When in this years’ camp’s opening ceremony hukl noticed that the on-ground generators actually are a little embarrassing for the hacker’s scene and the camp should in fact be self-sustaining, he struck an important chord: If not even the self-proclaimed tech elite is able to power its festival without burning fossiles, the IT-revolution will never be a very green one.

And it got us thinking where most of the electricity is spent on site (we will leave out central infrastructure for now), and we guess we’re basically heating wires and transformator coils. If we can eliminate on-tent demand for those power-consumers, we can get rid of miles of extension cords, inefficient chargers and most important: the noisy and smelly generators.

The average participant needs power to charge phone and notebook, illuminate the tent and it’s surroundings, play music and refrigerate beers or (baby) milk. None of this actually needs AC power.

wasser+strom

After being thunderstruck at CCCamp15, via „powlpaul“

  • Ultrabright LEDs lasting a week on an off-the-shelf power brick are dead cheap by now and from our experience even need some shades to be comfortable.
  • Looking ahead four years to the next camp, an average notebook computer may even run on the power you brought in its battery from home – we’re not so sure about your smart phone, though ;). However, there’s no need to have everyone re-convert the 230 V we just transverted, back down to 5 V, when we can just provide USB outlets powered by Power walls or their future competitors. They could be pre-charged with solar power and neatly distributed around the camp ground.
  • Laptops and other devices that do not last a whole camp might also be charged&locked at central charging stations. Since virtually all chargers convert to DC, an exhaustive set of plugs and a variable regulator can take care of all devices, including your power bricks.
  • For the day to day refrigerating needs, one or some centralized cooling sources helps saving energy, as well. A coin locker system where each slot can take a six pack of beer will surely do.
  • There is a whole tinkerer scene building urban sound systems running on batteries that fit in a child’s waggon. We doubt you can’t find a way to annoy everyone around you with loud 90ies techno without a wall plug socket.
  • Other festivals offer deposits returned if you return you trash. We might do the same with power, if you feed clean energy into our grid. Maybe you can have your toddlers walk in a treadmill?
  • If you manage to operate your whole village infrastructure without our electricity, you will be placed on the glorious environmental heroes list.

We have not yet fully explored, how to improve our central infrastructure in NOC, lecture halls and sanitary installations. More aspects and ideas that might help reduce our environmental impact are welcome in the comments.

While it might seem unrealisticly to operate the whole CCCamp 2019 independently of external and fossile energy sources, we can at least challenge ourselves to dedicate half or even more of the camp site DC and generator free and be a good example not only to outdoor festivals.

Do you have thoughts on that?