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2009 Sundance Recap: How Green Was This Year's Festival?

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Sundance Season is a favorite for many! It is that time in January when accomplished filmmakers, aspiring actors, and seasoned celebrities come together to celebrate independent films. In the spirit of Redford’s commitment to the environment, Sundance again put the spotlight on Mother Earth. With several environmental centric films and the Green Giving Suite, this year’s star was FilterForGood, the Brita and Nalgene campaign, that supplied this year’s festival with enough green Naglene bottles and Brita Hydration Systems to prevent over 50,000 bottles from being used at the festival. Everyone had them! On panels, on the street, on stage, attendees proudly showcased their new swag. There effort deserves a mounting round of applause, but even with pretty bottles, I felt that there was “water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” The water stations were few and far between and sometimes empty! With the high altitude and frigid temperatures, it is important to remember and health and safety when going green. Great job! But could we have more stations next year?

As Kermit reminds us, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Sundance is stuck in a rock and a hard place. Although they put on an incredible event, they have little control over the ancillary stores and services that inadvertently become part of the event. The best example are the Hummer Taxis driving down Main Street or the SUV Limousines idling outside of hotels. And despite Sundance’s extraordinary efforts, there was still vast room for improvement. Sundance festival provided multiple recycling stations, however the message still didn’t reach the attendees. Bottles were still found in trash cans, other were running over and the real question is, did the attendees even care? And do they care that they don’t care? With clear bins and big signs, our habits prevail. So what will it take for the attendees to kick their old trash habits?

Speaking of old habits and traditions, one that definitely went out of style at Sundance was FUR! Husbands protected their wives from angry protesters who shunned fur! Stickers, signs and screams, made it clear that these protesters were center stage. Did anyone document it? Perhaps it will be in the running for best documentary at next year’s festival?

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