Newkind Sustainability Philosophy
At Newkind, when we think of sustainability we think of perpetual motion. We think of zero waste, we think of having a positive environmental impact rather than to just leave no trace; because that doesn't really account for what goes to landfill does it? We don't want to minimise our carbon footprint, we want to be carbon negative. This is the goal for us. This is the task we have set out to accomplish. And just like perpetual motion, all of them might be challenging but none are impossible.
Below you will see our philosophy our codes of conduct and the actions we take on our mission towards sustainable, equitable and kind living standards.
For us, sustainability does not mean a way of making our current actions less damaging but rather looking at which actions are damaging and stopping them all together. We need to change the way we have become accustomed to living, we need to change our habits and behaviours. As stated in our core principle of Individual Initiative, it is up to us to change our habits and behaviours as much as it is our responsibility to act proactively to influence social change. It is up to us, the awake and the sentient, to have to look at what we take for granted and understand what damage we cause with such basic daily actions and beliefs.
There is no ethical way to buy a can of soft drink, there simply isn't. That can is made of aluminium. Mining companies get that out of the ground for us, the process involved in making that can is not environmental ethical or sustainable. And we all know full well, that the majority of it never gets recycled, and even the small proportion that does is still creating a demand for processing and manufacturing.
There is no such thing as eco-friendly when purchasing from the major grocery outlets. They aren't the fresh food people, and they can shove their red spot specials. They out-muscle, underprice, bully and crush smaller, organic, ethical producers. If you want sauerkraut, learn how to make it. If you want bread then bake it. If you want broccoli then grow it. If you want kombucha, then bring your mug to the kombucha stand and fill it, and while you're there have a conversation about how to make it at home.
Buying the eco brand cleaning product is simply not good enough; that still comes in plastic, that still will not decompose, that still took unnecessary manufacturing and it will still end in landfill. It's really easy, we can just use a lemon and warm water.
This is the kind of thinking at Newkind. This is what we stand for.
It is no small task to achieve this in our daily lives, especially not for those with lives deeply entwined with existing systems, those with mortages and homes in suburbs, those with children in public schools, those with overbearing debts and no safety nets. We acknowledge that there is no quick fix. It can be at times overwhelming, and it can seem insurmountable, but it is a process, it is a journey, it is a transformation that happens incrementally, just as everything else in nature. That much we must accept.
It is our job as event organisers and conference conveners, as social animators and holders of space, those who run businesses, manage schools and universities, those who design and build new dwellings, to influence change in the direction that we need to move. Especially for those of us who create festivals, we have these supremely valuable opportunities to create entire worlds from scratch. To implement systems from a clean slate each year, to create microcosms of worlds we wish to inhabit. To allow people to witness what worlds are possible to exist within.
As event organisers, it is our responsibility to create the systems and the structures and propose the solutions that we would like implemented on larger scales. If we allow the sale of water in plastic bottles at our events, how then are we to speak with conviction about the plight of the environment and the damage caused by pollution in the ocean? If we do not actually use composting toilets, why would we bother scheduling a workshop about how to make them? If we allow thousands of kilos of paper packaging to be used in the service of food at our events, why bother protesting logging of ancient forests? Do we not know where paper comes from?
It might be difficult to change events that have been running for decades in a very short period of time, surely, but what hope do we have of creating a sustainable and environmentally ethical global society if we cannot facilitate a few thousand people in an ethical way, for just a few days, and we have an entire year to prepare for it?
We create worlds for people to enter, we decide what they eat by approving the food stalls we allow to be there, if any at all. We decide who they hear speak, what type of music they listen to and what message that music is spreading, we decide before people even arrive, how much waste will be produced and how much of it will go to landfill. It's in our sustainability and waste management plans. We choreograph the entire experience and allow them to leave the rest of the world behind and enter the world as we have created it. We have to take more responsibility with the priviledge that we have been honoured with.
Newkind Sustainability Plan
The carbon footprint of the event is already greatly minimised by use of only renewable energies, zero meat and dairy allowed, and other measures such as how ticket holders arrive, the means by which we procure our materials and how much of it is upcycling of goods. We closely account for any materials that were purchased new, as opposed to salvaged like most of our site build. We avoid any large retailers when we do need to purchase anything, and the 6 beams of extra length timber he had to purchase for Newkind 2017 were purchased from a local, plantation pine mill.
In this phase of transition from old paradigm to new paradigm, there will inevitably be a carbon footprint, it is near impossible to move without a carbon footprint. But it is our job to be mindful of this and to express and share our progress, our challenges and our finding. The inevitable footprint of the event will be measured and calculated by the environmental impact analysis team and will be offset twice over by the planting of trees.
The types of trees that are most suitable and the arrangement of them will be decided through dialogue with local environmental experts, Indigenous rangers, and the landowner in order to ensure a positive impact on local flora and fauna. Where possible, fruit bearing trees will be planted.
Measures that we take to reduce carbon footprint and how it is calculated
Transport - All participants are told to forward their flight details to transport [at] newkindfestival.com and on the day of arrival, 50-seater buses transport everyone to the festival site. Those who live in Tasmania are encouraged to also meet us at the airport and be picked up with our interstate participants instead of driving out to the festival. This means that only a hand full of busses do a dozen or so trips. This not only reduces the carbon emissions, but it also means it makes it easier for us to calculate the carbon emissions.
We know exactly how many trips we pay for with the charter buses, and with the crew run shuttles, the fuel consumption is calculated by the collection of all the fuel receipts for all crew and festival vehicles. From the litres of fuel consumed and the fuel consumption rate, we can calculate the kilometres travelled. With these numbers, www.myclimate.org can tell us exactly how many tonnes of carbon we released with our fuel consumption. Further to that, we then add the trips completed by contractors for good or materials, suppliers of produce, and any other notable logistics emissions.
Zero Waste - It will be a major shift for some participants, and it will be a minor adjustment for others, but Newkind will create no waste that is not completely recyclable or compostable. Toilets will be composting toilets. Water will not be sold in plastic bottles. Food will be prepared with fresh produce from local area. Food prep scraps will be composted. If we can't buy it in bulk without packaging, we won't buy it. All build materials will be disassembled and reused. We want to show that it is a decision to be made and not necessarily and impossible challenge to overcome. We will provide the entire framework so that participants can experience what a zero waste lifestyle looks and feels like.
Environmental Impact - The environmental impact analysis of Newkind Festival on the local area will take into consideration decibel readings of amplified sound, the impact of foot traffic, water usage and sewage maintenance as well as innumerable other variables. Onsite flora and fauna analysis of the area will take place with an impact analysis team member camping on site for weeks and taking field notes prior to the event, during bump-in and throughout the event. With the event using a desalination unit to provide drinking and washing water, we will not negatively impact the local area's water supply, and with a no soaps policy, we will also lessen any negative environment impact on the local area. The produce that we will use to prepare meals will all be sourced from within the state, and furthermore from local area farmers as much as possible.
Renewable Energy - If we can power it with renewable energy then we will have it; and you know we can with pretty much anything these days. With the windmills that we are constructing now in Hobart, the solar panel and backup battery systems for sound and production, bio-diesel generators and everything else that we have at our disposal, there is no reason why we cannot live completely off-grid in a sustainable manner. We are also opening applications for new and inventive ways of generating power to be showcased at the event.
Cruelty-Free - Beyond the moral and ethical reasons for a vegan event, there is more than enough evidence to show that the consumption of meat and dairy products causes an unnecessary and unsustainable strain on the environment. The amount of water, grains and other resources that are used in the farming of animals for consumption is not something that we wish to continue. With Newkind being a completely vegan event we ensure not just ethical practice but an environmentally aware and progressive way of co-existing with this planet and all of its inhabitants.