When it comes to walking the talk on matters of sustainability, there is none other than food activist Alison Hensley. As Lucidity’s Sustainability Sphere coordinator and co-founder of SOL (sustainable, organic, and local) Food Festival she is constantly advocating, educating and empowering all of us to become more conscious consumers and community members. The following is an interview by Roxanne Abell, staff Publicist for Lucidity Festival 2014.
Rx: What is the overarching purpose of Lucidity’s Sustainability initiative?
AH: The purpose of the Sustainability Sphere is to create, implement, and support festival living in the most sustainable way possible. We want to push the boundaries of what we think of as ‘sustainable” and for Lucidity Festival to be a moving force in creating more sustainable human gatherings at home and abroad.
Rx: How was the sustainability sphere formed?
AH: I hopped onto the Lucidity team in its first days of birthing, bringing to the table years of experience with organizing festivals with a high degree of integrity and accountability when it comes to “sustainable practices”, a deep commitment to sourcing and serving food that is sourced locally and ecologically grown, and a passion for permaculture. I got involved with Lucidity specifically because I saw that the concept of “sustainability” was one that was at the heart of the festival community and I knew that I was being called into service to make this a reality. It has been a natural fit and the Lucidity community has been very supportive of this initiative.
Rx: How does the Sustainability Sphere support the core values of Lucidity?
AH: In all ways: Often, when we are doing something that is good for the planet and the community as a whole, the individual reaps equal or greater positive impacts. It’s about holistic interaction!
Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process – Sustainability is all about getting creative. It’s easy to go to the store and “buy” something because you think you need it. Getting creative looks like supporting your local people…stepping out of the corral and finding someone to create that one of a kind piece that you will treasure forever. Or making it yourself!
Personal Growth and Healing – We heal the planet through our own personal healing. It is all One and we are all connected. Coming to deep understanding that it MATTERS what we buy and where it comes from means that You are awakening to the fact that you ARE the person in Indonesia whose slave labor goes into making that garment. When we commit to our own personal growth and healing it is astonishing how it transforms all of our day to day interactions. How can one be committed to growth and healing and then litter? Or buy food with GMOs, pesticides? Or purchase clothing that uses materials grown in spite of its negative environmental impacts and uses slave labor to make it so it stays cheap?
Awake and Aware Consciousness – We are learning this together. No one is perfect. In intending to live into an awake and aware consciousness…we start to wake up to the impact of our daily lives and actions. We become aware of the little things and through awareness create time to implement the
transformations needed in our own daily lives to contribute to the global awakening.
Environmental and Social Responsibility – Says it all! Environmental responsibility– We are of this planet, this earth, and we are awakening to our intrinsic inseparability from the mother, from that which gives us life. Food, water, shelter, clothing. On a very personal note, I know that I do not exist but to be of service to healing the environment and the planet at this time, in this NOW. It is the only game for me to play, as without this, there is no other. Social Responsibility: It is our responsibility to re-establish RIGHT Relations with ourselves, each other, and the planet as a whole. We do this by taking the time and energy to rethink how things are done and step full and open-hearted into a future where people and the planet are honored, accepted, and nurtured to the full expression of their selves.
Family Fun and Creative Play – The Young Ones hold the key. Family and creative play WITH a purpose is what it is all about. The young ones born recently and being born now onto this planet get it. They are so awake and aware and open to doing and Being in the new ways.
Communal Reciprocity – When we give to the earth and steward our resources wisely, there is abundance and we are provided for. Also, buying local, creating relationships, and keeping the flow of exchange between community members allows for indirect but local reciprocity with effects you can see.
Transparency – Transparency in regards to the Sustainability sphere is all about letting people know what we are doing and also what we are not doing. It is about being full forward with the truth of where we are as a species. In all transparency, human gatherings of this size for this short of time are not sustainable. We have to bring in all sorts of outside resources to make it possible. A big part of this is that we are on rented land. The future goal is to be on a piece of property where we can actually build sustainable infrastructure, grow food and utilize all the amazing energy of the event to build a community and truly ‘leave it better’. For now, we are doing what we can to MINIMIZE our impact: Solar energy, local food sourcing, transportation systems and carpooling, minimizing water use as much as possible, up-cycling materials from our local community, and promoting the educational aspect of these endeavors.
Rx: What other initiatives is the Sustainability sphere connected with or where could there be synergy between spheres?
AH: This is an overarching sphere and will become more so into the future. As a team, Lucidity is striving to lessen its impact and take on ever more sustainable endeavors in the festival realm. Everything from building with up-cycled materials, sourcing for the ‘Lucidity Artifacts‘, who we accept as food vendors and what we feed our crew, to who we seek for sponsorship…it all goes through a questioning of what are the impacts of doing business here? Where does it come from? And what is the afterlife. It’s all about cradle to cradle. We are by no means perfect, but as a community we are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that everything we do has a profound impact. We have a social responsibility to do our due diligence in making choices that impact positively towards the world we wish to see the next several generations grow up in.
Rx: How does it relate to Mindful feeding and what exactly does that term mean?
AH: Our Mindful Feeding program all about how we are with food. We work with an amazing crew lead by Chef Gage AND Chef Julia of the newly formed “Collision Cuisine” who cook up with love and intention meals for our crew, volunteers and collaborators. Melissa Cohen, manager of the IV Food Coop and I work together to source as locally as possible, always organic, and use the finances to support businesses we believe in. It is also about bringing to the Lucidity Festival Experience a moment of pause for all the folks who are running around and bringing their greatness to the event…we take a moment to be present, to acknowledge, and to nourish ourselves with the life giving fuel of good food.
This year we are excited about providing a Farmer’s Market on site for participants to buy local produce inside the Festival.
Sample the locally sourced vendor’s Alison and Melissa have carefully selected for Lucidity participants palate pleasure.
Visit our Merchant Vendors list to see what locally created goods will be available at the Festival…visit the booths and make a connection with the hearts and mind behind the beautiful creations.
Check back for more resources and updates about how Lucidity’s Crew is striving to be more water wise (Save Water Save Cachuma!), and “Leave it Better”, along with creative ideas and solutions for making our stay at Live Oak Campground more sustainable for you the Participant as we get close to the birth of the Lucid Universe!!!