It had been a good ten years since I had attended a Whole Earth Festival. After strolling through the Quad at UC Davis this past weekend the Whole Earth Festival has improved with age. Many festivals never make it to a 44th season like WEF. The organizers are blessed with a good cause and dedicated staff and volunteers.
Excellent music at Whole Earth Festival
The 2013 “Time is Art” Whole Earth Festival had a larger number of quality vendors and music performers. There is nothing worse than strolling through an arts and craft fair only to be visually bombarded by cheap junk. The level of art work and reasonably priced, hand made crafts available at Whole Earth was impressive. The quality of vendors from their politeness and helpfulness was also very evident.
Entertainment at the Whole Earth Festival has always been top notch. Although, the professionalism and quality I heard for a Saturday afternoon was impressive. Perhaps it’s the age of the festival or those who want to participate, either way, the music is attracting and retaining a larger older and family centered crowd.
No more stupid paper plates and sporks!
Probably the biggest change/improvement is that the Whole Earth Festival has become a zero waste event. This means that all the food and beverages are served on real plates and stainless steel utensils. Once you’ve finished your meal or drink you place it at a collection booth to be washed. You’re encouraged to place any scraps of left over food in the appropriate bins for composting. WEF had anon-site compost separating operation staff with volunteers.
Zero waste is a winner
Zero waste is great because I don’t have to eat from flimsy paper plates and plastic sporks that always break. Visually, there just isn’t the trash left on the ground or over-flowing from trash cans. WEF also provided a tank of drinking water so people could refill their bottles for free.
I don’t know which method, disposable plates or recyclable dining ware, uses less energy and I really don’t care. People need to break the mind-set of disposable everything in their lives. The whole era of disposable plastic bags, plates, cups, and containers is a recent phenomenon that appeals to our laziness. On a very small scale, having to take you plates, cups and utensils to a central collection point helps build a little community spirit that we can combat our disposable society.
Now that I know that the WEF has improved with age, I will certainly block out more time to spend soaking up the good karma at the festival next year.
Videos and pictures of Whole Earth Festival
Here are several short recordings of some of the music and events at the 44th Whole Earth Festival
Click the thumbnail to enlarge photo