It's Our Commitment To Not Only Be Frendly To Ourselves, Our Communities, But To The World That We All Share. This Means Taking An Earth-Frendly Approach To The Magic We Create At The Frendly Gathering.

While It Is An Ambitious Goal For The Festival To Be Completely Impact Free, We Believe That By Working Together, And Staying True To Our Frendly Values, We Can Work To Keep The Festivals Impact As Low As Possible And Continue To Lessen Our Impact Year After Year. 

Our Greening Initiative Is Collaboration Amongst The Frendly Crew, Artists, Vendors, Attendees And The Mad River Valley Community. If We All Work Together, We Can Keep Sugarbush A Clean And Beautiful Environment For Everyone To Enjoy Throughout The Weekend!


2018 GOALS: To be zero waste // camping

  1. Carbon Neutral by 2020
  2. Reduce our waste. We only want to produce one dumpster of trash for every 2500 people maximum.
  3. By 2022 serving only serving on reusables with vendors


At Frendly Gathering this year, our goal is to maximize our attendee involvement within sustainability. Through workshops, contests, sustainable merch and art installations, we want our attendees to join us in living as Earth Frendly as possible. 

  • Contests (All will be launched out of our 'Earth Frendly' Sustainability Tent
    • Micro-Trash Sweeping Contest
      • Go around Frendly and pick up all the 'micro' trash you see to keep it out of animals stomachs. 
      • For every small plastic bag (zip-lock size) you return to us, you get entered to win some free swag! If Burton wraps some of their merch in plastic bags, we can reuse them for this contest! 
    • 'Green Bag' Contest
      • After the end of each main stage act, help out our Green Team by bagging up all the waste on the ground in a Green Bag. (Green bag means that we need to spend some extra time sorting it in the morning) For every Green Bag, you return to us, you get entered in to win some free swag! 
    • Car Pooling Contest
      • We have done it in years past, but it hasn't been the smoothest contest. I would LOVE to get this nailed down for 2018. I do this contests on many other festivals, and I believe we can work together to really knock it out of the park this year at Frendly. 
    • #EarthFrendly Social Media Contest
      • Throughout the weekend, attendees can post on their social media handles and tag @FrendlyGathering with the hashtag #EarthFrendly when they are taking part in our contests, being sustainable - using water stations, using compostables, etc. Once the festival is over, we go through the hashtag and choose 1-2 winners of a Burton Sustainable Package. 
    • Most Sustainable Food Vendor Contest
      • Our Green Team will be going around to all of our Food Vendors and asking them a series of questions to see what vendor is the 'most sustainable' in terms of environmental, social and economic standards. This could mean that they run their business on a zero-waste platform, that they give their employees benefits and that they donate a portion of their profits to non-profits. They are already required to be plastic-free and serve everything on 100% compostables at Frendly, this is to grade them in areas where they exceed our expectations. 
  • Workshops
    • How To Live A More Waste-Free Life
    • Permaculture 
    • Gardening Basics
    • How To Shop/Support Local
    • Get Involved In Your Community
  • Reducing Our Waste And Reusing
    • Use old snowboards from the Burton Factory to make benches around Frendly, art installations, fencing, etc.
    • Use old materials from the Burton Factory to make tapestries, blankets, flags, etc. to hang around Frendly. 
    • Glamping
      • Leftover camping gear from festivals is a HUGE problem. We want to help put an end to it by offering our attendees to 'Glamp'. We will provide the tents, sleeping bags and chairs, and even set it up for them in our 'Glamping Zone', to encourage attendees to not run out and buy cheap gear from Walmart that they will later throw in the trash. Instead, we will be reusing these camping supplies for years to come. 
        • *This is a paid expense from the attendees, not a free service. 
    • Sustainable Merch
      • We can collaborate with Burton and sell sustainable merch at our merch tent for 2018. 
      • Bamboo To-Go Utensils
      • Stainless Steel Pint Cup and Water Bottle
      • Stainless Steel To-Go Container 
      • The 'Earth Frendly Package'
        • Where they can purchase all of the gear at once. 
    • Plastic-Free Festival
      • Co-branded stainless steel cups and water to sell to attendees and to provide for free to artists - we don't want to see any plastic on stage (even if it is compostable plastic!)
      • 100% Compostable Water Bottles by Totally Green Bottles and Caps
        • We want to encourage reusables at all costs, but there are some instances where medical or artists ask for single-use water bottles. We don't want to support plastic, so we want to offer them fully compostable single-use water bottles that will be turned into fertilizer within 12 weeks of hitting the compost pile! 


Here is a look at how much we accomplished in 2017:

Waste Diversion

  • We take great pride in our waste diversion, we separate through EVERY SINGLE bag to make sure all the recyclables are getting recycled, and all the compostables are getting composted. This takes extra times and dedication from our ROCKSTAR team of volunteers, but it is well worth it.

    • We diverted over 8,040 pounds of waste into composting, recycling and donation initiatives.

    • The Breakdown: (In Pounds)

    • Recycle    3180

    • Redeemable    1,250

    • Compost    3,460

    • Donations    150

  • To help separate the waste before it gets to the sort station, we hand out different colored bags to EVERY attendee to makes sure that they are separating their waste properly. Blue is for Recycling, Clear is for Composting and Black is for Landfill.

  • We also have over 30 waste-free stations scattered throughout the event that have clear labeling and visuals to help educate our attendees.

  • We have found that by using different colors bags, education, awareness, and signage, our bags are much ‘cleaner’ than in years past.

  • All leftover tarps and tents from attendees get donated to the local Boy Scouts, we proudly donated a couple dozen in 2017.

  • We care SO MUCH about waste diversion that we load up a U-Haul full of compost and drive it to Green Mountain Composting to be composted. There is no waste hauler for composting at this time, so we took the liberty of being the waste haulers ourselves. If we didn’t take the time to do this, over 3,400 pounds would have ended up in the landfill and created Methane Gas which is 23 times MORE POTENT than Carbon Dioxide.

Carbon Off-Set

  • We planted 3,500 with Eden Projects in Madagascar through our  ‘1 Ticket Purchased = 1 Tree Planted, 2017 program.

  • Planting trees helps restore ecologically devastated mangrove estuaries in the northwest of the country.

  • Did you know, only 10% original forest remains in Madagascar? This made us unhappy, and we wanted to do something about. We are so happy to be apart of the regrowth of their forests and look forward to donating to them year after year.

  • Also, trees play a massive rule in sequestering carbon from our atmosphere. So by planting trees, we not only supported the local environment and economy within Madagascar, we also helped off-set our carbon footprint.

  • We are aware of the negative environmental aspects by throwing an event, and we want to do everything in our power to make positive change.

100% Compostable

  • All vendors, catering, and bars are required to use 100% compostable flatware. If they can’t serve it in compostables, then they are not allowed to sell it. End of story. We check throughout the weekend to make sure that they stay true to this.

  • Paper Free ******

  • In 2017, Frendly Gathering made the phenomenal decision to go paper free. Saving over 10,000 pieces of paper from being used. We got rid of our programs and had signage up instead to inform attendees about set times and workshops. We also did all of our contracts and liability agreements electronically, so no paper waste there!

Plastic - Free

  • We are proud to say that we reduce or eliminate our plastic waste whenever possible. This means, no vendor is allowed to sell ANYTHING in a plastic container, no water, juices, or teas. They are also not allowed to sell anything wrapped in plastic like chips, baked goods, or sandwiches. This may sound harsh, but we care about our oceans and supporting a full circle system. The recycling of plastic is not a full circle system, so we want to avoid using it whenever possible.

Foil - Free

  • Just like with plastic, we try to aim to be aluminum foil free. We love using aluminum cans because they are infinitely recyclable and promote a full circle system, however aluminum foil does not. You won’t find any hamburgers or hot dogs wrapped in aluminum foil at Frendly Gathering!

Free Water

  • We want to promote the use of reusables, so we have free filtered water stations scattered throughout the festival.


  • We want to inspire attendees to live a more waste-free type of lifestyle, that’s why we have our Sustainability Director and Founder of Waste-Free Earth, Marina McCoy, teach Waste-Free workshops throughout the weekend. Where attendees can figure out how they can switch over to a more waste-free type of life.


1. Plan Ahead And Prepare: 

  • By Taking The Time To Plan Ahead, You Can Minimize Your Waste And Pack Weight! Only Bring What You Absolutely NEED (Like A Reusable Water Bottle). This Will Allow You To Actually Enjoy The Festival Rather Than Be Responsible For All The Items You Brought, Plus The Shuttle Ride Is Much Easier When You Pack Light!

2. Travel And Camp On Durable Surfaces:

  • Durable Surfaces Include Established Trails And Campsites That The Frendly Crew Worked Hard For You To Enjoy! 

3. Dispose Of Waste Properly:

  • If You Pack It In, Pack It Out. Please Separate Your Recyclables And Compostable Items From The Trash And Bring Them To Your Nearest Waste Corral. 

4. Leave What You Find:

  • Leave Rocks, Plants, Trees And Other Natural Objects As You Find Them. When Leaving Frendly Gathering, Please Clean Up Your Campsite!

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts:

  • Fires Are Only Allowed In The Designated Campfire Locations, Do Not Start Your Own. If You Need To Cook Bring Your Own Lightweight Camp Stove. 

6. Respect Wildlife:

  • Respect  Wildlife By Observing Them From A Distance And Not Approaching Them Or Feeding Them. Please Do Not Leave Your Food Out. Store Food And Trash Properly And Securely. 

7. Be Considerate Of Other Visitors:

Respect Other Visitors And Protect The Quality Of Their Experience By Being A Frendly Neighbor.  



1. There Will Be Composting, Recycling And Trash Bins Located Throughout The Festival For Your Convenience.

2. Separate Your Compost And Recyclables From Your Trash At Your Campsite Before Placing The Bags In The Waste Corrals.  

  • Blue Is Recyclables

  • Clear Is Compost

    • ALL FOOD - Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Shellfish, Bones, Cheese, And Eggshells

    • ALL PAPER PRODUCTS - Newspaper, Magazines, Paper Bags, Paper Carryout Drink/Tray, Juice/Milk Cartoons, Cardboard, Paper Packaging.

    • OTHER COMPOSTABLE -Waxed Cardboard, Boxboard, Napkins, Paper Towels, Paper Plates, Tea Bags, Coffee Grounds/Filters Wooden Crates

  • Black Is Trash

3. Please Do Not Litter. 

4. If You Need More Bags For Your Camp, There Will Be Some At The Information Booth.

5. Not Sure What’s Compostable, Recyclable And Trash? Don’t Be Afraid To Ask A Green Volunteer!

6. If You Are Smoking At The Festival, Please Dispose Of Your Cigarette Butts Properly In The Cigarette Butt Bins Please!