Greening Efforts

Dedicated to the Planet

In addition to our commitment to providing a first-rate entertainment experience, the festival is also committed to consciously greening our events and lowering our environmental impact wherever possible. We want to leave the planet, and Ingalls Mall in particular, as beautiful as we found it. Starting in 2008, the festival launched an ambitious environmental initiative as a way to make a vocal and public commitment to raise awareness about green issues and to encourage the community to be more eco-conscious. Some of our current efforts include:

Food & Beverage

  • Requesting all food and beverage vendors use biodegradable or compostable packaging for their food and tableware, whenever possible
  • Using cold drink cups from our beer distributor O&W that are made from PLA plastic derived from corn. PLA plastic is a compostable material that when placed in a commercial environment will naturally decompose back to organic elements.
  • Engaging food and beverage vendors from the Ann Arbor community in an effort to support local businesses, and to decrease the amount of travel and fuel consumption required for product to get to the event.
  • Promoting the efforts of our food vendors who work with organic ingredients and offer numerous options in their menu that do not include any animal products (vegan); as well as those who offer biodegradable containers and cutlery at their Top of the Park location.
  • Working with our partners at Whole Foods Market and Coca-Cola to return and recycle cans and bottles more effectively from the festival site.


  • Promoting alternative methods of transportation to and from festival events by encouraging attendees to use mass transit, car-pooling and bicycle racks. Local area bike enthusiasts are helping with this effort and promoting bike transportation to festival events all month long.
  • Working with local vendors, service providers and staff whenever possible to conserve gas and transportation energy – reducing our carbon footprint on every level while we support ‘all things local’.
  • Commuting and encouraging others to commute to our office and event site using hybrid vehicles, bicycles, and carpools.

Materials & Production

  • Reusing/repairing as much of our production equipment as we can each season, thus keeping excess waste out of landfills.
  • Printing our season program guide, brochures, calendar, letterhead, business cards, and other collateral materials using soy inks on various grades of recycled paper.
  • Offering organic cotton for the festival apparel sold at the TOPshop.
  • Accepting Top of the Park performer submissions electronically online via Sonicbids, an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional press kits.
  • Asking caterers, food and beverage vendors to use recyclable or biodegradable products.
  • Increasing the number of recycling bins at festival events, and ensuring that they are more prominently and clearly displayed.

Fun & Education

  • Hosting a variety of environmentally-focused activities and entertainment at Top of the Park. Many of these events include numerous hands-on events at the KidZone tent.
  • Presenting bands that are touring using bio-diesel vehicles and other environmentally friendly touring methods. These artists often talk about these choices from stage and on their websites.
  • Encouraging all festival staff and patrons to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in appropriate ways in our many areas of messaging.

There are many, many things the festival and the community can still do to improve our activities to lessen our impact on the environment, so please join us in doing all you can to “green” our collective activities!

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