Pickathon needs your opinion!
Pickathon is exploring how to become the first large American Music Festival to eliminate single use dishes and utensils used by all of our food vendors. But we need your feedback to help us decide how to move forward.
Here’s What We’re Thinking
When you come to Pickathon in 2011 you would have two options for eating food from any of our local food vendors:
1. Provide your own dishes and utensils to have vendors serve food on which you would be responsible to clean and store yourself.
2. Receive your food on Pickathon dishware (provided by Bambooware) or reusable clamshell containers (provided by GO Box) an unlimited number of times all weekend and we will be responsible to wash and manage everything.
How to use the Pickathon Dishware and Dishwashing Service (Option #2)
1. You start by purchasing a GO Box token for $10 in the vendor area.
2. Give the token to any vendor and you will receive any food item you purchased on either a commemorative dishware or in a GO Box (utensils included with either) which can be used to take back to your campsite.
3. At this point you own the commemorative dishware or GO Box plus utensil and can decide to hold on to it or return it to the dishwashing station where you will receive another token to repeat the cycle an unlimited number of times all weekend.
4. At any point in the weekend when you are finished using the token you can either:
I. Return your token or dishware/utensil for a $5 dollar refund
II. Redeem your token and take home the utensil plus one dishware item of your choice (GO Box or commemorative plate or bowl)
III. Take home your GO Box token and continue to use it as a GO Box subscriber at all participating Food Carts (see www.goboxpdx.com)
Should We Do This?
Please Let Us Know Your Thoughts And Questions.
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I wholeheartedly support this idea and really admire the courage and determination of Pickathon's coordinators to make this groundbreaking - and probably kind of intimidating- move. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You have done your research and have a great plan. I do think it is important to remind folks throughout the event to keep healthy by washing dishes well. Thank you for caring!
Option 2, please. GREAT plan!
last year the waste was way down ,this would improve that further. would truly love to be part of this change this year . some sort of washing station for my gear would be awesome .
I love the dishwashing service idea. I brought my own plates last year, but felt like I spent too much time washing dishes (and trying to keep them clean in between meals. I went to five summer festivals last year, and Pickathon was head and shoulders above all the others when it came to quality of food AND trash prevention. I'd love to see more festivals act so responsibly and thoughtfully.
Either one- great idea.
I like having BOTH options, is that an option?! So those who want the work done for them can pony up and those who are trying to save $ can wash it themselves. I also like the idea that maybe we could teach other festivals how to do this. BRAVO!
yes! nice work.
Klean Kanteen is SO proud to sponsor Pickathon because of things just like this. We originally countered a standard sponsorship request last year with "no, but if you would be interested in really eliminating plastic we would" . . . and the crew at Pickathon did not just say yes, they raised the bar above what we expected (far above). It is truly magical, if only for three days, for Klean Kanteen staff to live in the very world we strive every day to create. We will (re)use our dishes with pride!
Yes, Option 2. Unfortunately this won't be convenient to single day ticketers, but perhaps there will be food options that don't even need a plate at all (wraps, sandwiches, etc.). Most of us will end up sharing plates/utensils I'm sure.
Yes! I bring My own Bowl, and the other program sounds like something the majority of folks can use.
do it. do it now. wonderful idea!
It's an inspired and great idea. I have loved my commemorative cup from last year and it goes to all events with me and I can see the same being true for my pickathon plate/bowl. Anyhow, love this kind of thinking.
To answer your question, should we eliminate single use: Yes! But Does it have to be buy a plate/box or bring your own? Seems like having both options might be good. I want to use/bring my own.
I would prefer not to HAVE to buy a container, and use my own, like we did last year. But I suppose having the Gobox option for those who would prefer that is a good idea. Bottom line: buying something new (even if reusable) is still using more resources than using something you already have, so I would like to be able to do that. Thanks for asking and for your efforts in waste reduction!
i would want the option to bring my own dish to avoid the 10 bucks.
yes! They do this down at Earthdance in Laytonville, CA and it works great! They charge $1 and as soon as your done eating you return your dish to be washed and get your $1 back.
Yes please. #2 sounds better just because of your efficient dishwashing system, yet we will still bring our own plates (and greywater) and eat on those at camp. We will also bring back last year's cups (which we love and use all the time). Can we use last year's cups for beer again this year?
YES. i am all about bringing my own bowl/plate and fork/spoon. most people camping will already have these things with them anyways- makes perfect sense! thanks :) i love my cup from last year :)
Oh Yes! please
Yes, I love this idea. (The beer glasses last year worked great and I'm still enjoying them.) I like the idea of both options if you provide a washing station. Personally I would use option 2 and be happy to spend $5 for the service. Please make it happen. Thanks Pickathon!
Yes!!! I've always thought this would be a great idea. It'd be great to prove to other festivals or food cart associations that it works.
option 2 yes!
option 2 yes!
yes you should
A COUPLE THOUGHTS ON HOW WE CAME TO PROPOSE THESE OPTIONS
Although we are likely the first large American Music Festival to eliminate single use dishware and utensils several comments have correctly noted that there are many other large Canadian Music Festivals (Vancouver Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, and Hillside Music Festival) and some other known American events (Country Fair in Eugene and Whole Earth Festival in Davis) that have also implemented some form of eliminating single use dishware and utensils. Before we tried to formulate any of our ideas for Pickathon we first sought out the advice from some of these other festivals to make sure we benefited from their key learnings. Hillside Music Festival in Ontario (www.hillsidefestival.ca) was one such festival that spent a good deal of time teaching us what they do and how they suggest we might setup a system from scratch, and we thank them dearly for their time and efforts.
When we thought through the specifics on how we wanted to create our system for eliminating single use dishware and utensils we came up with the following goals:
1) Eliminate as much single use dishware and utensils as possible.
2) Allow people to personally choose what level of cost based on the amount of convenience and commemorative dishware/utensils that was right for them.
3) Simple to use and requires no policing (i.e. personal responsibility based).
4) Utilize dishware and utensil products that we would be happy to feature at Pickathon.
5) Self sustaining for this year and many years to come.
6) Structure our dishwashing efforts to be as efficient as possible in our water usage.
7) Develop an engineering plan for onsite filtration, dispersion, percolating, and necessary storage of our grey water with a backup plan to use holding tanks and sanitation trucks to pump out if we were not successful.
I've been going to festival concerts my whole life, and honestly, around day two of any festival, I don't want my food to rely upon the hygiene of those around me. Anyone ever seen a clean hippie after 48 hours of partying in the woods? Me neither. Frankly, I don't trust myself to clean a plate well after a few beers. That said, I love Pickathon!
yes! this is most awesome!
Any health department concerns? If, for instance, a person uses their own plate & does a poor job of washing it- then passes it to a vendor which is handling this and other plates during service...any concerns?
This is fantastic! The Winnipeg Folk Festival has used this system for years and it is incredible. I think it is important for the festival to bring people into this type of consciousness, and to help create an awareness and responsibility around garbage! This is why the Pickathon is truly the best festival around. And, there is plenty of time during the day to wash a dish or two.
Yes! I already bring my own dishware to Festivals. Having a wash station for them would be very helpful, as washing the dishes is tricky at campsites due to limited water, no hot water, and the muddy mess it makes or even worse when the dish water drains into a tent.
Yes! Let's show by example that we can practice what we preach. Not generating concert garbage will make it worth the effort.
Optn 1 has food servers handling dirty dishes. Do they reject a plate that looks un washed? I'm voting for option 2.
This is a great idea! I'm from Canada, and up here the hillside music festival has been doing this for some time. They sell a one piece cutlery 'spork' and reusable mugs for beer. vendors use reusable plates that can be dropped off at various dishwasing bins (usually beside the garbages), that a volunteer team tackles/washes. good luck!
Yes to option 1
sound like a great idea!
Sounds perfect! I would probably loose my token though. Another wristband? Or tokens on a necklace (Cheerios style)?
YES! but $10? the WHOLE EARTH FESTIVAL in davis, ca does this reusable program that asks for a deposit which you get back if you bring the dishes back to a food vendor.
I think it's a great idea overall. Folks drinking lots might lose track though.
love what is happening here... well done on putting it out there and watching for thoughts/ input. Love the idea... you'll have to be pretty intentional with the dishwashing stations as you'll have a big increase in number of users... and quite likely many folks who this whole concept will be new to... so don't assume folks will know the best and most sustainable use of the stations
Yes! Option #2 sounds very cool, but having the first option makes sense, too. Between both options, everyone can be happy. Thanks, Pickathon!
Absolutely. These ideas are one of the things that make Pickathon so amazing!
Yes either or both options sound great.
I think it's worth a try. I'm local so I don't camp there usually so wouldn't want more stuff to bring home. I think washing everything uses resources and is likely to be messy. What about vendors using recyclable plates and utensils...at least all the "trash" could be recycled.
A COUPLE THOUGHTS ON WATER CONSERVATION AND GREYWATRER QUESTIONS AT PICKATHON
The amount of water we conserve for washing dishware and utensils is directly proportional to the size of the audience choosing the GO BOX tokens since the high efficiency dishwasher reduces water usage by 2-5 times when compared to several individuals’ hand washing the same amount dishes.
We are actively designing ways to engineer efficient and natural onsite treatment of all of our grey water with the backup plan of using holding tanks that will be pumped by into sanitation trucks. We ask everyone planning to wash their own dishes to only use the provided biodegradable soaps as this is essential to us being able to treat our grey water locally.
Do it! Do it! Do it! This is the perfect place to implement a new trend, and all those worries about the Health Dept will subside once the idea is proven to WORK. Duh. And, whoever asked about future Pickathon re-usage...uh, I'm really poor and I still say stop being such a whiner. This is a great plan!
yes, yes, yes - a million times: yes!
Yes for going reusable! As for the nitty gritty of the system, I love what many vendors at the Oregon Country Fair do, as mentioned by previous commenters.
I'm bringing dishware, but the other sounds complex but good. But if enough 'thoners bring their own sporks, how would this impact the water, anbd waste water, situations?
They use washable plates at the Vancouver Folk Festival--and that is a LOTTA people. It works well. I support either option (both?). Thanks so much for this kind of thinking!!
We loved the stainless steel cup from last year and the HUGE reduction in waste. We support the idea of continuing to be responsible consumers. We will bring our own dishware and wash it gladly at our campsite. Thank you for continuing to improve the whole experience of Pickathon. There is a reason it is one of our favorite summer weekends!
Yes! I love option #2 and will gladly pay. I still use my beer cup and had no issue with buying it. I hope other festivals follow your lead.
I like the commemortative dishware idea with the option to get some money back should you return the dishes. Can't wait to see y'all in August. ;)
I love it! YEAH BABY!
Great progress! the Oregon Country Fair has been a leader in reusing, recycling and composting for years. the vendors typically supply plates and utensils which you can "rent" for $1 or so and return after you eat. or often they are free and you just return it to the vendor. the utensils actually go in containers near the trash so they can be washed and redistricuted to all venders.
Yes. Excellent idea.
yes, do it
Last year's trash was greatly reduced by composting of the paper plates and food scraps, but this would rduce or impact even more, YES!
this is definitely a GREAT idea. thank you for presenting the community with a forum for discussion. pickathon is so much more than the music and here is fine example.
You have done it again! Marvelous! I think offering both, either your own or the commemorative dishware / GO Box is a great idea! I will want the commemorative one for sure so I can say I was part of this event! I will even help wash dishes!!!:)
If it was an instant runoff vote, I would put down (in order of preference): 1. allow both options 2. option 1 only 3. option 2 only Hooray!
I use my steel cup from last year all the time. I think offering reusable dishes is a great idea! Keep those good ideas (and the good music) flowin'!
Option 2 is a great idea! Option 1 could work if everyone acts responsibly and doesn't use a ton of dish soap to clean their own dishes at their woods campsite. Dish soap isn't good for the soil is it?
Just to let folks know - a few here seemed to miss it last year and the year before - there is a dish washing station at the top of the hill in vendor town that you can use to wash your cups and plates. I have even seen people washing their children in there! the water is collected and disposed of properly, off site. I have used this station many times, so should you! :)
absolutely. right on.
YES! to both options! This is yet another reason to love Pickathon! Greener than the VanCouver B.C.festival! These are options for just about everyone, unless you like making garbage. xoxoxo PIckathon!
option 2 sounds awesome. i love souvenirs!
Yes, it's a great idea but I think the solution needs to be easier in order to be sustainable. Offer a discount on food when you bring your own utensils. Those who don't bring their own stuff can pay full price which would include the extra cost of providing greener products. Maybe one vendor could step up and sell sets of dishes for those who want the discount but didn't think ahead? And of course, lots of reminders to bring your own dishes in the beginning to make sure it's successful.
My question was going to be whether we would have a choice to use option 1, which I prefer, over option 2, but that both would be available. And you have answered unequivocably yes! Thank you! Yay! People, PLEASE READ the pickathon people's feedback! You are not choosing right now between 1 and 2, you will have that choice when you get there!
yes, option 2, that would be wonderful, so grateful to have a festival such as this to go to
Option #2! Good idea.
A combination would be great, but if you include option 1 you really need a well-thought out station as most people won't have the knowledge or least energy to clean their dishes properly. Imagine people burying food scraps all through your forest or soapy dishwater seeping in the ground everywhere. Not so good. Still, we car camp and it would be great to have a station with some hot water where we could wash our dishes.
Yes, I think both options should be available. I think it is very importantt for people to have the option to pay or use their own. When you bring your whole family, even at $5 it can add up to a lot of money. PLEASE have both options
I think option #2 is the way to go. It will be less hassle for the everyone, probably more efficient for Pickathon to wash them than everyone washing for themselves, and guarantees a standard of cleanliness when the dishes come into a cart. Within option #2 I would prefer GoBox as it seems like the easier to use and more durable product. I don't think I would do much with a commemorative dish in the future, this way it can be used again in Portland's wonderful food cart scene.
You are correct.. We look to make BOTH OPTIONS AVAILABLE, as this is what makes the idea so great and inclusive.
Yes! I think people are misinformed that you're asking us to choose between the two options: you're offering both, right? Do we use the plates again next year like the beer cups? Are there plate scraping stations? Can the farm use the compost? You should definitely be the first festival to do this. I like that I can bring my own or choose to get the pickathon commemorative plateware.
Yes very good idea.
Yes. I would say definitely include option 2 for people that don't want the hassle or forgot to bring their own. It would be great if option 1 was available too.
I vote for bringing our own dishes/cups/ etc. It's more like camping!!
Love option two. Sounds very simple & reasonable. We love our cups... Imagine we'll love our clamshells just as much! Love how you're really making this happen. Has to start somewhere & you're on it! Thx!
I love both these options-- I would happily bring and wash my own stuff, but given the opportunity to have a commemorative Pickathon plate to take on camping trips I'll do that instead! Both options sound great. You guys should talk to the Vancouver Folk Festival people, they were using china plates and wash stations back when i attended in 1994. Similar vibe too. Also, Sassafras Catering here in Portland has set up a washable dish program for the food vendors at the Montavilla Market-- another community connection to talk to for advice on their process. Thanks, Pickathon is the best!
Thanks for such strong commitment to reducing waste! We were at Coachella this April, and it was sooo sad to see all the single containers and watter bottles that were tossed. We couldn't stop talking about how they could learn to be way more awesome from you all. Would it be possible to put the tokens on neck lanyards or stretchy wristbands? I can foresee easily loosing a token coin out of my pocket while dancing around in the woods. ...ore wearing something without pockets. Also, providing biodegradeable dish soap at a washing station would be much appreciated for those of us bringing dishware or who need to rinse out a latte from our cups before filling up with beer.
Option # 2 thank you! Great thinking!
Love it. In full support of either option. Go box is a stellar new company. I support Pickathon in this, even if we have to work out the kinks during the first year.
Both options are great! I'm very impressed that the festival organizers are taking this stuff seriously. I would love the option to bring my own plate and utensils, but I think having optional 2 available would make things go much more smoothly for people who may not have thought to bring their own stuff.
Love it! I still use my Kleen Canteen beer cup from last year... I will be bringing that back again! Thanks for caring so very much for the planets well being Pickathon! Love you all!
absolutely, great leadership!
hell to the yeah!
Absolutely unquestionably totally yes!!!
I think it is a great idea to reduce garbage for the weekend.
I think it's a great idea to eliminate the single use servingware and utensils!! I do think its a well thought our plan and it's key to allow the two options: bring and wash your own, or purchase and return. Well done!!!
I think it's a great idea to eliminate the single use servingware and utensils!! I do think its a well thought our plan and it's key to allow the two options: bring and wash your own, or purchase and return. Well done!!!
totally. but please can we have different beer cups this year? Last year all I could taste was metal every time I took a sip :(
This is great! I've not been to Pickathon yet, but if any festival can be the first, this is the one. Fantastic idea!
Yes. I'd definitely pay a little $ to not have to throw stuff away AND have someone do my dishes. Thanks!
You guys are the coolest. We bring our own dishes to any event we think will be dependent on disposables, partially just because we'd rather eat off of stainless than plastic, but sometimes it is a little awkward if the food service peeps aren't ready for it. Last year, we brought our own dishware (and cooked most of our own food) but the washing up situation wasn't ideal. Our camp was right by the woods stage (not great for digging a waste water pit) and cleaning dishes at the water stations didn't feel respectful to everybody else. Any ideas?
yes! you guys are amazing
I love this. DO IT!!
Love it! The cups from last year are so cool, I use mine every day at home!
I love the idea,but being a minimalist I do not want to have to be bothered with tokens and or dish packing for a weekend.There has to be some way to avoid all that. I will pay an extra .50 cents with my meal but please no tokens or hassles.
This sounds great. I imagine that you will offer more usable water around the food area with this plan?
Great idea and well thought out process. Do it!
I vote for the Pickathon dishware & dishwashing service. Brilliant!
Yes, the token option is realistic and a great model for other festivals.
they all sound like good options. i would probably bring my own. as long as people know what the deal is than they can make their decisions, all of which are good and will reduce the festivals environmental impact.
Great Idea! Thank you!
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Keep the green festival trends comin'!
why YES. I had one of those canteen cups as a kid. I loved it.
Bambooware is non plastic. There is a detailed description above if you are interested in more information
I love the idea of reusables. But, why not go for a non-plastic option? That would be even better for our personal health and the health of the environment.
Yet another reason I love Pickathon. This is the responsible, good steward thing to do. Way to set THE standard for all other festivals!
All the large folk fests in Canada do this. Oregon Country fair does this with flat wear, they use steel already. Of course you should.
YES!!!!! do it.
Yes, great idea!
Yes, #2 sounds great, people will go for it!!!
Just to re-iterate: people can either bring their own dinnerware or use the Pickathon token system. It's not an either / or... it's both. Also, we would be offering the bambooware as well as the GO Box option - both would be available. Keep the feedback coming!
i like the reliability and cleanliness of option 2.
I vote for Bambooware and option II
Wow, re: Bambooware products. I'd only previously seen/used the thin bamboo-looking items pictured on their homepage. I looked at this: http://ecobambooware.com/pdf/bw.foodservice.catalog.0218.pdf and found the melamine look alikes... Love them!
Here is an answer to the type of Bambooware dishware products we would use
The Commemorative plates and bowls that would come from Bambooware have a look and feel like Melamine except they are made primarily out of sustainably harvested Bamboo instead of plastic. They are dishwasher safe and will not release any toxic chemicals under any circumstances. The only limitation is that we don't recommend putting Bambooware in the microwave as it will get very hot.
The following is the company's description of their reusable Bambooware product line.
Bamboo is one of the world’s best sustainable resources. It can grow up to a meter or more per day and fully matures within 5 years. Bamboo takes in nearly 5 times the amount of greenhouse gasses and produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees, making it an efficient replenisher of fresh air. Expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) and plastics can take centuries to biodegrade, and coated paper products can take decades. Only bamboo-based products begin biodegrading immediately upon entering the soil. By promoting the growth and utilization of bamboo, we can begin to limit the negative impact we have on the Earth’s environment.
Bamboo Studio’s line of BambooWare items are designed from the ground up to be as eco-friendly as possible. The process begins by taking the fiber of bamboo plants five years or older and grinding it into a fine powder. Utilizing a patented process, we mold this material into the sturdy, long-lasting items featured in our BambooWare line. We retain all the strength and beauty of traditional plastic materials such as Melamine, but with the added benefits of sustainability -- our bowls, plates, cups and utensils are all 100% biodegradable. Each piece of our BambooWare line is FDA approved food safe and can withstand even the toughest industrial dishwashers.
Here are some thoughts on some of your feedback and concerns about people supplying and washing their own plates.
We have indeed worked with the Health Department to approve the use of people supplying and cleaning their own dishware and utensils at Pickathon this year as we are not the first event to allow this.
It would be easy enough for us to eliminate the ability to bring your own dishes but we believe this is important to allow folks to do in case they do not to participate in our token system, but still wanted to eat at the vendors.
To assist any folks choosing to supply their own dishware and utensils we will provide biodegradable soap and a couple potable water washing stations near the top of the vending hill. Ultimately sanitation is a personal responsibility of each patron but food vendors will minimize any issues by not touching any plates with serving utensils and using judgment as a guide overall.
We are open to any additional ideas people might as this forum is definitely an open conversation to discuss and address all concerns and issues.
We appreciate the feedback and we will likely adjust elements of the final proposal because of it.
Keep it coming!
Great idea. Opt. 2 would be best. I'm not sure the Health Dept. would be OK with opt. 1.
Will the health dept even allow vendors to serve on potentially unsanitary dishware "cleaned" and handed over by festivalgoers??? Has anyone actually looked into this?
Eliminate single use! Yay! Great for people to have the option whether to bring their own plates and utensils or purchase them. Either way, EXTREME CAUTION must be taken, by the food vendors, not to touch the customers' plates with their serving spoon, but rather to drop the purchased food onto the customers' plates (rather than touching it). This is vital, in order to avoid potentially spreading pathogens and even disease to festival-goers. This is reality. (Contamination would be sad, and very BAD PRESS for the festival itself AND for your awesome efforts towards further eco-consciousness.) Thanks for taking heed and...ever onward!
Yes, great! I've never used the GoBox but I used Bambooware last year at Pickathon. I washed and re-used it but the water immediately made it warp. Bambooware is beautiful but it's still disposable. I'd prefer something lasting!
Yes, duh. Do it. Where do we sign up to help with dish duty? :-)
"I think reusable works for weekend campers but day trip people might want/need/appreciate option of disposable. What should really be eliminated at Pick is smoking of cigarettes at venues." I'm sure most of the band members and smokers would love that.
REGRADING OPTIONS AND WASHING... Both option 1 and 2 would happen simultaneously. It's basically your choice to bring your own plates, bowls, utensils or purchase a token and use the Pickathon system. For those who would supply their own plates and utensils to eat food from the vendors, they would be responsible for cleaning them using onsite potable water rinse sinks, and be responsible for storing them during the festival.
I think reusable works for weekend campers but day trip people might want/need/appreciate option of disposable. What should really be eliminated at Pick is smoking of cigarettes at venues.
absolutely! will the food waste still be composted?
Would both options be simultaneously happening? How would attendees clean the the dishes they brought from home? Would additional wash stations be set up? AND ABSOLUTELY YES. I witnessed last year how much the reusable cups diminished the amount of garbage and was truly impressed. GO PICKATHON!
Absolutely great idea. Go for it!
HOW PICKATHON WOULD WASH DISHES... Once you were finished with your dishware and utensils you would bring them to our wash station where we would give you another token and then we clean, dry, store, and distribute the dishware and utensil to the vendors at the same location. Pickathon would be implementing a high efficiency commercial dishwashing system that would minimize water and energy use along with the ability to locally process all discharged water onsite if possible.
Would a dishwashing station be provided or would it be done at campsites?
This sounds amazing. I have worked at festivals for many years and I can tell you that the aftermath is depressing. The sea of cups makes me sick to my stomach. This is a wonderful alternative and will be cost efficient (no one will have to clean up the giant mess) as well as environmentally responsible. Good idea!
I vote for option #2. I like commemorative stuff. :) and not using disposable dinnerware. Yay!
option #2 please
Im assuming then we can use them at every Pickathon to come after?
YES! PLEASE! WHOA! GO!
YES!! Brilliant! Wonderful and a fantastic step in the right direction. Personal responsibility? check. Global consciousness? check. Decreased footprint? check. Cool memento to take home and reuse (if you so choose)? check. Love it. Love Pickathon. Thanks for all you give!!
Absolutely! Yes, yes, yes! I will likely bring my own dishes but both options sound stellar to me.
Should we? Yes. But, washing food off plates is a lot more of a hassle than dumping out our tin cups!