I want to be more eco-friendly at a festival!
Being conscious of your own impact on the environment has never been more important. Not only that, ‘going green and being eco-friendly’ is now the cool thing to do.
There are multiple ways in which we can all cut back to be kinder to our planet and this shouldn’t be put on hold when going to a festival. Most festivals are making more of an effort to be more environmentally friendly and it’s great to see that the public is responding well to it! Glastonbury has its ‘leave no trace’ scheme, Latitude has fantastic recycling areas and uses recycled materials to create art around the festival site, and both Latitude & Hogsozzle serve drinks in reusable pint glasses, but countless others also pride themselves on being green!
What Can I do?
Recycle, recycle, recycle.
Most, if not all festivals I have been to have areas where you can recycle your rubbish instead of sending it to landfill. Recycling bins will be dotted about everywhere so USE THEM! Latitude has fantastic recycling points in the campsite and around the main arena.
Consider your transport options.
Most festivals will have train, coach or bus package options which are fantastic. I went all the way to T In The Park festival in Scotland on a coach, and yes it took bloody ages, but it cost £12 for a return ticket and was much more environmentally friendly. Now, I must admit I do prefer to drive to festivals as I can leave and arrive when I want, but I always try and lift share. I will find others going to the festival and go as a group. Firstly it means I split the fuel and parking so it helps to keep expenses down, but lift sharing is a much more eco-friendly way of driving to a festival, rather than everyone taking their own cars. Glastonbury makes this even easier to do with their car share scheme. You say whether you will drive or be a passenger and the scheme matches you up with other festival-goers that are in a similar area to you!
Take a reusable water bottle.
Buying water at a festival is not only very expensive but if you buy water in a plastic bottle, it’s also very uneconomical. If you need to buy water at a festival, see if they offer water in a box… I have seen this more and more at recent festivals! That being said, pretty much all campsites and festivals have water points where you can fill up a reusable water bottle for free during the day! Some festivals will not allow you to take water through into the arena, just empty the bottle before you go in and refill as you go… simple.
Don’t use plastic straws.
Ask yourself, do I really need to sip that G & T through a straw? Probably not. Plastic straws are now becoming less and less common, however, some bars still have them. Either opt for a paper straw or take your own reusable one. Bamboo or metal straws are available everywhere these days and are great. Pop one in your bag and simply rinse it off when you are done so you are ready for the next round of drinks!
Use beeswax food wraps instead of cling film.
Taking your own food to a festival is an absolute must! However wrapping those slices of pizza, pieces of apple, granola bars and homemade energy balls in aluminium foil or cling film is such a waste and so un-eco-friendly. I use Big Bees Wax Wraps and they are fantastic! I bought mine off Ebay and they are fabulous! Beeswax has naturally antibacterial properties and so keeps food fresh and germ-free for as long as possible. They are totally reusable and made from pieces of cotton fabric and coated in beeswax. Not only that, the beautiful patterns and prints mean they look fabulous. They can go in the fridge or cool-box and fold up nice and small in your bag between uses – perfect for a festival!
Take your own coffee cup.
The morning after a heavy night and a lot of dancing means that the first thing most people go in search for is their morning caffeine fix – and although most coffee cups are cardboard, a lot of the time the lids and stirrers are plastic!! I have a Frank Green reusable, stainless steel cup and OMG it’s the best flask I have ever owned. I can genuinely (hand on heart) say that it has NEVER leaked, my coffee stays hot for ages, and because the cup is stainless steel, it doesn’t have that plasticky taste or gets stained by the tea/coffee inside.
Ditch the wet wipes – Opt for soap and a washcloth.
Wet wipes are the holy grail of festival items and are normally top of any list I make. However, most are not environmentally friendly. The brand Simple is now making biodegradable cleansing wipes and I am sure others will soon follow suit, but if you just can’t ditch the wipes altogether, then at least choose biodegradable ones. If you can, then why not opt for a lovely bar of soap and a washcloth instead?
Choose biodegradable glitter.
Glitter and face paint is another festival staple. Face gems and glitter beards are here, there and everywhere these days! However, most GLITTER IS NOT BIODEGRADABLE so opt for the brands that offer a biodegradable option instead and take that with you. Don’t forget, if you are getting a sparkly makeover at the festival, check that the vendor is using biodegradable glitter on you!
Take your tent with you.
It’s shocking how many people leave tents, chairs, sleeping bags, air mattresses and all kinds of things behind at the end of the festival. Many times I have packed up my own tent, put it in the car, then gone back and left the festival with a better tent than the one I came with. Many festival organisers collect leftover tents and send them to charities to use all around the world, however, this isn’t always the case. If in doubt, pack up your tent and camping gear, take it with you, and donate it at a charity shop instead!
So there you go, a few tips, tricks and nifty little ways you can be more eco-friendly the next time you hit the festival fields!
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