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Song and Dance Celebration to become more eco-friendly than before

The organisers of the Song and Dance Celebration find it important to keep the ecological footprint of the festival as small as possible and to use local raw materials and resources where possible. In addition to the organisers, the same principles are followed by the event’s major partners and suppliers, who contribute to making the anniversary celebration reality.

We will hereby introduce the most important steps taken and methods used by the organisers to keep the ecological footprint of the event as small as possible.

Waste is sorted both by participants and caterers. We want to make sure that the majority of waste collected during the Song and Dance Celebration is recycled and reprocessed. To this end, we urge people to separate deposit-subjected packaging from other waste, which has to date become a common practice among the majority of Estonian people. With the help of partners, we give participants, caterers and vendors the opportunity to sort their waste and organise the transport and further processing thereof. The organisers also expect all caterers and vendors to thoroughly sort their waste.

Soups offered at the event are made of locally produced ingredients. The Song and Dance Celebration’s catering partner, Põltsamaa, will treat the participants to 180,000 portions of soup made of 30 tonnes of Estonian-produced vegetables and meat. Additionally, the soup is cooked in moderate quantities, which means that ingredients are used economically. The soups are free from preservatives and flavour enhancers and made of locally produced meat and vegetables (potatoes, carrots, cabbage and beetroots). Since vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular in the world, this year’s menu includes two vegetarian options (meatless Russian pickle soup and lentil soup with vegetables). The use and preference of local produce over foreign ingredients also reduces the environmental impact of transport.

In cooperation with our catering partners, we hand out reusable water bottles to all performers attending this year’s celebrations in order to reduce the number of plastic bottles used and other waste. During the rehearsal week, all performers have access to water stations where they can fill their bottles. During the previous Song and Dance Celebration, a total of 60,000 single-use water bottles were handed out to performers, which are now replaced with reusable bottles.

The packaging of the Song and Dance Celebration’s official ice cream is made of paper. According to ice cream producer Premia, ice cream packaging is rarely made of paper, as plastic is a more efficient and a considerably better option when it comes to preserving the product and maintaining its temperature. The Song and Dance Celebration’s official ice cream uses paper as a more eco-friendly solution. The ice cream is produced in small batches to ensure that it finds its way to consumers as quickly as possible and is not left in warehouses for a longer period of time.

All of the official Song and Dance Celebration memorabilia is also produced following the principles of sustainability. Souvenirs are designed to have a specific practical purpose and be usable even after the event. The production and sale of memorabilia is organised by Sokisahtel OÜ, which aims to offer smart and environmentally friendly anniversary souvenirs.

The Song and Dance Celebration’s official T-shirts are produced in cooperation with fashion designer Reet Aus and bear the Fair Trade marking; all printed materials, card games and stickers are printed at Ecoprint’s eco-friendly printing house; the tights are made with Ecocare yarn, thanks to which their manufacturing process requires 55% less resources (water and electricity) than that of regular tights and practically all of the production waste is recycled. The manufacturing process uses as many natural materials as possible and focuses on increasing products’ value in use. According to Sokisahtel, which is responsible for the sale of the souvenirs, this is also in line with the underlying idea of the Song and Dance Celebration to create things that last and help to recall memories of the event even years after. The Song and Dance Celebration’s official gift shop features more than 30 products. The production and sale of memorabilia is organised by Sokisahtel OÜ under public procurement contract.

Fair Trade marking ensures that small farmers in developing countries receive minimum price for their products, which covers the costs and promotes sustainable growth; a living wage and humane working conditions for plantation and cooperative workers; no slave or child labour is used in the production process; additional funds or profit received from fair trade are used for the social development of communities; and that the production process is based on the principles of sustainability (www.fairtrade.ee).

The design choice of lanyards used by media and organisers was also made with the environment in mind. The lanyards are made of organic bamboo fibre and printed using water-based inks.

The Song and Dance Celebration flame is fed by green gas, i.e. biogas produced by Eesti Gaas from biowaste via fermentation. More information about biogas can be found here.