Art and activism often go hand in hand. In fact, some might argue that they’re one and the same.
Each year in March, thousands of music junkies, movie buffs, innovators and education enthusiasts gather in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest (SXSW), a festival dedicated to finding the next big thing. The festival is currently taking place through March 18.
Naturally, with all of those people coming into town, the city of Austin is bound to see some waste. Last year, the “Green Zone” was introduced to the center of the city as a place to refill empty water bottles, relax on recycled furniture, get free Wi-Fi and recharge laptops and cell phones with solar energy, thanks to Sol Design Lab’s “solar pump.”
Now in its second year, the zone, located at 7th and Red River streets, offers an upcycled, alternative way to relax. The area also serves as a recycling drop-off for on-the-go festival patrons.
The Green Zone is far from being the only effort to make the Austin festival more environmentally friendly. This year, the festival board announced SXSW Eco, a fall conference that will gather creative minds to discuss energy-savvy solutions to everyday sustainability woes through lectures and presentations.
“SXSW Inc. acknowledges and takes responsibility for its environmental impacts,” the company says on its website. “SXSW will demonstrate leadership in its efforts to integrate principles of environmental sustainability into its organizational practices. By promoting awareness of the environmental impact that our actions have within our corporate culture we hope to find solutions that limit and mitigate the environmental effects of our operations and events.”