With summer well under way, now is the time to dust off your wellies and dig out your flower crown, as festival season is in full swing. Although undoubtedly a summer staple, festival fun can also come at a cost to the planet, with festivals like Glastonbury producing around 2,000 tonnes of waste each year. Beyond the Box has gathered some tips on how to stay green over any music-filled weekend.
Fast-fashionista no more
We all know one of the most exciting parts of any festival are the glitzy, show-stopping outfits. For lots of us, dressing to impress is part of the fun but remember to think about how to make any outfits more eco-friendly. This may mean getting creative with items you already have in your wardrobe or thinking about how to re-wear an outfit post-festival.
If you are shopping for new items, head to your local charity shop for inspiration. You could also try browsing on second-hand clothing apps such as Depop or Vinted to find some stylish, money-saving, festival garments – just remember to recycle the cardboard packaging from any deliveries.
Glitter is another must for many festival outfit but, unfortunately, the sparkly stuff is an environmental nightmare. A lot of glitter is made from microplastics, which do not decompose. If you can’t say no to glitter, opt for biodegradable sparkles this year. Eco glitter is fun, fashionable and better for the planet.
Travel in (sustainable) style
Instead of immediately deciding to drive to a festival, which can have a negative impact on the environment, think about alternative ways to get there. So, why not plan your journey using public transport? Many coach companies arrange travel to and from festivals around the country, picking up from various cities.
Still planning to drive? Look into car-sharing. Many festivals are now setting up car share initiatives, which not only help people in need of a lift, but also help save on fuel costs and your carbon footprint.
Leave no trace
An essential at any festival is the mighty tent. Sleeping quarters are an important thing to factor into your festival plans and tents are the most popular choice of accommodation. They’re cost-effective, easy to transport and can be reused repeatedly. We only have one rule… please don’t leave your tent! With over 250,000 tents left at festivals across the UK every year, they prove to be one of the biggest waste problems.
The way to tackle this issue is simple: remember to pack up your tent (and take all your rubbish with you). While some festivals try to donate and recycle abandoned tents, up to 90% of tents left end up in landfill, not to mention the additional rubbish left inside tents and around campsites.
Want to be on top of your green game? Try cardboard! Yes, you heard us right – cardboard tents are now an option for accommodation (it’s not just a great sustainable packaging option!). Offering easy pitching, dark sleeping quarters, and the option to decorate, these tents are also fully recyclable and biodegradable – and can simply be added to the recycling bin like the rest of your cardboard packaging.
Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
A great green attitude to have when at a festival is ditching the disposable mindset. Items like ponchos, water bottles, and baby wipes all have reusable alternatives, helping to tackle excess waste.
One last and (hopefully!) obvious tip to mention is to recycle all your leftover waste. There will be many recycling points dotted around every festival, so make use of this and don’t let your sustainability slip this summer. Hundreds of people are required to help with festival clean-ups every year, with the cost of Glastonbury clean-up in 2019 estimated to be more than £500,000. The more we can do to help, the better.
So, whether you’re heading to Leeds, Creamfields, Latitude or another festival this summer, follow our tips to become more sustainably conscious this festival season. And remember every little change really does make a difference.
Want to learn how to make your sustainable habits stick in your day-to-day life too? Click here for more inspiration on going green.