Festival season kicks off this weekend with Glastonbury 2019 and aren’t we excited! Okay, so we never got the tickets, but with so many exciting festivals taking place in the UK this summer we could probably go to one each week if we wanted… and our wallets allowed.
From 4, even 5-day long weekenders, to day parties in the city, now is the time of year to head out in the sun and get your fill of good music, good company and a good beverage (or 12)!
That being said, we are all aware of the impact festivals have on the environment. We’ve all seen the photos of the staggering amounts of litter left behind at various events – and that’s just the impact you can actually see.
In 2017, Powerful Thinking, a thinktank dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of festivals, released some statistics that are certain to make us all a little more conscious when we set off for our next festival this summer.
- 23,500 tonnes of waste are produced annually at UK festivals, with a measly 32% being recycled.
- A total of 5 million litres of fuel is used by the UK festival industry annually
- The UK festival industry emits 19,778 tonnes of CO2 each year and this is excluding travel.
Statistics from The Show Must Go On report 2017
How can I reduce my environmental impact at festivals?
With the increasing awareness being raised around issues of sustainability, we hope to see many more festival goers making a conscious effort to be kinder to the environment whilst still having fun. To help, we’ve put together some easy ways you can reduce your environmental impact this festival season.
Invest in a good quality tent
This sounds like an odd way to be eco-friendly but hear us out. Many people will buy cheap tents which means they feel justified leaving it behind. In 2015, 5,000 tents were abandoned at Glastonbury alone! And where did these end up? Probably in the landfill.
We recommend taking a look at Festival Camping section from Cotswold Outdoor for all your essentials. We love the Robens Klondike Tent – guaranteed to induce tent-envy in your neighbours. You can also find an excellent Festival Survival Guide from Cotswold Outdoor with 8 great tips to get you through your weekend in one piece!
Yes, yes, we know it’s easier. But if you knew that an average of 61% of festival goers travel there by car and that 80% of the average UK festival’s emissions come from travel, would you be tempted to find alternative mode of transport? If we can’t sway you on ditching the wheels, at least make sure you’re transporting as many people* as legally possible.
*(ideally people who are also going to the festival).
Consider the type of festival you are going to
City day festivals are less carbon intensive because they are accessible by public transport, bikes and walking. That being said, if you’re driving there from the countryside or another town or city, this point is redundant.
But do check out what festivals are being proactive about sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint before you decide which one to go to. 61 festivals have signed up to the Drastic on Plastic initiative which aims to ban all single use plastic by 2021.
Pack your reusable water bottle
(If this wasn’t a given, we are disappointed). The same goes for bringing Tupperware boxes to put food in. Say no to the polystyrene that your meal is about to be served in and ask for it to be put in your reusable pot. Although, if polystyrene is still being used at festivals this year we want to know about it – name and shame!
Klean Kanteen have a great selection of flasks and tumblers that are suitable for food and drink. If you see plastic bottles being sold don’t panic – on closer inspection you might find they are from Eco for Life and therefore made from 100% plant material. A big thumbs up from us.
Leave the glitter behind
Just because it sparkles, it’s still single use plastic. It doesn’t look as good as you think it does anyway (we’ve been there).
Tidy up after yourself
Seriously, no excuses this year. Especially since you can get a free Litter Heroes bag from The Outdoor Guide to keep your festival space clean and tidy.
Share your stories with us on social media using #LitterHeroes for a chance to feature in the Litter Heroes Gallery 2019!
Enjoy yourselves this summer and remember that environmental rules still apply at festivals even if no other rules do!