Festivals nowadays make a huge effort to cut their carbon emissions and make their event an overall more green experience with a minimal impact upon the planet. But while their efforts are important in reducing the environmental impact of such large-scale events, the most important role in cutting emissions is played by you- the festival goer. Here are some practical tips on how to become a green festival goer, making your summer festival a more eco friendly experience.
Transport to and from festivals is one of the most significant contributors to the event’s overall carbon footprint. You can do your bit to minimize emissions caused by transport by using public transport or sharing lifts. Looking for someone to fill spare seats in your car? Plenty of lift sharing websites specialize in festivals and other big events, and many festival organizers provide links to the best ones on their own websites, so you can save money and meet new friends in the process.
Many festivals now offer incentives for festival goers to green up their transport including discounted or free drinks, exclusive accommodation and better toilets. Some festivals will even offer free tickets to those who make the effort for their transport to be emission free- Nozstock, a smaller festival set in rural Herefordshire offers 2 free tickets to every group of 7 who cycle at least 15 miles to the event, with free drinks and other goodies thrown in too!
Reduce what you bring
It might be tempting to bring a ton of kit, especially if the festival is your first experience of camping. But all those extras are only things that will potentially be left behind, especially if you can’t fit it all back in the car at the end. Pack sparingly and you’ll find you have less bits and pieces to worry about, as well as a lighter rucksack to carry.
The most commonly left behind items at festivals are cooking items and cutlery, camping chairs and tents. To be a green festival goer, choose quality items which will last long beyond the festival weekend- they’ll be far more cost effective, reduce waste and leave you kitted up for future camping trips for years to come.
Water is essential for staying healthy and hydrated at a summer festival. But you don’t have to stock up on bottled water to keep you going all weekend. Festivals happily offer clean water taps for you to fill up water bottles. Bring a durable, reusable water bottle to refill throughout the festival, reducing the level of empty water bottles which can be left behind. Sigg and Camelbak both make great, durable water bottles which will last you for years.
Probably your most important purchase before a festival, your tent will be your home from home for the entire weekend. In recent years, the media has drawn attention to the mass amount of tents left behind at festivals such as Glastonbury. Bringing your tent home with you is one of the best ways of minimizing your impact upon the area. It’s worthwhile spending just a few minutes learning how to take care of your tent- if you do, it should last you for plenty of festivals to come.
Nowadays, festivals make it very easy to recycle. Recycling stations can be found dotted all over most festival sites, allowing you to separate your waste, recycleable and compostable materials. Cups and drinks cans can be some of the most wasted items at festivals. As well as convenient recycling points, festivals such as Reading now run incentives to return plastic cups to the bar. A scheme in which deposits are paid for the glass and given back upon return are now in place, which helps to ensure almost 90% of all plastic cups are recycled. Free drinks are often given out at the end of the festival to anyone who brings back a bag full of discarded cups!
Support local produce
Plenty of festivals, from small-scale Green Man in Brecon to the musician’s Mecca that is Glastonbury support the local economy by selling locally sourced, organic food. By purchasing these products, you can ensure that you are supporting food which is locally grown, allowing the local economy to benefit from the event whilst reducing the transportation of food from source to stand. Buying organic also means supporting a pesticide-free growing process, promoting a healthier local ecosystem.
Making your festival experience greener only takes a few minutes of extra thought, but by making the effort to reduce your impact on the local area, you can help to preserve the beautiful parts of the country that have played host to festivals for decades, helping to ensure a healthy, bright future for many festivals to come.tagscampinggreen eventsgreen festivalssummer