Everywhere the "Be the Change" national SLR tour stops, a group of dedicated eco-friendly volunteers do their best to inform inquisitive residents how to most efficiently live green.
Marty Driggs, A spokesperson for the SLR, said the caravan hopes to bring "edutainment" to campuses like UT. By creating an arena to focus on different aspects of sustainable living, the SLR hopes attendees will feel engaged and motivated, but not preached to.
The group achieves this "edutainment" feel by bringing information to the consumers in a fun and festive atmosphere.
To that end, several bands will be playing at this weekend's event:
- The Andy Show
- Natti Love Joys
- The Charles Butler Experience
- Grandpa's Stash
- Booze Hound Gandy Dance
- DJ Snack Attack & special guests
- Beats Antique
- Monkey Spores
- Thomas Clever
"People think green living is a sacrifice, but by taking a holistic approach to green living, you don't see it as a sacrifice," Driggs said. "Instead, you see that there is a whole community to rely on. There is a lot to gain from it."
The SLR heavily promotes the idea of community-based living. Driggs advocates locally grown produce and meats. "By focusing on having a local diet, you see a big reduction in pollutions. For areas that can't grow their own produce year round, there are other options like canning and food fermentation, and the SLR is looking to create workshops about these methods of storing food."
The SLR focuses on a holistic view of the green lifestyle, which includes natural health, green technology, localization of food and power, consumer choices, and alternative transportation. It does this through various elements:
- Solar sound stage - A venue for local and national acts powered solely by the sun.
- The Conscious Carnival - Eight interactive games including a nine-hole "global warming mini-golf course."
- Green Screens Film Festival - An opportunity for event-goers to watch and discuss videos concerning environmental and social issues.
- Workshop tents - Speakers from across the world will be leading discussions about everything green.
- The Green Market Place - A medium for introducing various eco-friendly companies to consumers.
- Natural Health and Healing Farmacy - An area dedicate to selling a wide range of natural healing aids.
- The Eco-Info Zone - The caravan's mobile bookstore.
- Clean Energy Showcase - The road show's biofuel buses and vehicles are used to show viewers ways to improve energy usage.
- Awakened Art Garden - A gallery of various art mediums themed about the environment
Tossing fossil fuels is a prevalent topic of the road show's discussions, Driggs said.
But isn't a mobile caravan adding to the problem of using fossil fuels? According to SLR's Web site, all of the tour's buses run on sustainable biofuels, the events use power from solar and biofuel generators, and the events are "zero-waste."
The next question one might ask is: isn't that more expensive?
Driggs explained, "The dichotomy between the economic and environmental solutions is quickly becoming outdated. The costs of externalities from fossil fuels are much higher. Switching over would actually cost less."
But setting up a mobile education festival is by no means cheap. Driggs estimated setting up each event, including fuel to the event, would cost around $10,000.
And yet, the event is free for everyone. So how do they afford to travel from campuses to conventions?
A large portion of the groups funds come from large individual donors, Driggs said. But volunteers do their part as well. Local farmers and co-ops donate food. The SLR does sell some merchandise.
The group went out to thrift stores, purchased affordable used T-shirts, and printed the SLR logo on them. The road show also sells books on everything from alternative medicine to vegan cookbooks.
"The real goal of the SLR," Driggs explained, "is to make itself obsolete. It should serve as a model for people around the country. We all sense something isn't right. Realizing that there's others out there with the same way of thinking as you is empowering. Going to the show makes you more motivated to be green."