Empowered at Outside Lands

This past weekend I attended my first Outside Lands festival, partnering with the team from NRG. Having recently founded Gramming for Good, an organization that connects content creators on Instagram with nonprofits looking for inspiring content, the opportunity to work with NRG and understand their vision couldn’t have come at a better time. It also didn’t hurt that the partnership was at a 3-day music festival in my own city!

NRG’s mission is to create a sustainable energy future by using a diverse range of energy resources that are affordable, safe, clean, and reliable. At Outside Lands they showcased a few of these in various ways, the main one with the use of solar power.

This solar power actually supported Eco Lands, the hub of environmental consciousness and community engagement inside the Outside Lands festival. Within Eco Lands, I was able to to get my water bottle refilled, try fresh fruit from a local farm stand, and talk to a few of the SF nonprofits who setup shop there for the weekend.

In addition to powering Eco Lands, NRG had a space of their own called the Eco Lounge. Made entirely of recycled materials, the space was hardly your typical festival booth. It included extremely comfortable (and often occupied) yellow hammocks as well as a lounge area with couches to watch the main stage performances streamed to a large screen TV as if you were in your own living room. One of the more popular booth attractions was a daily happy hour at 4pm where people lined up to get a cup of solar-brewed beer with the hopes of snagging a seat in the hammocks or on the couches.

Another popular feature of the booth was the solar powered charging stations. At any given moment throughout the weekend there would be a group of people hovered around the charging stations that sat out in front of the lounge. With the phone being the primary communication device and camera for everyone at the festival, the need for a recharge was never ending and NRG had no shortage of ways to charge it up!

And while the booth offered respite from the warm sun and sometimes cool mist (this is SF), I was mainly interested in the educational side of the NRG experience. One of my favorite parts of the Eco Lounge was a touch screen display which showed how much money you could save each minute by using solar power. As the amount of money slowly increased, festival goers could ‘claim’ the money by tapping on the screen and inputing their personal info. Over the course of the 3 day music festival I began to really think about my footprint and ways I could alter my lifestyle once the weekend ended. To help with this newfound need for carbon footprint shrinkage, I picked up a portable solar-panel to hook up to my phone, along with a solar-powered speaker which NRG had on display at the Eco Lounge.

In a festival world dominated by ‘it’ bands, temporary tattoos, selfie sticks and flower crowns, it was nice to see the enthusiasm the millennials had for the NRG brand and the various initiatives they’re pursuing.

All photos in the article courtesy of Courtney Dudley.

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