New Programs for Green Hands at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Early in the packed 2018 concert season at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the groundbreaking Green Hands Initiative, dedicated to establishing and maintaining operating practices that align with the popular concert venue’s mission of conserving valuable resources and reducing its ecological footprint, has introduced two exciting new programs.
The "Pint Program" features an Amphitheatre branded 16 oz. Tervis tumbler available for $10. Patrons may purchase the cups from concessions and subsequently receive $1 off every refill of draft beer, fountain soda, and cocktails purchased during any show there.
These cups can of course be reused at home, work or school and are perfect for cold or hot beverages. The main draw for the Ampphitheatre? Every cup purchased keeps a single use cup out of the trash bins.
The catchy hashtag #refillnotlandfill accompanies Instagram photos of happy concertgoers enjoying their beverages as initial response to the program has been strong. Green Hands Coordinator Jen Snare said “It is filling a need with our fans, and we are excited to be able to help them reduce the amount of waste created at a show!”
More than 2300 cups were sold through mid-March. Snare said that she and the site’s Maintenance Manager Matt Pellicer discuss the amount of waste and recyclable material generated after every event, and Pellicer has noticed a big difference in the amount of biodegradable cups in the bins.
Straws are the undisputed kings of single use plastic. But it’s hard to figure out the strange “rules” applied to using plastic tubes to vanquish a beverage… they are often used for mixed drinks, yet not with beer, they’re popped in sodas, yet not in wine. Enter the Green Hands “Last Straw” program.
The Amphitheatre concessions crews no longer automatically hand out straws. Biodegradable straws are available for folks upon request. Snare said she’s heard glowing reviews about the Last Straw program so far, and added people “are excited to share stories about saying "no" to straws at local businesses.”
The St. Johns County Cultural Events Division relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to assist with many duties at the two venues it manages (the Amphitheatre and the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall). The Green Hands Initiative has a presence at every Amphitheatre show, available to engage with the community, answer questions and inform. Hopefully patrons spread the word throughout the Northeast Florida community or from whatever corner of the country they have travelled to enjoy a show.