Can you throw a four-day festival for 10,000 people in sunny Southern California -- with no bottled water? Lightning in a Bottle did just that last month. This Coachella-meets-Burning-Man type eco-event banned all disposable bottled water sales from its gorgeous spot in Silverado, Calif. — encouraging reusable bottles and offering lots of water refilling stations instead.
Lightning in a Bottle is an eclectic festival that offers great music shows, burlesque performances, hands-on green living workshops, and everything in between — bringing together music fans (Thievery Corporation and Pretty Lights headlined this year), Burning Man devotees, yogis and environmentalists. I attended for the first time this year and got to take in all the gigantic upcycled art sculptures, strange costumes and eco-details in person.
Here's a music and lifestyle festival that'll make it easy to get in your daily yoga practice — and stay on your raw food cleanse, too, with organic live food from vendors like Lydia's Lovin' Foods and The Bliss Bar. Popular brands like Sambazon blended up acai smoothies and Honest Tea doled out samples, but the real culinary treats were the many small unique vendors serving up organic delights.
All dishes were served on compostable plates with compostable flatware, and a volunteer stood at each three-bin trash station, helping people figure out which items should go in which bin.
Of course, the bands and performances were the main attraction, but my favorite parts of Lightning in a Bottle were mellower times — like hanging out in the OmShanTea tent (above), where you could sit down and sample teas as long as you wanted, tipping the tea pourer as the mood struck.
The Yoga Sanctuary (above) offered classes ranging from Groovy Vinyasa Yoga to Koha Yoga Flying Workshop at the Yoga Sanctuary — though I opted to take a unique class offered in front of the main stage (below) on Saturday morning, when yogi Andrea Brook teamed up with earth harp inventor William Close. He played his gigantic instrument while festival goers moved through the vinyasas under the strings under Andrea's direction.
Surfrider Foundation and Environmental Cleanup Coalition both had tables at the festival, and many vendors boasted their eco-creds, selling organic clothing and recycled jewelry to the shopping masses. Would-be carbon offsetters could pot a little plant to keep at the festival and eventually tote home.
Many of the speakers and workshops had an eco-theme too, from permaculture gardening to plastic solution. Marianne Williamson (below) worked in an environmental message in her talk, which urged everyone to take action to create the change they want to see in the world.