Letter: Jazz Aspen was wasteful | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Jazz Aspen was wasteful

We recently came to Aspen and Snowmass to experience the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience. As someone who attends music events and festivals all across our beautiful state throughout the year, the thought of seeing Stevie Wonder under the stars was too much to resist.

I was dismayed to see the event-management company as AXS, as I had experienced its lack of environmental ethics before. How, I asked, could Aspen and Snowmass, where the respected Aspen Center for Environmental Studies resides, where ideas of conservation have a birthright and where thousands portend to care about the environment, host a festival with zero recycling, tons and tons of disposable waste, single-use cups and a complete disregard for any sort of a sustainability consciousness? Paper, plastic, thousands of cans and food waste all went together in single-use bins. I asked several volunteers and workers why there wasn’t recycling, and they all said the same thing: It’s too hard to manage, and people don’t care or pay attention. Guess what: People do care, people will pay attention, and it is worth it, but you have to have an organization and infrastructure that support it. I asked at least 25 other attendees directly around us, and they all were also surprised it was so difficult to find a suitable recycle bin and so much waste was being created. They, too, thought the festival was super-lame in this regard.

I would highly suggest that Jazz Aspen Snowmass evaluate some of the other similarly sized festivals around the state that actually walk their talk and have highly successful and published sustainability doctrines and a deep regard for a minimal-waste festival experience. Go see how the others do it. I have no doubt you’ll be impressed (e.g., check out the many Telluride and Lyons festivals that promote cup reuse, drinks on tap instead of cans and bottles, compostable plates and forks, etc.). I won’t be attending Jazz Aspen Snowmass again as long as sustainability isn’t valued, and I hope others see this as a good opportunity to use their voices and be heard. We all need to be conscious of our footprint.

Adrienne Custode


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