(Eco) Letter To The Boomers III


In this letter we share the results from the Boom 2014 Environmental Program. The Boom team is inspired by the visions and methods of Permaculture to develop do-it-yourself projects that empower people, enhance biodiversity, and maximize the festival’s ability to create a positive environmental impact. The solutions we’ve adopted over the years such as compost toilets, plant based water treatment facilities, waste veggie oil for generators and machines, solar and wind energy supplies, soil regeneration, reforestation, recycling/reusing materials and bio-construction techniques are setting the standards worldwide for large scale sustainable events.
We know that there is still more progress to be made, so please share your environmental ideas with the Boom Team to help make the festival, and the world, a better place.

• 4.929.000 litres of water were used in the showers and restaurants. All the used water has been treated in the onsite water treatment facility with plants and will eventually flow back to the land.

• 253 m3 of solid waste was produced during Boom. The digestion is actively taking place and in approximately one year the solids will turn into compost that will be used to create soil!  
• 156.000 litres of liquid fertilizer was produced and later will
be used on Boom gardens.  
• The dry compost system in use at Boom saved 249.464 litres
of water compared to conventional toilets.

• The Eco Team separated garbage and recycling onsite, avoiding the emissions of 64 tons of CO2 by removing recyclables
from the landfill waste.
• The We Make Soil Project (collecting organic waste at the Central Plaza to create compost) avoided emissions of 23 tons of CO2 by using organic waste for compost rather than sending it to a landfill.  
• Compost Toilets at Boom eliminated the need to send solid waste to a chemical treatment plant and avoided the emissions
of 5 tons of CO2.
• With the project Reuse Materials of Rock’n’Rio Lisboa festival, Boom avoided the emission of 166 tons of CO2, by eliminating the need to purchase new materials. The need for re-usable materials was lower compared to 2012 so Boom brought less materials from Rock’n’Rio this edition. 

• The We Make Soil project produced 44 tons of organic waste that were sent to a composting plant. It is expected that 1/5 of this amount will be turned into compost to be used on agriculture at the Boom Land.
• It is also expected that the Compost Toilets of Boom 2014, will produce 50,6m3 of usable compost.


We did improvements on the amount of separation of recyclable materials and organic waste.

• Eco Team avoided sending 25 tons of recycled garbage to the landfill.
• We Make Soil avoided 44 tons of organic waste to be sent to the landfill.

We are happy to report that we decreased the amount of garbage to be sent to the landfill and, at the same time, increased the amount of separation of both organics and recyclable items.

Since 2008 Boom has projects of cleaner Energy supply. Started with waste veggie oil on generators in 2008, it has been increasingly using more solar energy. For more info please check the Boom website (

To support social travels and lower carbon impact due to private travels, Boom partnered with Liftshare website ( to give Boomers an option for their travels. 2560 journeys were registered representing a 27% increase from 2012.

• 33.000 m2 of gardens were created at Boom 2012. In 2014, an additional 18.500 m2 of gardens were planted offsetting 462 kg of CO2.
• In 2014, there was a total of 51.500 m2 of gardens equally an annual offset of 1.3 tons of CO2.

• It is mandatory for all restaurants to use biodegradable cutlery.
• Boom provided 30.000 pocket ashtrays.
• Boom supports local food producers by buying most of the food for workers from the region and by providing the restaurants at Boom a list of local producers that deliver products on a daily basis.
• Boom Environmental Program is 100% independent, in partnership with Ecocentro IPEC, with dozens of volunteers and eco-enthusiasts. It is funded by ticket sales alone.
• Between 2012 and 2014 Boom planted around 2000 trees at the Boom Land.
• 3000 plants were planted specifically for Boom 2014.
• 80.000 litres of water were pumped daily from the lake for irrigation using a solar pump. The water goes back into the hydrologic cycle of the Boom Land
• There is free water at dozens of water points at  the Boom Land
• Boom has 4 compost toilets for special needs people.
• There were 630km of toilet paper used in the compost toilets.
• At the Boom official bars priority goes to make available both ethical and/or local products: natural fruits juices (sugar free),
water and beer are all Portuguese. There is fair trade cola.
Both ice tea and coconut water are organic. The only drinks that we didn't find proper good quality alternatives from small brands are guaraná and energy drink.
• 90 straw bales from the Boom Land
were used for construction of Boom 2014.
• 50.000 watts of power per day were produced with solar panels.
• 376 flower lamps were made from recycled materials
(remember at the Sacred Fire?)
• 43 medusa lamps were made with recycled plastic bottles.
• The Boom By Bike Initiative has seen the number of bikers coming to Boom increase each edition. For every 500km cycled,
their carbon footprint was reduced by 0.10 tons of CO2.
• There were 27 workshops on environmental related themes.
• Boom has been audited by several institutions and won the following awards: Outstanding Greener Festival Awards 2008, 2010, 2012. Green  Inspiration Award 2012. European Festival Award –Green'n'Clean Festival of the Year 2010. United Nations Music & Environment Stakeholder Initiative Partner.

Note: Students of Environmental Engineering of Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisboa, assessed the data presented. The methodology is based on emission factors of European Union regulations and Environmental Protection Agency (USA). Boom Environmental Program is based on a Permaculture vision.

Thank You Boomer For Your Inspiration!
We Are Love