Festival season is upon us! More than 600 music festivals will take place in the UK this summer, attracting millions of festival-goers of all ages to pitch up for a weekend of fun. Living in a tent or yurt, not showering and only using your feet to get your around for a few days… it sounds pretty environmentally friendly, doesn’t it? But in fact, festivals can have a HUGE negative impact on the environment...
Think about it. Festivals turn green fields into fully functioning cities for days at a time - triggering damage to the land, and disturbing local wildlife. Just to even get to their chosen location, around 61% of festival-goers travel by car, inevitably resulting in CO2 emissions. Generators at the event, powered by diesel or petrol, also add to those harmful emissions. Back in 2010, researchers at the University of Oxford studied the environmental impact of 500 UK festivals and found that, combined, they emitted around 84,000 tonnes of CO2 a year!
Another huge festival-related challenge is waste management and recycling. Festival-goers generate a huge amount of waste - from single-use plastic bottles and cutlery to tents being left behind when the fun ends. According to a report by Powerful Thinking, festivals produce 23,500 tonnes of waste annually - 2.8kg of waste per person and per day! Moreover, only 32% of it is recycled.
However, don't despair - the good news is, you can do something about it. If you’re heading off to a festival soon, here are a few tips to help you reduce your environmental footprint, and help make the festival industry as green as can be.
BEFORE THE FESTIVAL
Like most days in the zero waste wannabe world, being prepared is absolutely vital! Here are a few things to think about before you head off on your merry way to help you cut down your waste.
Travel to the festival by public transport, bike, or car-sharing. It will make the trip to the event part of the adventure!
Think before you pack! Bring lasting, reusable items rather than things you will end up throwing away. We have plenty of festival essentials available as rewards as part of our Glastonbury crowdfunder (like mini isothermal bottles, reusable wipes and vegan food wraps).
- Invest in some good quality camping gear: You’ll sleep better, and should motivate you to bring your tent back home with you (and reusing again, and again and again), rather than leaving it - where it will most likely go straight into the bin.
All those tents should be going home!
DURING THE EVENT
Ditch the plastic! Use a reusable water bottle, and one of our cool bamboo lunch box or coffee cups to avoid any unnecessary waste.
Become a recycling champion! If you do have waste, make sure you put it in the correct bin. Do not just drop it on the ground. If you're heading to Glastonbury this summer, you can sign up to be a Worthy Warrior and help boost the festival's recycling rates here.
- Use water responsibly: The average festival-goer uses around 12.5 litres of water a day. Try to reduce that number by turning the taps off and only using what you need. And we're sure no one will judge you if you skip a shower or two (psst - get yourself a pack of our reusable body wipes via our crowdfunder for a quick water free 'shower' in your tent!)
For even more eco-friendly festival essentials, head to our crowdfunder to get yourself some goodies (and help us bring the zero-waste movement to the masses)!
Going to Glastonbury?
Team Atlas & Ortus will be there to offer our products to passers by - so make sure you come and say hi! If you back our crowdfunder, you can collect your rewards at the festival - pitch in, pick up! Just remember to email us to tell us that's what you're doing, and don't forget to bring your ID!