SXSW Interactive and Film kicked off with a twittering of panels, parties, and keynote events. While sustainability was not necessarily a primary theme throughout the festival, there were even a few panels committed to the “green” digerati.” However, the biggest green coup at SXSW were the two finalists up for Web Awards in the Activism Category: World Without Oil and Make Me Sustainable (MMS). World Without Oil won the award, but MMS definitely made their presence known within SXSW circles. We had a chance to sit down with two of the founders, Benjamin Brown and David Delcourt, to chat about some new tools that they showcased at SXSW, their partnership with Reverb, and some exciting new ways to make summer concert going more sustainable.
What is the SXSW Carbon Tree?
MMS: The SXSW Carbon Tree tracks our collective impact, the real time carbon reductions of all conference attendees, the friends they invite and so on…To encourage greater participation Evolution Sage has generously agreed to match 50% of all SXSW attendees’ carbon reductions with the purchase of carbon offsets.
What Inspired The Carbon Tree?
MMS: It was inspired by our personal experience at Live Earth where we saw this mobilization in masses and we wondered what happened after? We wanted to empower fans of these events to mobilize in a very long term community engagement. We wanted to create a tangible tool that could tap into communities horizontally like Facebook and to make it simple and easy to promote sustainability. The Carbon Tree is really a system that makes it as flexible as possible for a new consumer to promote sustainability, to create a viral green effect, and build awareness. (NOTE: Check out the Facebook Application here)
How did you get involved with Jose Gonzalez and what will MMS be doing?
MMS: We have partnered with Reverb and are working with Jose Gonzalez on his spring tour to help mobilize his tour efforts and fans to fight global warming together. The Carbon Tree tool will track your environmental impact, allowing you to see the effects of strategies as simple as changing a light bulb. It will further allow you to visualize your ability to mobilize your community by tracking the impact of those you invite to be part of your tree.
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How will the Carbon Tree be highlighted through actual performances?
MMS: With a combination of interactive displays at the show which will highlight the top 5 fans making an impact and tools such as badges, fans can take action with Jose and show the ripple effect in carbon reductions.
What other super star rock stars are you working with?
MMS: Through our partnership with Reverb, we have some great bands coming in that we will be announcing soon and are so excited to be able to provide a tool that is customizable and empowering everyone to be a catalyst for change. We see these concerts as great opportunities to link commercial communities with grassroots communities, as well as connecting virtual and local communities.
What are you most excited about for the future of MMS?
MMS: Working with Reverb and through their various programs like the eco-villages is a great opportunity to provide a tool that is customizable for empowering everyone with that grassroots mentality. With all the concerns of greenwashing and the vast amount of qualitative information out there, we are able to verify metrics with green qualitative content so people have measurable outcomes regarding their individual and collective impact.
MMS: Rock On!
Check out Make Me Sustainable, and grow your carbon tree today!