Humans are having a negative impact on the world around them. Ice climbers are no exception and neither is our festival. Driving and flying long distances adds a lot of carbon to our atmosphere and only exacerbates the threat on the planet. We all tend to throw away a lot of unnecessary waste. It’s going to take everyone doing their part to fix this problem, and it’s time we start doing ours.
This year, more than most, we are looking to the future. Not just of our event, but of our community and our planet. We’ve seen steady growth and increased participation for thirty years. We’ve been doing well. Now it’s time that we do good.
CARBON NEUTRAL INITIATIVE
We are working to make the Michigan Ice Fest a carbon neutral event, meaning that no extra carbon will be added to the atmosphere as a result of the event. We are planning methods of reducing the volume of CO2 we’re releasing, but we know we can’t get that number to zero. We all drive to the event. We all need gear. We’re all part of this. What we can do is invest in environmental projects like green energy, tree planting, sustainable agriculture, etc., that offset the CO2 we do make. We’re currently working with our sponsors to find the best fitting projects and we’ll announce them soon. We intend of offsetting every bit of CO2 that results from our event.
You can help. Every person who drives to the event creates, on average, about 500lbs of CO2. We are encouraging everyone to try to reduce the total CO2 produced by filling every seat in your car and driving fewer cars to the festival. In addition to trying to reduce, since you have to get there somehow, we’re giving you the opportunity to help us offset your CO2 emissions through a donation (on our registration page) to our offset program. 100% of this donation will go to carbon offset projects.
In 2020, with the help our participants, we donated $1500 to Alex Honnold’s Honnold Foundation to help expand equitable solar energy access in marginalized communities, reducing the need to for more detrimental energy sources.
In 2022 we used our participant donations to fund carbon offset projects through Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which focused on forest conservation and restoration, regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and waste reduction with projects ranging from Minnesota to Chile. We were able offset over 110 tons of CO2 related to the Michigan Ice Fest.
We are working to send less waste to the landfill through recycling efforts, reducing single use products, and a general reduction in our consumption.
As passionate climbers, our lives revolve around the quality of our natural world. If we trash the environment, we trash our climbing. It seems simple. So as passionate climbers, we have to be passionate conservationists.
Running a big event like Michigan Ice Fest can certainly be a challenge when it comes to environmental ethics. The act of getting a thousand people together in one place can generate a tremendous amount of waste. Just look in the trash can at the end of any of our after parties. It’s not necessary and it’s something we are always looking to improve.
That’s why we are so excited to announce that for the the 2022 Michigan Ice Fest we are once again partnering with Klean Kanteen as part of their Bring Your Own campaign to reduce our reliance on single use plastic cups. This will cut down on hundreds (thousands if we know ice climbers) of cups going to the landfill.
We will have Klean Kanteen stainless steel pint glasses for the first 500 people that register. That’s right, 500 people will get a Michigan Ice Fest logo pint glass from Klean Kanteen. It’s included with your registration. We suggest you to use them throughout the weekend at other events and establishments to further reduce your waste.
Last year we had over 1,000 people at the people event so we encourage you to sign up early to ensure you get your pint glass. We’d also like to encourage you to think of other ways reduce your reliance on single use plastics. Together, we can all make a difference and help protect both our environment and our climbing.
PATAGONIA WORN WEAR PROGRAM
Gear torn up and looking ragged? Patagonia’s @WornWear is returning to The Michigan Ice Fest! Bring your busted gear (any brand will do) and we’ll do our best to patch you up right. We’ll be patching minor holes and repairing broken zippers at the Patagonia booth at Ice Fest Headquarters throughout the weekend.
To help with our environmental impact, we are offering a free shuttle to and from the demo area and the Sand Point Road parking area. Even though a single transit vehicle can use more fuel than a private vehicle does, the average amount of energy used per passenger is far less than a single-occupancy vehicle, and using public transportation can help individuals lower their personal carbon footprint, and reduce their transportation-related emissions. Catch one of our shuttles at the Central Community Center, The Curtains or the Sand Point Road parking area.
We hope you’ll help us make Ice Fest a better, more sustainable event. If you have ideas on how we can reduce our impact, we’d love to hear them. Fixing this is going to take everyone being involved.