As we enter into summer, the festival season is in full swing. Whilst thousands of festival-goers around the country pack our tents, wellies and glitter, it’s important to be mindful of the waste we leave behind after a long weekend of dancing. It’s estimated that over 23,500 tonnes of waste is produced at UK music festivals every single year. Food wrappers, plastic cups, camping equipment, bottles and even tents and clothing are left behind when the last of the party people head home. This year, we're encouraging everyone to make our festival experiences as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible so you can dance the night away, totally guilt-free...
Luckily, many festivals are beginning to implement more sustainable initiatives into their weekends. Such as scrapping single-use plastic, providing more water refill stations and carbon off-setting. For example, last year's Wilderness Festival provided compostable cutlery and take away boxes at every food vendor’s stall. There was clearly marked recycling, composting and general waste bins. Festival-goers were also provided with and encouraged to use water re-fill taps that were placed around the site. Positive measures like these will ensure greener festivals that can be enjoyed for many years to come. However, some responsibility does still lie with the individual to ensure sustainable practices are followed as far as possible. Here are our top tips for greener festival going...
Shop Second Hand
A great tip for your day-to-day life that can also be applied to festivals! If you find that you need something new, try and find that item secondhand first. If you're looking for cute festival clothing, why not try your local charity shops or vintage markets? You could also arrange clothing swaps with your friends or even look online via eBay, Vinted or Depop. If you need a tent for the weekend and you're unlikely to use one again, we recommend having a look for one secondhand before splurging on a new one. Have a look online on places like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree for lightly used tents. You can also ask friends and family if they have a tent they could lend you. Just make sure to thoroughly inspect your tent for holes and tears before heading off to the festival to avoid disaster! If you have an old tent that needs some TLC, you can purchase a repair kit online to extend the life of your tent. It's a good idea to get yourself a patching kit, a waterproofing kit and a good quality groundsheet as these will all help to prolong the life of your tent. A Greener Festival’s ‘Love Your Tent’ campaign estimated that one in six people leave their tent behind. Even if you know you won't use your tent again after the festival, be sure to do the responsible thing and take it home with you. You can sell it on or give it away to someone who needs it to avoid sending it straight to landfill.
Use Public Transport
Public transport and ride-sharing are the best ways to limit your CO2 emissions whilst travelling to and from the festival. Many festivals partner with coach companies to provide excellent public transport links, even to the most remote festival locations. We think this is often the best option as not only is it better for the environment, but travelling by coach also takes all of the hassle and planning out of your journey! If this isn't an option for you, try looking into trains and public buses. Many operators will be running special services around festival times to help you get there safely and sustainably. If all else fails and you have to travel by car or taxi, try ride-sharing! The more people who can share one form of transport, rather than occupying individual cars, the better it is for the environment. Find travel buddies by sharing in online groups, asking friends or downloading ride-share apps.
Take Reusable, Refillables & Sustainable Swaps
We're all aware of the impact that single use plastic has on the environment, and many of us try our best to cut down on it as far as possible in our daily lives. However, across the UK, around 7.7 billion single-use water bottles are still bought each year. Help combat this by taking your own reusable water bottle with you and make use of the refill taps throughout most festivals. Not only is this an easy way to cut down on your plastic usage, it will also save you a lot of £££'s too! Another simple swap you can make is to take a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. Many of us will use an electric toothbrush at home, but taking this with you to a festival isn't always practical. So instead of purchasing a cheap plastic brush for the weekend, opt for a sustainable bamboo one instead. There are plenty of options on the market nowadays, but our favourites are the Humble Brush which are available in most supermarkets. We highly recommend the Fill Camping Kit for all your festival toiletry essentials in plastic free packaging (that can all be refilled once you're home!) If you're going all-out on the sparkle, make sure to invest in some biodegradable glitter as traditional glitter is made from polluting plastic. Eco Glitter Fun are a brilliant business with all of the plastic-free glitter options your heart desires!