Music festival fans, it’s time to #loveyourtent and #justakeithome! The Guardian reports that an estimated 80% of the rubbish generated by music festivals is left behind by campers. It’s clear that what you bring with you and leave behind can have a big impact on people’s experience at the festival and on the planet. Abandoning your tents, sleeping bags, chairs, gazebos, clothes, cooler boxes, tables, alcohol, food, and excess packaging is not cool, so with music festivals kicking off near me I thought it would be constructive to share how to enjoy a music festival without creating waste. Hopefully, we can lessen the waste generated by these events because what I saw last year made my head spin. Even if you only do some of these things, you will make a difference to our planet and the people around you (nobody wants to party in squalor). You’ll feel an amazing sense of community by working together to leave no trace and will save money by reusing items. Waste management issues also affect ticket prices.
How to reduce your waste at a music festival
- Get familiar with what will be provided at the festival and be critical of what you really need to take with you. The less you bring, the less you’ll need to deal with at the end, possibly under the duress of a hangover and time constraints.
- Bring a reusable water bottle which can be refilled for free at the water stations provided.
- Cut down on packaging by bringing whole fruit and vegetable snacks in a reusable bag.
- Avoid more packaging by buying and bringing the rest of your food in reusable cloth bags and plastic containers (no glass allowed at most festivals). You might even want to bring home baked food. Re-sealable containers will keep your food fresher too.
- If you can’t avoid packaging, choose goods packaged in easily recycled material and make sure it ends up in the recycling bins provided.
- Bring one or two versatile reusable containers, plates, utensils, napkins and cups for food and drink purchases. When you order, simply ask to have your food or drink put into your container, that way you won’t have any disposable items to get rid of. Just use some soap and water to wash them out each day. If you are at all concerned about using your own containers, cups and bags check out my posts Bring Your Own: The Basics and What The Law Says About Using Your Reusable Containers. It might sound like you’ll be lugging a lot of things around but trust me, you won’t be.
- With a little menu planning you can also avoid bringing a cooler box and using plastic bags of ice, so think ahead and avoid bringing food that needs to be refrigerated. You can drink cold water for free and alcoholic drinks must be purchased at the event.
- Personal care items can also be bought package free or in reusable and recyclable packaging.
- Keep your site clean and tidy as you go. Make sure cigarette butts and other difficult waste items go in the correct bin. Research shows that people are more likely to litter in an already littered location and therefore more likely to keep a clean area clean.
- Pack up and take it all home to be reused. Anything you leave behind is litter and that’s an offence. If you really don’t want items like your tent anymore, give them to a charity or find someone who would like to use them.
Do you have any more ideas for reducing waste at music festivals?
This post was republished by 1 Million Women, a movement of women acting on climate change through the way we live.