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Detroit Jazz Festival, DTE Energy Foundation Enhance Greening Program

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detroit jazz festival

DETROIT —  For the fourth consecutive year, the Detroit Jazz Festival and its sponsors — Chrysler, the DTE Energy Foundation and Recycle Detroit — are continuing their green efforts, designed to reduce the carbon footprint of the Labor Day weekend event by recycling and reducing waste.

“Our goal each year is to do better — recycle more, further reduce the festival’s carbon footprint, create less waste — and with this year’s additions we will,” said Fred Shell, DTE Energy vice president for corporate and government affairs and president of the DTE Foundation.

The Greening Program is greatly expanding its vendor outreach this year. Volunteers will visit vendors periodically to pick up boxes, cans and any other recyclables. Organizers will target high-traffic areas to display signage that encourage vendors and visitors to recycle.

Last year the Greening Program collected more than five tons of waste, an increase from two tons in 2010. Efforts from previous years will continue this year. Large banners will again draw visitors to the numerous recycling stations placed throughout the festival grounds. The containers will organize the recyclables into four separate categories — waste, deposits, non-deposits and cardboard — which will allow for faster and more efficient recycling. In addition, a behind-the-scenes sorting depot will again be located at the festival site, organizing the materials and preparing them for immediate processing. Sarah Kubik, director of Recycle Detroit, and a team of volunteers help sort through the bins by hand each day.

Other Greening Program efforts returning this year include:
* Using Sonicbids electronic application process to reduce hundreds of paper press kits for the process of soliciting, reviewing and selecting regional musicians
* Creation and usage of text messaging, email notifications and Quick Response codes for surveys, stage schedules and other event details
* Recycling vendors’ cardboard and glass use
* Beverage stations will utilize compostable cups made from 100 percent corn, as well as compostable plates for all catered food at the festival
* Utilizing fuel-efficient vehicles to transport artists and using more electric golf carts and bicycles for festival staff and crew
* Providing paperless alternatives, such as an iPhone app and mobile Web pages which allow fans to view the festival lineup, stage schedules and artist bios, navigate the festival footprint and optimize their Jazz Festival experience
* A special VIP hotel package offered by the official hotel of the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is encouraging people to spend the weekend downtown, helping to decrease traffic in the area and the need for people to drive from their homes to the festival over the weekend.

“The festival celebrates and showcases jazz music, but it is also a celebration of our city. We want this festival to make a cultural impact on the attendees, while making as little negative environmental impact as possible on the city of Detroit,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “We are proud to be going on the fourth phase of this effort, each year reducing our carbon footprint even more.”

The DTE Energy Foundation also will have two “Keep It Free” kiosks at the festival, where donations are accepted. The kiosks are also the place where the official Jazz Festival program, printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled paper, is sold.  Both the donations and the program proceeds keep the festival admission free. Attendees can also support the festival’s new mobile giving campaign and donate $5 to the Detroit Jazz Festival by texting the keyword KIF5 to 20222 from their mobile phones.

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