Carbon Offsets

Telluride Bluegrass
Telluride Bluegrass

Since 2003 - long before it became fashionable - Planet Bluegrass has been ensuring that all of the electricity consumed at its Lyons offices and at its festivals is replaced by clean, carbon-free power. Over the years, they have supported the generation of more than 5 million kilowatt hours of wind power.

For the past 5 years, Planet Bluegrass has extended its commitment to include the significant impact of transportation to and from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. That gave the 34th annual gathering the distinction of being the first 100% carbon neutral music festival in the world!

As an environmental leader, Planet Bluegrass continues to evolve their strategies for addressing carbon emissions produced by those traveling to and from Telluride – from Renewable Energy Credits in 2007 to the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets for this year’s festival.

Again this year, we’re supporting a methane reduction project in California pioneering a practice that could lead to a major reduction in emissions from dairy farms around the country. The West-Star North Dairy in central California is embracing a new form of manure management that repurposes waste into useful fertilizer while more thoughtfully disposing of the rest. The new process reduces the farm’s need for artificial fertilizers while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. The technology West-Star is using isn’t the low cost option, yet, and thus few other large scale dairy farms are following its lead. Our financial support for their carbon reduction achievements make the choice more economically attractive for them and hopefully hundreds more dairies around the country.

For several years prior, Planet Bluegrass provided support to the Upper Rock Landfill Gas project near East Moline, Illinois. Like many landfills in the United States, this 195-acre facility historically released large amounts of methane gas into the atmosphere - a greenhouse gas 23 times more destructive than carbon dioxide.

Colorado Ave in Telluride
Colorado Ave in Telluride

A project developer capped the Upper Rock Landfill so that none of the methane would enter the atmosphere. Instead, the methane is burned and the resulting energy is used to generate electricity for the local region.

In some parts of the United States, governments mandate this kind of action. In other places around the world, this type of project would qualify for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. But in this case, there was no government mandate and no opportunity to sell credits. The only incentive the developers had was the promise of support by voluntary purchasers of carbon offsets.

That’s where Planet Bluegrass stepped in, demonstrating that Festivarians are ready to take responsibility for their impact on the environment. You can do your part too, by signing up for wind power to offset your home electricity use! Visit the wind power booth, run by Planet Bluegrass’ long-time offset partner Renewable Choice Energy, to learn more about how it works.