Sustainability Initiatives


Summer Camp Music Festival is proud to be a GREEN festival. We’re taking the necessary steps to reduce our carbon footprint, support local Illinois businesses and reduce, reuse, and recycle. Learn all about our greening and recycling initiatives and to discover how YOU can help us keep Summer Camp a clean, beautiful, and earth friendly event by checking out the information below.

The Summer Camp Green Team:

Each year at Summer Camp, Green Team volunteers help us to collect and sort the trash that is created over the course of the 4-day festival. The trash is sorted into 3 groups: recyclables, compostables, and landfill items. The Summer Camp Green Team works tirelessly to ensure that the grounds stay clean and that all festival attendees are educated about recycling and composting programs at the park. Click here to sign up today!

Color-Coded Bins:

Summer Camp provides color-coded recycling, composting, and garbage bins throughout the festival grounds. The Summer Camp Green Team and Old Hippie Recycling ensure that all recycling and compostable items are sorted at the festival and distributed to the proper sites.

Biodiesel Generators:

Summer Camp provides biodiesel generators for all our electric needs. Summer Camp worked with Caterpillar engineers to approve B20 (a mix of 20% bio-diesel) for the generators which had previously only been approved for B5 (5% bio-diesel). Caterpillar’s approval of the B20 mixture allowed for the rental companies to ensure the warranty on all the generators used at Summer Camp– who previously had not approved the use of biodiesel fuel above B5. This approval also means that anyone else using Caterpillar generators around the country (or world for that matter) can now use B20 fuel!

Recycling and Composting Efforts:

Summer Camp Music Festival requires all vendors to use compostable materials. We hope that all festival attendees will make an effort to recycle materials in the appropriately labeled disposal bins located on the festival grounds. Our Green Team, combined with Old Hippie Recycling, make an effort to sort through all compost and recycled materials to separate into the proper disposal vessels. X-Waste offers Summer Camp Music Festival services for all of our composting, recycling, and garbage needs and happens to be local – only 20 miles away! Look for the labeled and color-coded bins to assist in separating and do your part to ‘Make a Difference!’

Carbon Offsetting:

At Summer Camp, we understand that there is an environmental footprint associated with our festival. This is why we are partnering with Green Mountain Energy Company, for the 3rd year in a row, to take a leadership role in calculating and offsetting 100% of our total estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with the production of Summer Camp. To determine this amount, we tracked the annual CO2 emissions from the following sources:

(1) Artists, staff & volunteer air travel to and from event
(2) Artists, staff & volunteer driving to and from event
(3) Onsite vehicle
(4) Generator emissions
(5) Onsite electricity usage

Summer Camp Music Festival’s decision to make our event’s operations carbon neutral, over the past 2 years, has offset approximately 540 metric tons of CO2. To put that in perspective, that’s as much as over 70,000 trees can absorb in one year! This is also equivalent to not driving 1.3 million miles or as much as recycling 3 million aluminum cans.

Supporting Local Illinois Businesses:

The Charity and Greening Fee is used to support a grant program for local community groups and charities, as well as to support initiatives to limit the environmental impact of the festival. The Greening Fee is utilized to buy carbon offsets that help to counteract the carbon footprint of the festival, purchase biodegradable plastic products that are used throughout the festival, maintain our recycling program, and equip our generators with biodiesel fuel. The Charity Fee has previously gone to support local organizations, such as: Rome Youth Activities, CEC PTO, Altrusa Inc. Of Chillicothe, Chilli Cemetery Enhancement Comm., Hair Company Kids, Love-in-Action Food Pantry, Chillicothe Public Library, South School Intensive First Program, 3 Sisters Antique Tractor Club, Chillicothe Summer Theatre, Pearce Community Center, Chillicothe Skate/Bike Park, Chilli Dawgs, 4th of July Committee, Three Sisters Folk Art School, IVC Marching Band, and Rescue 33.

Environmental Education:

Each year Summer Camp brings in a large group of nonprofit organizations to educate attendees on keeping our environment clean and green. Organizations educate on issues of sustainability, reusable energy sources, carbon offsetting, and much more! Take some time to check out their booths and learn more from workshops, demonstrations, discussions, and even acoustic performances at the Soulshine tent that highlight each group’s goals and accomplishments!

What YOU Can Do To Be Green At Summer Camp:

To encourage recycling and composting at Summer Camp, each attendee is given three marked garbage bags upon entering: one for recycling, one for composting, and the last for garbage. We encourage all fans to keep their camp site clean and tidy, to recycle, and to compost during their stay at Three Sisters Park. When packing for Summer Camp, consider the waste that you’re bringing INTO the park, as well as the waste that you’ll leave behind. Be conscious about your food packaging. Bring reusable aluminum water bottles, purchase used camping products whenever possible, use pocket ashtrays, and always be mindful of other guests at Summer Camp. For more helpful packing tips, check out our FAQs.


*Photo of one of the recycling, composting, and trash bins at the 2011 Summer Camp Music Festival.