Party Pocket: Meet the Shambhala Music Festival Sustainability Superstars!

This summer, Shambhala Music Festival celebrated their 20th year anniversary at Salmo River Ranch, and in honour of their anniversary Shambhala launched The Greater Good Contribution Contest.

The Greater Good Contribution Contest celebrates Shambhala camps that make a positive impact on the Shambhala experience, local communities, or abroad. The three winners of the contest are awarded $15,000 split amongst first, second, and third place to donate to their charity of choice. This year, The Party Pocket Camp won first place, with $10,000 donated to their charity of choice: Society Promoting Environmental Conservation!

We at SPEC are so grateful for this recognition from fellow environmentalists, and want to highlight the Party Pocket’s story as an inspiration for how sustainability can be a part of partying.

Check out this story from Andee, a member from the Party Pocket crew, about how their camp got started.

A big thank you to Shambhala Music Festival and the Party Pocket!

This past summer we wanted to camp with a large group of friends but we were hesitant that it would be messy and stressful. No one wants to party like that! So we started getting together on planning after making a Facebook group. I made a friend who is the leader of a large and well known camp to ask for tips and tricks. He said the most important thing was having a mission – something we could all agree and focus on. That was when we decided to take sustainability really seriously as a camp, as we do in our lives. It inspired us and we started figuring out ways to manage waste in the bush and making commitments to properly recycling anything possible. We picked up some reusable plates/bowls/cutlery and some laundry bins that we could use as organized waste bins. All were on board for how we were doing it, we have a very strong team!

At Shambhala, we encouraged our neighbours to use our bins and did educational outreach where we could. We had a large crew to save space for and teach about our mission as well. My partner and I went around cleaning dance floors and included other dancers in the process. Dance floor and festival garbage has always upset me on a deep level and I am so, SO happy that we could make a legitimate and tangible difference this way.

Shambhala recognizing that their waste stream organization is flawed is a huge win for transformational festivals, as well as the Salmo River. Acknowledging us as winners means they want our help, that they want to be better. Liz and I, as well as The Pocket, are incredibly excited to take our camp missions to the next level next summer and we hope to do it with you!

And the camp’s sustainability mission does not end at Shambhala. Andee also runs a street cleaning initiative called The Butt Touchers, which picks up and recycles cigarette butts from Commercial Dr. and many Party Pocket members are also involved!

If you would like to read more about how the Party Pocket made a difference at the festival, Shambhala has a great description of the camp on their website.

So where does SPEC come in? Evan Cronmiller, another member of the Party Pocket, said SPEC was a logical choice of charity since we share similar values concerning sustainability, waste management, and other things “green”. He and other Party Pocket members were “thrilled to have won the contest and to be able to donate the winnings to a worthy cause such as the SPEC.”

SPEC is so grateful for this recognition, and we want to thank Andee and Evan Cronmiller for sharing their stories and choosing SPEC as their preferred charity, everyone at The Party Pocket Camp for being sustainability superstars, and Shambhala Music Festival for this generous donation!