Summertime is fast approaching and that means it’s festival season! It might seem pretty green – disembarking in a rural area and pitching up a tent with minimal electricity – but have you really, thoughtfully considered your ecological footprint? Not to despair! We don’t want to ruin your fun – below, you’ll find our tips for going green as you party this year.
Reduce your carbon footprint and lift share
How are you getting to your festival? Will you be driving or using public transport? Will you be renting a private car for yourself and some friends or will you be pooling with other festival goers?
We recommend sharing your journeys with other attendees or using local transport options. Festivals, often in rural areas, usually have some sort of subsidised (or free) public transportation – like a shuttle bus – from the closest train or bus station. Double-check your options!
Invest in a tent you can re-use next time
Is your tent high-quality and durable or is it likely that you’ll buy it cheap and then leave it on-site when you depart? If you’re a regular festival goer, think about investing in a sturdy tent that you can re-use. It might be an expensive one-off cost but, in the end, you’ll save money and you’ll be sending less to landfills.
Check out the Love Your Tent campaign to see how you can make a difference and impact when it comes to camping.
Pack wisely and avoid single-use items
What are you bringing? Some festivals are banning as much single-use plastic as they can so it helps to be prepared yourself. Instead of packing your snacks in a plastic bag, why not bring a tote bag you can use again? A plastic bottle can be replaced with a reusable bottle you can use for refilling at tap stations. When it comes to waste bags, look for organic, biodegradable options.
If there’s one thing that sets apart from festival fashion from… non-festival fashion… it’s glitter. Glitter makes things sparkle and makes you look groovy but it’s also an environmental hazard. To nature, glitter is a microplastic – taking centuries to decompose and being confused for food by marine life.
Luckily, there are eco-friendly alternatives! Often, biodegradable glitter takes around two months to fully decompose, causing no harm to the planet. In your search to find the shiniest, most eco-friendly replacement, however, make sure you know in which conditions your eco-friendly glitter will successfully decompose in.
Want to make your own super eco-friendly glitter? One of our tips is to fill a sealable bag with coarse salt, add some drops of organic food colouring/dye, seal and shake the bag so the salt starts to get some colour, and then let the salt dry for a night or two.
No microplastics, just glitter.
Pick up your cigarette butts
Flicking your cigarette butts? Don’t.
They are one of the most littered items on the planet – not biodegradable, and toxic to the earth and wildlife. Instead of tossing your butts on the ground, stub it out properly and dispose of it properly in a waste basket.
Use your voice and ask for a green policy
In the quiet Dutch province of Flevoland, a village called Biddinghuizen (and if you wanted a straight up translation the English is: ‘the praying houses’) is home to around 6.000 inhabitants. For three days every August, however, that population swells nine times. Over 55.000 people disembark and set up their tents for the major music festival Lowlands. The impact on the environment is huge.
Does the festival you’re going to have an official ecological policy? Check their website and look for any information about going green, what they do with waste, or what they’re doing and plan to do to offset their impact on the environment. If you can’t see one, ask them about it. It’s really simple! All it takes is a tweet, a Facebook post, or an email with a short message:
I’m attending Awesome Festival next month and I’m really excited about it! Do you have an environmental policy that I can read and share? I couldn’t find it on your website.”
It's that easy to register your concern.