How to Go Green This Festival Season
Festival season is upon us, and with it, the changeable British weather. But whatever conditions you encounter, having the right kit can make all the difference to your festival experience and the planet too. Historically festivals haven’t been the greenest of gatherings, but as the climate crisis tightens its grip, the need to make small, positive changes to your festival routine is ever more urgent. To help you on your way, here are a few of our top eco-friendly tips to help you go green this festival season.
If you’re going in a big group, car share! It’ll save petrol and emissions, and it’s always more fun. You can share kit and spread the load too, so there’s less to carry to and from the site. Most festivals lay on shuttle buses from nearby towns and railway stations, so they are worth checking out as an even greener alternative as well.
Pack Up After Yourself
We’ve all witnessed the scenes: a decimated festival wasteland of post-apocalyptic proportions. Broken tents, windows and doors flapping in the wind, overturned cool boxes leaking sweaty sausages onto grassy knolls, sleeping mats and flags abandoned at jagged angles. It’s not how any festival should end.
Rather than buying a tent that’s not up to the job you're likely to abandon, invest in a high-quality tent that you want to look after and will see you through many more festivals and adventures to come. Same with your rucksack. Find one that can carry everything you need and fits correctly, so it’s comfortable when you’re finding your pitch. Make the journey back to the car as easy as possible for yourself, and when it’s all over remember to leave no trace. If your kit gets damaged or worn out, take it with you and get it repaired using our Repair and Care service or donate it to charity. If it is beyond use, our Recycle My Gear programme will make sure it gets a new lease of life and stays out of landfill. Some festivals offer a kit recycling service too, so it’s worth doing your research. At the end of the day though, your kit is your responsibility, so make sure you look after it, take it with you and get the most use out of it that you can.
To make sure you pick the right tent for you, use our Tent Finder Tool.
Take A Reusable Water Bottle And Cup
Bottles such as Hydroflask will keep your water cool and fresh all day, plus you can fill them with whatever you like, and after a rinse, there will be no nasty aftertastes. Ask for a water refill from food vendors or go to the taps on site. Lots of festivals have deposit schemes for cups, but to be on the safe side, take your reusable cup to the bar. What’s one more thing in your backpack to help save the planet? Water bladders are great too if you need to carry lots of water onto site or fill up in larger quantities at the taps.
Eliminate Single-Use Plastic
It’s not just drinking you need to think about; bring your own cutlery and crockery, too. A few years ago, single-use plastic was banned at Glastonbury, a landmark move which saw more festivals follow suit. Make sure you invest in quality camping equipment you can use again and again. Plus, there’s nothing you can’t eat with a spork..
Swap Wet Wipes For A Flannel
Festivals are not only gruelling, but also grubby. Make the baby-wipe bath a thing of the past and bring a flannel for washing instead – same job, just less landfill, it’s a win-win. Or if you’ve successfully managed to queue for the showers, don’t forget your microfibre towel.
Only Use Eco-Friendly Washing-Up Liquid
Speaking of washing, if you’re going to be cooking at your pitch, take eco-friendly washing-up liquid. Most washing-up liquid contains petrochemical surfactants, which are slower to biodegrade and more damaging in terms of aquatic and air toxicity. Bonus points if you get your washing-up liquid in bulk and use refillable containers.
Avoid Plastic Bags
Don’t take plastic or binbags! We’ve got drybags for your dirty clothes (they’ll keep your clean kit dry too if the weather turns), and you can take canvas bags for any shopping you need to do. For rubbish, take compostable bags and don’t forget to recycle wherever you can!
Take A Solar Charger
Don’t queue to recharge your phone, take your own solar charger so that you know the energy is renewable and you’ll never run out of juice.
Bring Your Own Waterproofs
Disposable ponchos are basically binbags, don’t go there. Invest in some quality waterproofs beforehand (you won’t regret it) and if you can’t live without the coverall benefit of a poncho, we’ve got some non-disposable options to keep you dry.
Go Meat Free
If you want to go the whole hog (or not, as the case may be) try having a meat-free festival. Animal agriculture generates 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second highest source of all emissions. With all the amazing plant-based options available at festivals, why not dabble in a veggie diet for a weekend? Or if you’re doing your own cooking why not try some of the meat-free options in our camping food range?
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