The month of June brings many things, the nights are lighter, the weather is warmer, holidays are booked but most importantly it’s the month of pride!
Pride is a yearly dedication to the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating all that is wonderful about it. Just over 50 years ago in June 1969, the Stonewall riots took place. This was a transformative event in history, where the gay community in the US fought against their oppressors and campaigned for equal rights. By holding these protests, they transformed the future.
Today, the month is used as a landmark to find joy in how far society has come. While also educating that there’s still some work to be done. It’s about acceptance, awareness and being uniquely you. Throughout this month many cities hold events such as marches, parties and concerts. Bringing a community together and appreciating love.
Now it’s nearly time to rally together your friends, grab your dancing shoes and put your best outfit on. But mass attended events can generate huge amounts of waste. At Brighton’s 2018 pride more than 100 metric tonnes of rubbish was collected. Simply put that’s the equivalent of 10,000 bin bags full.
To avoid this negative consequence of a wonderful celebration, here are some simple ways you can make your pride experience more eco-friendly:
- Buy from LGBTQ+ owned sustainable stores.
If you want to experience these events in a new outfit to feel gorgeous in, then a good way to start is to buy straight from the community itself. Avoid mass-produced, cheap products from rainbow washed corporations. Gender-neutral brand Femme Forte is a good place to start. Their simplistic clothes are easy to wear all year round. Wilde Mode, a size-inclusive, disability friendly, non-binary brand is another option too. Search for some fun authentic pieces that give back to the community and the planet.
- Reuse and keep it after.
If you’ve been to an event before then dig out your old goods, flatten out the creases in your flag and carry it with pride. Bring them back home with you so they’re as good as new for next year as well. If you do want to buy anything new, because it is pride after all, then keep it and reuse it for the next time.
- Get creative and upcycle.
Put your skills to the test and customise items you already have, add stitches of colour or turn a pair of old jeans into shorts. There’s a joy in transforming something old while celebrating how you’ve grown at the same time. Grab some cardboard from your recycling bin and create a banner if you like, decorating it with slogans and images. Just make sure you recycle it after.
- Watch your litter.
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of things but make sure you’re disposing of one-use things correctly. If you see something on the ground a quick pick-up and bin will make all the difference. If bins aren’t accessible where you are then pocket the rubbish to dispose of later.
- Bring a reusable water bottle and cutlery.
Every good event has food trucks and bars full of wonderful drinks. A way to avoid the mass amount of waste from these is by bringing things from home! Bringing reusable cutlery, cups and straws is a way to make a difference. These items are small and detachable making it easy to chuck them into your bag. As the days get hotter and longer a reusable water bottle is a must-have for any pride event. If you don’t have one already buy one while you’re there!
- Avoid the glitter.
Pride is full of confetti, balloons and glitter. As fabulous as they may be, these microplastics are extremely harmful to the environment and oceans. Switching to biodegradable options are ways to personally reduce plastic use while still having fun. Even try getting in touch with the event hosts and ask them to make the switch. It’s worth a try!
Most importantly have fun. In the UK they’re celebrating 50 years since the first pride rally. This year an estimated 1.5 million people will take part in the celebrations. This lively amount is enough to make anyone proud and make the future look even brighter.
So, attend an event close to you, prepare your things and celebrate yourself. Happy people, happy planet and happy pride!