Seven ways you can be greener at a music festival.
Festival season is all about fun, debauchery and hedonism which is perfectly acceptable every now and again, particularly in this uncertain political climate. But don't abandon all your responsibilities this year; spare a thought for your fragile environment and follow these tips to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible.
Photo by Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash
1. Go biodegradeable where you can
We understand that at festivals, disposable conveniences are hard to avoid. Baby wipes are better than reusable cloths when running water isn't as easy to get hold of, for example. But convenience can still be green. Opt for biodegradeable wipes, straws, dental floss, tissues and whatever else you might need.
2. Refill a bottle
It's better to refill a water bottle than keep buying bottles whenever you need a drink. Most festivals should provide access to drinking water, so it's better to use these than being forced to throw out loads of empty plastic bottles, whether you intend to recycle them or not.
Saying that, the chances are you'll end up with a lot of empty drinks bottles by the time the festival is over. Some festivals, like Glastonbury, hand out recycling bags which you can use to keep your empties separate from your general waste, and they even have a number of recycling units dotted around the site. Make use of these where possible. Some festivals also have compost bins for all your food waste!
4. Share car space
If you and your friends are going to a festival and plan on driving, keep the vehicles to a minimum. Arrange to share transport with each other, and even sign up at gocarshare.com and offer any available space to others who are attending. The less cars on the road, the smaller the carbon footprint - and, of course, the less traffic in between you and the party. Plus, many festivals offer priority parking for car shares as an incentive.
5. Don't abandon your tent
Every year, thousands of hungover festival goers think "Sod it!" when it comes to making their way back to the car with all their gear, and end up leaving behind tents, chairs and other camping equipment because it's less effort than taking it with them. Buy durable tents and sleeping bags that are on the pricey side which will not only give you added comfort throughout the event, but will make you less likely to throw them away after one use. Consider investing in a collapsible wagon which will make dragging the stuff back much easier.
6. Use the toilets
This is important if you are going to Glastonbury or somewhere similar. Urinating on the land or in the river can have dire consequences on the wildlife because urine produces ammonia which reduces oxygen supply and can kill some animal species including fresh water fish. This is especially important during dry periods where any water will enter the river more quickly.
7. Don't leave taps running
We shouldn't even need to be saying this; every human should turn taps off automatically after using them. But, unfortunately, some don't which means gallons of water gets wasted every year through irresponsibile use of water. It might seem like a bottomless commodity, but wasting water has consequences for everyone.