJs.

Sound­splash or­gan­iser Naomi Ruawai said the event used to be called Sound­splash Eco Reg­gae Fes­ti­val, with an “eco zone” set out to run work­shops about sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices, how to look af­ter the en­vi­ron­ment as a com­mu­nity and as an in­di­vid­ual.

“We now in­cor­po­rate the sus­tain­abil­ity within all ar­eas of the fes­ti­val the best we can, so­lar power for charg­ing de­vices, biodegrad­able pack­ag­ing with all ven­dors, bam­boo struc­tures, and com­post­ing our waste,” said Ruawai.

Hav­ing been to var­i­ous con­certs, fes­ti­vals, cul­tural or sport­ing events where she saw rub­bish scat­tered widely on the ground, Ruawai wanted to see Sound­splash take a fur­ther step up in sus­tain­abil­ity.

Her chil­dren at­tended Whain­garoa Ko­hanga Reo, where she was kaiti­aki or par­ent help. She learned about re­cy­cling through the sys­tems that were in place there, and started to buy prod­ucts in pack­ag­ing that could ei­ther be re­cy­cled or re­duced.

“This is where Imet my friends Rick Thorpe and Liz Stan­way from Xtreme Zero Waste, who taught me a lot about re­duc­ing waste,” said Ruawai.

“Many years on, it has led to the last fes­ti­val waste be­ing con­verted into com­post by Liz.”

The team ef­fort be­tween Sound­splash and Xtreme Zero Waste has en­abled the cre­ation of a zero waste plan.

“For me, it starts with the ven­dors— what is their pack­ag­ing, what is it made of, and how could the fes­ti­val min­imise waste pack­ag­ing and not cre­ate more un­nec­es­sary waste?” said Ruawai. “I found that many prod­ucts are sold with no re­gard to what pack­ag­ing is used. Those prod­ucts won’t be sold by ven­dors at the fes­ti­val. All ven­dors must have biodegrad­able pack­ag­ing.”

Xtreme Zero Waste is pro­vid­ing clearly marked bins for re­cy­cling, com­post and land­fill, with vol­un­teers sta­tioned at the bin sites to guide the waste into the cor­rect ones.

We now in­cor­po­rate the sus­tain­abil­ity within all ar­eas of the fes­ti­val the best we can

Naomi Ruawai Sound­splash Fes­ti­val owner

At­ten­dees at Sound­splash will be en­cour­aged to min­imise waste. Those camp­ing will be given bio bags to dis­pose of or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, and times will be set for them to put their bio bags out for col­lec­tion dur­ing the three-day fes­ti­val.

“There is al­ways learn­ing to be gained, es­pe­cially if prod­ucts keep get­ting pack­aged to ef­fect the en­vi­ron­ment and com­mu­ni­ties,” said Ruawai. “Next fes­ti­val we are in­tro­duc­ing plas­tic bag-free, to re­duce the plas­tic bags on­site. We will have work­shops in­clud­ing well­be­ing and eco prac­tices, giv­ing at­ten­dees tools to go home with and cre­ate or add to their own awareness with sus­tain­able prac­tices.”

Photo /file

Sound­splash re­turns to Raglan in Jan­uary.

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