Austin is about to incur a hefty carbon footprint as SXSW kicks off, but thanks to the folks at MakeMeSustainable (MMS), people have an opportunity to walk the sustainability talk. The 'Interactive Carbon Tree' was designed specifically for SXSW in an effort to mobilize attendees at the conference to reduce their collective carbon impact. Check it out here: http://makemesustainable.com/sxsw
MakeMeSustainable's innovative social networking tool has earned a finalist position in the Activism and People's Choice categories for the SXSW Interactive Web Awards. The Carbon Tree tool is also available to environmentally conscious musicians to help mobilize fans around sustainable goals. Jose Gonzalez is the first artist MMS partnered with and they've created a customized Carbon Tree designed for him and his fans: http://www.reverbrock.org/josegonzalez/.
Event organizers are also doing their part to reduce SXSW's impact by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the City of Austin to negate the 263 tonne carbon footprint.
Austin Energy will retire 448 solar RECs on behalf of SXSW and use the proceeds from the sale to begin implementation of a local renewable energy project. One project under consideration is a solar charging station. The charging station would provide sufficient power to charge small devises such as cell phones and laptops, as well as electric scooters and bikes.
Greener Actions at SXSW 2008 include offering all delegates 24/7 access to biofuel made from cotton seed waste for their vehicles; eliminating all bottled water for staff and volunteers and using municipal water fountains instead; featuring environmental issues in the conference programs and offering tips to delegates on how to have a greener SXSW.
So be sure and join the collective impact of tracking your carbon reductions via the MakeMeSustainble SXSW carbon tree tool and get your green on while getting your groove on!