Students from CSSI implement sustainability practices at music festival

Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives (CSSI) is a student project-oriented club on campus where students engage in sustainability projects. They recently participated in the M3F festival where they helped implement sustainability practices applicable to the music industry. Read more about what they did from their President Casey Rapacki in her Q&A.

Sustainability Connect Question (SC): What is Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives (CSSI) and what types of projects do you do?

Casey Rapacki’s Answer (CR): CSSI is a student-led sustainability club that encourages sustainable initiatives here at ASU. We do this by hosting club meetings, helping students run their own sustainability projects, and sharing information about community events & volunteering opportunities through our network.

SC: How did you get connected with this unique opportunity?

CR: I began a project in CSSI called Zero-Waste Beats that aims to increase sustainable practices at music festivals on ASU’s campus. After publicizing my initiative, I came in contact with Matthew Burmeister and Meghan Marrin, two graduate students who had the same goal as me! They partnered with McDowell Mountain Music Festival (M3F Fest), which donates all proceeds to nonprofits such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Teach for America. If it weren’t for CSSI, I would have never thought that this unique opportunity could be possible!

SC: What types of sustainability work did CSSI do at the M3F Fest?

CR: CSSI helped keep the three-stream waste clean, which includes landfill, recycling, and compost. Having recycling is a huge deal for a music festival, so seeing that and compost was awesome! We picked up litter from vendors, helped folks sort their waste properly, and spread the word about other sustainable practices (like the water refill stations & reusable beer cups).

SC: How can we incorporate sustainability in large scale events and institutions?

CR: The original MSUS graduate student I began this partnership with, Matthew Burmeister, created the “Sustainable Sound: Festival Guide,” which he shared with M3F Fest coordinators. The guide lists out all of the possible measures a festival could implement to be more sustainable, like having vegan/vegetarian options, hosting community competitions, donating to those in need, providing water refill stations, coordinating bin guards for three-stream waste bins, educating music-goers on responsible drinking, providing rewards for can/litter collection, just to name a few. There are so many ways to incorporate sustainability, and the best part is that each festival can adopt whatever works for them!