Cultural Trust Blog: Green Initiatives

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This year’s Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is now in full swing and if you have been down to the Festival you may have noticed some unique green initiatives in place this year. New this year is a ‘green tent’ that is home to a ‘green machine’ which keeps track of the environmental responsibility in place at the Festival this year. On an hourly basis, the machine keeps count of the waste being diverted from landfills. There is also a living gallery displaying art created by children in the Creativity Zone where organizations like Creative Reuse and Gateway to the Arts are working with kids to create art from recycled materials.

Recycled and repurposed art can be found everywhere at this year’s Festival. Lining the bridge to the Creativity Zone are beautiful handmade flags crafted by artists and children at Gateway to the Arts. Each flag is made from recycled cotton donated by local hotels. Even the recycling bins are festive this year; each one has been fashioned into a work of art by local artists. Festival director Marguerite Jarrett Marks spoke about the artists who created these works.

‘The piece “Gyre” by Wendy Osher was made of reclaimed plastic bags that were fused together. It symbolizes the impact of the giant trash gyres that have formed in our oceans and the challenges they present to our living species. Ashley Hodder made her “Bold Flowers” from discarded laundry detergent plastic bottles that she retrieved from local Laundromats. Throughout the process Ashley discovered that most of these plastic bottles were thrown in the trash rather than recycled, so maybe now with her initiative there will be more efforts to recycle these at Laundromats throughout the city.’

For a peek at the works of The Art of Reuse, Recycle and Re-purpose and the artists behind each piece, you can visit the artists page here.

The green initiatives don’t stop there. Returning to the Festival this year is a bike valet service provided by Bike Pittsburgh. Patrons are encouraged to ride their bikes to the festival and utilize this service, which is provided completely free of cost thanks to the support of the Colcom Foundation. There are also free water stations located throughout the Festival, where patrons can refill their water bottles and reduce waste. Another fantastic opportunity for patrons is the Paddle Without Pollution clean-up which will happen this Saturday, June 9th at Point State Park. Environmentally conscious volunteers can sign up at Paddle Without Pollution to help remove trash and debris from the river.

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival has been working on keeping the event environmentally friendly since 2008. These efforts have earned the Festival a Gold Standard Accreditation from Zero Waste Pittsburgh. Marks states, “This is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that the Arts Festival is the largest event of its kind that remains completely free to the public.”

Join the effort to reduce waste by signing up to receive free e-mail updates from the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, which includes a daily green tip on how to enjoy the Festival while remaining environmentally responsible.

Originally posted June 8, 2012 6:06pm by Emily O’Donnell at

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