Festivals go waste and carbon free

Aaron VanderAa plants trees to offset the festival.

Running a zero-waste, carbon offset festival was the latest project for environmentally conscious musicians Levi and Aaron VanderAa.

The brothers were born and raised in Darwin and have toured the world, but fell in love with the Sunshine Coast and have called it home for more than a year.

As VanderAa, they’ve performed at festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Berlin Travel Festival, Burning Man, and many more across Europe.

Levi and Aaron have been using their music to create positive change since they offered free downloads of their EP in exchange for an act of kindness. Since then they’ve collaborated with environmental groups including Sea Shepard, Greenpeace, Take 3 for the Sea, Clean Coast Collective and Will and Bear.

“We want to leave behind a legacy that is in the direction of creating positive change,” Aaron said. “Not leave behind a legacy of rubbish and trash and a carbon footprint”.

With the help of the Sunshine Coast community, VanderAa successfully ran a 250 person concert in September as a ‘zero waste’ event, generating only a handful of waste.

Inspired by this success, Aaron and Levi began researching how to make their 500 person Halloween concert both zero-waste and carbon-neutral.

They discovered the Noosa Environmental Education Hub, who have organised a planting of 100 Eucalypt trees by camp students at the Mimburi campus of Noosa District High to restore Koala Corridors on this eco conservation site. The Noosa Environmental Education Hub encourages young people to become environmental custodians through hands on projects in protection and restoration of local eco systems. They teach essential curriculum in meaningful ways that support community partnerships.

The tree planting took place on Monday 17 November at the school’s Mimburi campus that comprises 300 acres of rolling hills bordered on the south by Belli Creek, and to the west by the Mary River.

“We’re just so stoked to be involved with this planting and to help benefit the community,” Aaron said. “I really recommend that other musicians and anyone running events takes steps to help our environment. I think it’s really important that we all step up and address issues within our community.”

VanderAa plan to continue bringing carbon-offset, zero-waste events to the Sunshine Coast. Head to VanderAa’s Facebook page to see what shows they have coming up, including their two-day New Year’s Eve Secret Garden Experience.

For more information on the Noosa Environmental Education Hub visit www.noosaeehub.com.au.