5 Ways To Be Eco-Friendly At A Festival, Because Music Shouldn't Come At The Expense Of The Environment
With Glastonbury around the corner, it's easy to get carried away with the amazing line-ups, and all the logistics that comes with living in a muddy field for half a week. Unfortunately, thinking of sustainability and your carbon footprint can kind of take a back seat among all the festival excitement. But considering how to be eco-friendly at festivals while still having a ton of fun should really be just as big of a priority as packing wellies.
This year, festivals are stepping up and taking responsibility for their impact on the environment. The BBC estimates that around 23,500 tonnes of waste is produced at UK music festivals each year. And according to the Guardian, visitors to Glastonbury used 1.3 million plastic bottles in 2017, leading to the festival declaring war on single-use plastic this year. And Live Nation Festivals including Parklife, Reading, Leeds, Latitude, Download, and Wireless have pledged to eliminate single use plastics by 2021.
Yes, festivals are now making steps to use reusable cups, paper straws and plates, but there's still loads visitors can do to make sure these events stay eco-friendly. Of course, there's fun to be had, but it doesn't mean you should become a litter bug, irresponsible about plastic use, and wasteful. So here are some tips to make sure your festival experience is as eco-friendly at possible.
1. Take Your Tent Home
According to the Association of Independent Festivals, other than car emissions, abandoned tents are one of the biggest issues festivals face when it comes to sustainability.
There's an old urban myth that tents left behind at festivals will be donated to charity, whilst some festivals provide this service, The Independent states that around 90% of tents just end up in landfill. Yes, getting a pop-up tent down is a grueling experience, but don't leave your tents behind, save it for next year! In fact, don't leave anything behind.
2. Think About How You're Getting There
Obviously hopping in a car with just one other mate gives you all that luxurious space, but consider your carbon footprint. Car emissions are one of the biggest environmental issues at music festivals. The Association of Independent Festivals states, "more than 66% of people travel to their festival of choice by car, with more people than ever travelling in a car of two or fever people."
If you must drive, try and fill up every seat in the car, or better yet leave your car at home and get public transport.
3. Don't Pee On The Grass
When you're stuck at the front of a crowd, far away from the loos, it might seem simpler to just have a cheeky wee in the field, but seriously don't. Every year Glastonbury kindly asks festival goers to be considerate and use the loos, but this isn't just because peeing outside is kind of gross and anti social. According to the Glastonbury festival website, human urine actually causes toxic pollution harming fish and wildlife. So, if you want festivals like Glastonbury to stay open, use the loos provided.
4. Hold Onto Your Cups & Leave Single-Use Items At Home
It's simple to keep going back to the bar and getting a new festival cup for each new drink, but just get the one and hold onto it for the rest of your time there. And on that note, try to leave the single use items at home. Bring along a reusable water bottle as festivals have taps. Buy a raincoat that lasts, not just a plastic poncho you chuck away at the end of the weekend. Stay away from tents marketed as single-use. And, yes it's difficult to chase down a shower at festivals, but try and avoid wet wipes, or if possible, buy totally biodegradable versions.
5. Get Biodegradable Glitter
Everyone loves a bit of glitter at a festival, but unfortunately most of it is awful for the environment. As Insider reports, glitter is actually a microplastic and ends up harming marine life as it's swallowed by plankton, fish, and even birds. It can even make its way all the way up the food chain and onto our plates. Luckily, there are loads of eco-friendly alternatives, so there's no need for festival aesthetic to damage the planet.
So there's really no excuse not to have your most sustainable festival season yet.