Festivals are an exciting yet odd time of year. It’s nerve-wracking trying to grab tickets, an impulse decision or a carefully planned out choice. But every year with festivals there’s the anticipation and the planning. Then the day is suddenly here, and for some reason, you’ve forgotten to buy your wellies. It comes quick and some things are often missed.
So, if you’re one of the lucky ones attending these jam-packed events then I’m sure you’re wracking your brain on things you need before the date arrives. While it’s important to remember your tent, your sleeping bag etc. It’s also a good idea to plan how you can make your trip eco-friendly.
Music festivals in all their glory, have a negative consequence of mass waste. Plastic cups, food waste and much more result in an average of 23,500 tonnes of waste. By the end of the weekend your feet hurt, your throats hoarse and the idea of putting the tent back in its bag sounds impossible. But around 250,000 abandoned tents each year result in landfills getting filled with plastic.
Management of these events are taking steps to cut down on the waste. For instance, Glastonbury has banned single-use plastic and use compostable packaging for produce. Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022 in Coventry saw 80,000 attendees. To combat the inevitable waste, they created a monetary incentive to get the public involved in the clean-up.
But more change is needed. Here’s a list of some quick and easy tips to make sure you’re attending as sustainably as possible.
Before you go make sure:
- Travel is planned. Reduce your carbon footprint by finding shared transport. Either plan a carpool with your friends or see if the festival has any buses that will take you straight there. With these options, you get the shared excitement of listening to your festival playlist loud on the aux cable or maybe a sing-along with a group of strangers.
- Research and find where the water points at your festival will be. By taking a reusable water bottle you have the perk of being hydrated 24/7 and not wasting plastic. Make sure you pack your reusable cups, bowls and cutlery. A quick wash in some water will make them brand new.
- Buy sustainable. Everyone loves to wear a fancy new outfit while their favourite artist is playing. You want to look your best while having fun. Either wear what you already have, buy second-hand or purchase from ethical companies. For sequin fun shop at Rosa Bloom or recycled raincoats at Insane in the Rain.
While you’re there try to:
- Eat well and eat green. The loud music and glamourous celebrities aren’t the only things to entertain you. Huge amounts of food trucks will be there offering mouth-watering options. Arguably no food is better than at festivals, si it’s a good chance to eat plant-based. Stay away from boring beef burgers and switch it up for something green. You won’t be disappointed.
- Watch your litter. Keep your rubbish organised where you camp and use the disposal and recycling points around the area. If you see anything while you’re walking a quick pick-up and bin will make all the difference.
- Put the reusables you’ve packed to good use. Most food and drink stalls will be happy to fill up your cup too.
Once the party is over, there are no more acts to see and the dried mud on your legs is starting to itch then it’s time to go. Here’s all you’ll need to do:
- Take everything home with you! As tempting as it is after a long weekend of early mornings and late nights to leave things it’s extremely harmful to the planet.
- Get back in that carpool. It might be a bit quieter and sleepier than the way there but it’s direct and good for the environment.
- Keep everything for next year. Give everything a wipe down and safely store it. It’ll be good as new for next year!
Festivals are an amazing experience and the best way to do it is guilt-free! Pack your things, plan but most importantly be free and have fun.