Most of us have heard about the no-holds-barred festival and conference known as South by Southwest (SXSW). This large-scale event spans nine days and is full of interactive, music and film exhibitions and attractions that have mass appeal. If you’re an eco-champion who’s headed to Austin, Texas, anytime between March 13-22 for the SXSW experience, we have some tips for navigating this much-hyped event.
As a mecca for thought leaders and game changers, SXSW acknowledges the movement toward protecting our earth. You can read all about the strict environmental policies the conference adheres to, and how it strives to do its part to be eco-conscious through its environmental mission.
A few things to note:
- It’s crowded. If you’re claustrophobic, this might not be the place for you.
- It’s hot. As this article from DISH points out, plan on having lots of water handy — only instead of grabbing water bottles as you go, bring your own steel canister to nix the waste.
- It’s hectic. Grab a map and leave in plenty of time for the sessions you want to attend.
The Future of Eco-Friendly
SXSW has some great sessions that center around ways we can improve our world and reduce our collective footprint. Two are especially compelling for people who care about where our world is headed:
- “Exploring the Future of Sustainable Fashion,” March 13. This session will be presented by fashion leaders including Karla Gallardo, CEO and co-founder of Cuyana, and Lauren Sherman, editor at large of Fashionista.com.
- “Sustainable Food Production through Biotechnology,” March 15. Led by Ryan Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Muufri, a San Francisco-based startup that’s making animal-free milk.
Recognizing Leaders in Sustainability
Beyond individual sessions, SXSW is also honoring companies that create innovation in the digital world. Hosted by actor and comedian James Adomian, the Interactive Innovation Awards on March 17 include categories that recognize leaders in green technology, including health med/bio tech, sustainable tech and eco-friendly transportation.
If music is more your style, SXSW has you covered. An impressive list of entertainers will be playing throughout the festival, and there are opportunities for you to support musicians who care about the planet as much as you do. One example is Zionstereo, a Colombian band that plants a tree in the Colombian forests every time one of its mini-LPs is sold. Check them out March 19 and give them some kudos for their conservation efforts.
All About the Environment
Even though SXSW has all of these fantastic events for eco-lovers, the real place for you to mingle with like-minded people is at its related event in October, SXSW Eco. This spinoff is geared specifically toward business leaders, innovators and designers who are driving environmental or social change. There’s a meetup scheduled at the March SXSW event (on March 15) that will bring together people interested in learning more about attending or contributing to SXSW Eco. Be sure to mark this event on your calendar and stop by.
As you get ready for an experience of a lifetime at SXSW, remember to come prepared. Have your itinerary planned out, bring plenty of water and don’t forget an open mind. The innovation you’re bound to see will be like nothing else, and you’ll enjoy tapping into your eco-friendly roots with other similarly attuned people.
Guest Blog by Rebecca Hasulak
Rebecca Hasulak is a prolific writer and dangerous dreamer. She sharpened her skill with the written word while she was an Associate Editor of a beauty and pop culture magazine, and further during her time as a Public Relations Executive. Rebecca now writes and delivers PR services under her business Quotable PR, and is happiest when with her daughter and loved ones. Follow her @BecksChristine.
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