It’s Fall, Y’all!
What better way to soak up autumn in Texas than to head outside and take part in one of the great festivals thrown across our great state. From live music to camping to pumpkin patches, these fall festivals will appeal to both families and groups of single friends – especially if energy efficiency and eco-friendly initiatives are important to you!
Pumpkin and scarecrow festivals can be found in small towns and large cities across the state. Just take a Sunday drive through the countryside, and you’ll surely find a pumpkin patch posted up outside of schools, churches, libraries, city halls, and more.
One way to make these experiences energy-efficient is to roast those pumpkins seeds, compost the jack-o-lanterns once Halloween passes, or turn those fall decorations into pumpkin soup!
Austin City Limits Festival
One of the crown jewels of the city of Austin, Zilker Park hosts ACL Festival, the Lone Star State’s largest outdoor rock concert. With activities covering eight stages, two weekends, and over 110 bands, the Live Music Capitol of the World knows a thing or two about how to throw a killer outdoor party.
With thousands of people flooding into the park, it’s important for the festival to keep the environment in mind. ACL Cares is a way for the festival to show its support for important organizations. Keep Austin Beautiful is one group they’re supporting in 2016, an organization that organizes cleanups around the communities and creeks of the greater Austin area, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis.
ACL also supports the Sustainable Food Center, Oxfam, and The Nature Conservancy, among many more. Staving off excess plastic bottle waste, ACL now hosts water stations for concertgoers where they can fill their own personal water bottles up, rather than buying disposable bottles. You’ll also find recycling bins around the park, reducing the amount trash that’s hauled off to the landfill.
Just north of San Antonio and to the west of Austin is Utopia, a sleepy Hill Country town where cows graze on pastures. And a few miles up the road, the Frio River meanders its way through the limestone for miles. Each fall, UTOPiAfest appears like a mushroom in a paddock, taking over a stunning private piece of land to create a mellow weekend of live music, free camping, and best of all, community.
Other than camping, what makes UTOPiAfest green? For one, their diligent recycling program, courtesy of Keep Utopia Beautiful, who also pass out free cigarette butt boxes. The majority of their artwork, signs, paint, and fencing is re-purposed post-festival. They host eco-friendly talks from professors, PhD’s, and other industry experts, and the festival organizers take their job seriously as stewards of the land, educating the community on ways they can help preserve this beautiful part of Texas. They also encourage carpooling to the festival.
REI also hosts hikes and bikes on the property, providing mountain bikes to eager explorers, while also operating a community camp kitchen. Last but not least, it includes a completely acoustic stage that uses zero power. Family-friendly, a capped audience, and the vast skies of Texas above you – what more could you want?
Sound on Sound Fest
Located in McDade, in Central Texas, Sound on Sound looks to transform the typical festival experience by focusing on a unique location and booking of punk, hip hop, indie, metal, comedy, live panel discussions, and dance music!
What makes it environmentally friendly is their camping facilities, as well as encouraging festival-goers to bring their own empty bottle to fill up with water. Make your camping experience eco-friendly by not bringing disposable cups, plates and silverware. By purchasing a large water dispenser, you can easily hand wash all cooking utensils and let the air outside dry them off.