Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Greener Trinity Ball?

Trinity Ball is clearly the most anticipated and famous night in our college calendar. With 7,000 students eagerly awaiting this prestigious event, the logistics and running of such an event are often forgot about. With all the hype, it is easy to forget about all the emissions caused by such an event. The hundreds of lights, world class sound systems and the five different stages all contribute to what can only be imagined as a rather large contribution to Trinity’s CO2 emissions. In this blog I will examine a number of eco-friendly festivals and see whether their initiatives could be implemented for the Trinity Ball.

World-renowned music festivals such as Glastonbury and Coachella have become famous, not only for the festival itself, but due to their ability to provide a rather eco-friendly and sustainable festival. They have both adopted a “no trace policy”, which ensures any waste generated at the festival is optimally recycled. Coachella has also become famous due to its solar powered DJ booths. At Portugal’s bi-annual Boom Festival where “biodiesel, solar and wind energy powered 25% of the festival, sustainable bamboo construction techniques literally took center stage” . However it is clear that these festivals are on a much, much larger scale than that of Trinity Ball.

So what could be done at Trinity Ball? Small and creative ideas can be implemented to help reduce its carbon footprint. Something that I feel could be easily implemented is that off providing only organic food produce at the number of food stands. Another idea that could be introduced is one that is similar to what was in place at the former Oxegen music festival. There aim was to reduce the amount of plastic cups that were used at the festival. A pint of beer at Trinity Ball costs 5 euro. My suggestion would be to charge the five-euro for your first pint, and if you return with the same plastic cup, your next pint would see maybe a euro reduction in the price. This would encourage people to keep their plastic cups rather than flinging them on to the ground. This would, I feel, have a significant impact on the amount of waste reduced. Changing the energy sources to a more eco-friendly source would also be a viable option available to the organisers of Trinity Ball. Even something as simple as a pledge by the organisers to ensure that all of the waste is taken care of with the highest diligence is something that would make for a greener festival.

Even small steps towards a greener ball will be something that would be met with great enthusiasm not only by the organisers but also by the college as a whole. If anyone has any other suggestions, big or small, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Kevin Mateer

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