Aiming to reduce environmental impacts, GMF creates partnerships to find Innovative ways to hold a more sustainable event—Food Waste Composting, Bike Valet, No Plastic Water Bottles, Carbon Offsets & More
(Tampa, March 8, 2018) ― The seventh-annual Gasparilla Music Festival, taking place Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11 in downtown Tampa, isn’t just offering the best music festival in Tampa Bay (as voted by Creative Loafing), they are also taking proactive steps to promote a more environmentally responsible event.
Partnering with local organizations to assist on the various sustainability initiatives, the Gasparilla Music Foundation’s Festival will also feature an incredible line-up of food and drink vendors that are nearly all exclusively local, independent restaurants, including many award-winning restaurants, chefs, and breweries.
“The Gasparilla Music Foundation aims to be a leader in our region for the execution of a more environmentally responsible event. We have developed strong partnerships with local businesses and organizations to continue to expand and improve our efforts towards this goal,” said Taylor Ralph, Gasparilla Music Festival board member and chair of its sustainability efforts.
VHB, a planning, engineering and environmental firm with over 160 dedicated staff in Florida, including downtown Tampa, were eager to step up and support the sustainability efforts.
“The Gasparilla Music Festival is one of the premier music events in the region, and it is a leader in recycling waste reduction, carbon offsetting, and providing social benefits outside the event itself. This mission fits with VHB’s focus on sustainability and resiliency in our work to improve mobility, enhance communities and balance development and infrastructure needs with environmental stewardship,” said Ben Siwinski, Senior Planner and Managing Director of VHB’s Tampa office.
For a fourth-year running, Tampa’s Whitwam Organics is working with GMF to compost food waste—but this year the efforts will go beyond back-of-house. Post-consumer food waste will be collected throughout the festival—an initiative that shows the continual expansion of GMF’s sustainability efforts. Last year, Whitwam collected over 200 pounds of compost from the festival, which helped grow an expected 525 pounds of organic vegetables that will be donated to local non-profits—perfectly demonstrating Gasparilla Music Foundation’s dedication to being a positive community organization.
The City of Tampa will be on-hand to recycle all cardboard, cartons, plastic, aluminum and glass used during the festival while also sharing their message of ‘Recycle Right.’
Getting to the festival using alternative transportation has never been easier—the festival has partnered with Two Wheel Valet to provide an easy and convenient bike valet services to it’s guests arriving by bike. GMF also encourages attendees to utilize various mass transit options such as HART’s bus system, the TECO streetcar, in-town trolley and ridesharing services.
In addition to all on-site efforts, We Are Neutral, will work with GMF to utilize carbon offsets to ensure GMF is a carbon neutral event. The offsets are generated from regional efficiency and tree-planting programs that the Gainesville-based company creates through it’s community programs.
GMF’s growing signature community outreach initiative, Recycled Tunes, is also aligned with this environmental commitment. The program collects used musical instruments from the community in exchange for tickets to the Gasparilla Music Festival. The collected instruments are refurbished by a local music store, and then donated to local schools and other music programs to expand music education and arts.
“Our goal as an organization is to create opportunities to enrich our community—whether that be through inspiring young kids to take an interest in music through our Recycled Tunes instrument program donations to local public schools, or utilizing the event’s food waste to create compost that improves soil that will grow food for local non-profits serving those in need.” says Ralph.
GMF is produced by the Gasparilla Music Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2011. In addition to the music festival held annually during the 2nd weekend of March, the foundation works year round to support music education through its Recycled Tunes program and to promote local musicians through its GMF Productions program. The foundation receives support from its membership program, Higher Ground. For information about becoming a member, visit http://www.higherground2018.com.