Bonnaroo is Going Green

It’s June in Tennessee which means it’s time for one of the best music festivals in the country: Bonnaroo.  Along with people from all over the country, hundreds of UT students are headed to Manchester to see Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, David Cross, or maybe even my personal favorite, John Oates.  Bonnaroo has a great reputation as a music and arts festival but did you know that it has also been recognized for its sustainability efforts? I know what you’re thinking, “No way, Kate!” but it’s completely true.

This year, $1 of every Bonnaroo ticket went to help permanent sustainable site improvements on the Farm where the festival is held.  This generates roughly $90,000 to be used on solar panels, tree planting, and Bonnaroo’s other greening projects.  On the subject of solar panels, did you know that 20% of energy used at Bonnaroo comes from on-site solar panels?!

If I had the pleasure of going to Roo this year, I know I wouldn’t want to go alone.   If you carpool to the festival with four or more people in your car, you’ll be eligible for different prizes including an upgrade to VIP camping.  You know what they say, the more the merrier.

I think one of the most impressive things about Bonnaroo’s sustainability efforts is their waste diversion.  Bonnaroo is a huge festival and last year they diverted 233.77 tons of waste from landfills!  This number includes recycled materials such as cardboard, paper, and plastic as well as composted food!

For all of those headed out to Manchester in the next few days, have an awesome (and safe) time!  Be sure to wear sunscreen, drink lots of water, enjoy some great music, and recycle! See you back in Knoxville!

Seasonal and Sustainable

Summer is a great time to try new things! I never get a chance to cook or bake during the school year so I use this time to work on my (lack of) culinary skills.  A recipe that I stumbled upon recently and will be testing out soon is Peach & Blueberry Cobbler.  I thought that the cobbler would be a great recipe to try because peaches and blueberries are in season right now.  To ensure your fruit is in season, check out our Big Orange Green Guide on page seven!

When buying ingredients for this cobbler, I’ll shop at a local farmers market or Three Rivers Market, a food cooperative located on Central Street in Knoxville.  Three Rivers Market is a sustainable business that strives to make Knoxville work together to create and nourish a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community. For the last four years, Three Rivers Market has even won the top spot in the Metro Pulse “Best of Knoxville” rankings for Best Health Food Shop/Grocery and Best Green Business.

Best of luck on all of your summer hobbies!  Fingers crossed my cobbler turns out as delicious as it looks in the picture!

Sustainable Summer


Spring semester and commencements have flown by here at the University of Tennessee.  Before we knew it, summer of 2013 was upon us.  While most of us plan to keep busy with work or schoolwork it’s nice to take a break and discover some fun events that Knoxville is offering this summer.

If you’re looking for some fresh, locally grown food, check out one of the numerous farmers markets in and around Knoxville.  The University of Tennessee Farmers Market opened on May 16th and will run until October 24th.  This farmers market is located in the UT Gardens on the Ag. Campus and operates on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m.  The Market Square Farmers Market opened on May 1st and is located within walking distance from campus in downtown Knoxville.  This particular farmers market operates on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  You can find a full list of farmers markets around the area by clicking here.

If you like to work with your hands and save water, you should check out the Make-It, Take-It Rain Barrel Workshop on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  For $35 learn how to make a rain barrel out of a 55 gallon drum and leave with a completed rain barrel ready to use! Advance registration is required! If you’re interested, call (865)215-5861 to reserve your spot!

Fall 2013 Student Internship

The EnergyRight Solutions for Higher Education program seeks enthusiastic energy efficiency advocates to serve as Interns starting in August 2013 through the end of the Fall 2013 semester.  Intern appointments are for one semester with the possibility of reappointment for the Spring 2014 semester.

The EnergyRight Solutions for Higher Education Program seeks to deliver measurable energy savings in campus energy use, and to build an awareness of energy efficiency by educating students, staff, faculty, and the greater community about energy efficiency and the preservation of natural resources. Interns will work as a team to:

  • Plan, lead, and mobilize students to execute energy efficiency projects campus-wide;
  • Assist with the coordination of an annual faculty forum on sustainability, known as the Appalachia Project, to initiate a formal discussion and ongoing workgroup on infusing sustainability, stewardship and energy efficiency concepts into existing course curricula;
  • Work with facilities managers to track campus energy use online and make recommendations for energy efficiency improvements.

Click here for more information.

Get InVOLved!

With Earth Month (and Spring Break) fast approaching, the Office of Sustainability is excited to announce two ways students can already get inVOLved!

If you know a fellow student, faculty, or staff member that you think is an environmental leader on campus, then nominate he/she for an Environmental Leadership Award by filling out a nomination form on our website. Take the five minutes now to share the work your classmate, colleague, professor, Eco-Vol, RA, teammate, etc. is doing on campus to promote sustainability.

This is also the first year the office is hosting an Earth Month Photo Contest. If you are a student, and want the chance to win a $50 gift card to the UT Bookstore then submit original photos of the environment and/or sustainability efforts now! If you don’t have original photos then you’ve likely never been on a trip with UTOP, helped with Game Day Recycling, participated in an Adopt-A-Stream clean-up, or used a tumbler at a UT dining facility on campus as part of the Mug Project (all of which are highly recommended experiences). Get creative! There are so many photo opportunities on campus and in the Knoxville community that highlight sustainability. Learn more information about the contest here or email

We look forward to hearing from you!