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Rock the Green walks the walk of sustainability

Education, empowerment at forefront of globally recognized music festival

MILWAUKEE – (Sept. 08, 2016) – The award-winning music festival Rock the Green returns Sept. 17 to Reed Street Yards in Milwaukee with a lineup of world-class bands, expanded sustainability offerings and an ambitious goal of just 1 ounce of waste per attendee.

The average festival attendee creates 16 ounces of waste, according to an estimate from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“From day 1, it has been our mission to entertain and engage the members of our community through music and sustainability at an event that leaves a lasting impact on attendees without making a lasting impact on the environment,” said Lindsay Stevens Gardner, founder and executive director, Rock the Green.

“We’re excitedly counting down the days until the festival, and are honored to have the overwhelming support of internationally recognized bands, local and national sponsors and our zero-waste partners, as we work to strengthen our mission of building a greener Milwaukee,” Stevens Gardner said.

Compost and recycling bins and food-grinding stations helped divert 93 percent of waste from landfills at the last Rock the Green festival and organizers are hoping to raise that number this year. Trash bins will be provided only for items guests bring to the event from home — nothing provided to guests at Rock the Green will produce waste. In addition, festival power will be provided by a combination of B20 biodiesel generators, solar power provided by Arch Electric and bicycle power provided by Power by the People.

The festival will run from 1 to 11 p.m. and feature headline acts Lord Huron, Robert DeLong, Best Coast, The Heavy, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and Trapper Schoepp, in addition to Milwaukee artists New Age Narcissism, Foreign Goods, NO/NO, Evan Christian, Eagle Trace and Great Lake Drifters.

Tickets are $35 ($40 day of) for general admission (free to children 10 and younger) and $75 for VIP admission, which includes access to a lounge area, nearby restrooms, food and beverage amenities, a merchandise voucher for an upcycled Goodwill concert tee and chair massages.

Get eco-educated

At the Eco-Kids stage, sponsored by Rexnord and solar powered through contributions from Arch Electric, local sustainability pioneers will empower attendees to implement small changes in their lifestyle to create an environmentally friendly community.

The Eco-Champions area will showcase the missions of 16 local environmental nonprofits. From 3 to 7 p.m., Rock the Green board members will provide behind-the-scenes guided zero waste tours of 15 unique sustainability efforts on the grounds, starting from the 88Nine Radio Milwaukee booth.

The cornerstone of the sustainability festival is the innovative waste reclamation, recycling and composting operation overseen by Groot, an independent waste management provider. Event volunteers will assist attendees to properly sort waste into four bins — Compostables, Food and Organics, Recyclables and Trash.

In 2012, Rock the Green composted nearly 3,980 pounds of waste. This year, Compost Crusader and Blue Ribbon Organics will process compostable materials. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)/Milorgranite station will process food and organics, and Groot will oversee the handling of recycling and trash.

“At Groot, green is more than just a color — it’s the backbone of our attitude toward the environment,” said Jonathon Groot, senior vice president, Groot. “We proudly support Rock the Green’s mission and are excited to join forces with the festival.”

Festival partner MMSD will again sponsor the food grinding stations where 100 percent of the festival food scraps will be ground up on-site in stainless steel sink units. After the festival, MMSD will process the food scraps and convert them to energy and Milorganite, an organic fertilizer.

Team efforts

Local cycling teams The Velo Femmes, Black Girls Do Bike/Major Motion, UWM, The Tosa Spokesmen, Marquette University and The Bella Donnas will provide energy for the Educator Credit Union and UPS pedal-powered side stage. Portable generators are returning to the festival to provide bio-diesel fuel as additional power for the festival’s stage and interactive areas.

To enhance the festival’s mission, food vendors, such as Screaming Tuna, Buddha Lounge, Bel Air Cantina, Dr. Dawg, Classy Girl Cupcakes and more, will provide guests with sustainable and healthy farm-to-fork food options served on compostable plates and napkins.

All guests will receive a complimentary, refillable aluminum water bottle from CannedWater4Kids, which can be refilled on site at the Badger Meter free & freshwater stations. Water flow will be tracked during the event to determine how many plastic water bottles were spared.

Event keepsakes include branded festival merchandise, such as $10 T-shirts made from upcycled Goodwill inventory, marked with a Rock the Green logo.

Arrive in style

Rock the Green organizers encourage carpooling and public transportation, and bicycling is rewarded. All attendees arriving by bike will have access to a free bike valet hosted by Milwaukee Bicycle Collective Don’t have a bike? Bublr Bike stations are located throughout the city, with a docking station near the festival gates.

Rock the Green has partnered with Uber to provide safe and reliable rides. Enter promo code “rockthegreen” to get the first ride free (up to $20) for new users. Additionally, an online ride-share program through will provide carpooling options.

Visit for sponsorship opportunities and festival updates. Stay in the know and follow Rock the Green on social media:

About Rock the Green

Rock the Green (RTG) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering the community to take actionable steps to live sustainably. RTG accomplishes its mission through engagement and entertainment. RTG educates the community through interactive one-to-one experiences that spotlight community organizations and innovators in sustainability. Annually, RTG presents an award-winning sustainability festival that showcases world-class music, zero waste efforts and locally grown foods. Typical festivals will see upwards of one pound of waste per attendee. At RTG’s sustainability festival, 93 percent of all waste was diverted from landfill — and composted, recycled or reused — producing only 1 ounce of waste per attendee. For more detailed results and information, go to


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