BY ARIEL CHEUNG Staff Reporter
In an effort to encourage fair-trade shopping and eco-friendly rockers, Lollapalooza 2011 included Green Street and Lolla Cares sections during the three-day fest at Grant Park.
"There's a good synergy with the crowd [at Lollapalooza] and the crowd we're trying to bring in," said Holly Haddad, associate director of FamilyFarmed.org, a nonprofit project dedicated to the promotion of buying local Illinois produce. The organization is hosting a booth in the Green Street area with a pop quiz on Illinois agriculture.
"People are really surprised by how much farmland is in the state versus how much money we spend on food that leaves the state," Haddad said. The pop quiz explains that while Illinois spends $48 billion on food each year, only 4 percent is used to support the 28 million acres of farmland.
The festival also gave attendees the opportunity to lend a hand with the Rock & Recycle project, where participants received a free T-shirt in exchange for a trash bag filled with recyclables gathered from the concert grounds.
"I'm really into recycling anyway, but the free T-shirt is an incentive," said Avra Bossov, 18, of Cherry Hills, N.J., who spent almost six hours filling her bag with empty beer and soda cans.
A farmer's market and a handful of fair-trade shops were also represented at the festival, including Greenheart, located at 1911 W. Division.
"It's a great way to sell a lot of products and to support partisans - good publicity as well as sales," said Katherine Bissell Cordova, a manager at Greenheart. "A big bonus on top of that is it's fair trade products from ethical vendors, not just typical street fair, sweat shop junk."
Bissell Cordova has noticed an increase in fair-trade enthusiasts in the past couple years, especially at Lollapalooza.
"It's becoming more mainstream," Bissell Cordova said. "People know what it is, and [as a result], quantity and quality has really improved."
The Green Street and Lolla Cares areas are located on both sides of Congress, near the main entrance.