I’ve always wanted to go to Glastonbury Festival, arguably the most famous festival in the world, and in just a few days time I’ll finally get to tick this goal off my bucket list. It’s festival season, and whether you’ll be joining me at muddy Glastonbury or partying on a beach in Croatia, making sure your eco-friendly ethos doesn’t fly straight out of the window is important.
Here are my top tips for being a green festival goer:
Say no to wet wipes
When you’re caked in mud and booze, yet don’t fancy waiting for hours to use the dingy festival shower blocks, wet wipes can seem like the perfect solution. However, they contain small pieces of plastic that doesn’t degrade over time, making them a nightmare for the environment – especially in large numbers. Instead, opt for a flannel and a bar of soap – mix with a splash of water and you’ll have yourself a mini shower.
Invest in good camping equipment
When supermarkets and online retailers start advertising tents for just £20, it can seem like a great idea to skimp. However, if your tent breaks or doesn’t hold up during the festival, you’ll simply have to dispose of it. Many people even leave their tents on the field, causing havoc for the festival organisers. To prevent this, and to avoid binning sheets of plastic after just one use, invest in good camping equipment and high-quality wellies. It’ll make your experience much better, too.
Leave your packaging at home
If you’ve just bought yourself new sleeping bags, roll mats and camping equipment, make sure you unwrap everything before you leave the house and leave your packaging at home. The chances of you recycling it when you get to the festival are much slimmer than the chances of you doing so at home, so make sure you dispose of all plastic and paper packaging before you leave the house.
Buy eco-friendly glitter
In my opinion, glitter makes everything better. However, if you’ve ever worn glitter before, you’ll know that it gets everywhere – and stays there forever. These tiny shards of plastic are a nightmare to clean up and dispose of, and certainly can’t be recycled. To stay looking fabulous while avoiding single-use plastics, opt for eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter instead. You’ll still look just as great!
When you’re living out of a tent, it can seem tempting to simply bung all of your rubbish into a bin bag and dispose of it at the end of the festival. However, the chances are that a great deal of your waste could be recycled, especially if you’ve been drinking bottled water and buying meals on cardboard trays. Set up a recycling system outside of your tent – just as you would at home – and ask festival staff where the closest recycling bins are.
Buy a reusable water bottle
All festivals have water taps on site, giving festival goers the opportunity to fill up their water bottle instead of buying a new one every time. It’s no secret that single-use water bottles are clogging up our oceans, rivers and landfill sites, so think twice before purchasing a bottle of Evian or Volvic and refill a reusable one instead!
Avoid fast fashion and support independent brands
Festival fashion has evolved dramatically over the years. Instead of just chucking on an old pair of denim shorts and wellies, people are now opting for intricate outfits adorned with sequins, glitter and feathers. The brighter the outfit, the better!
While this kind of creativity and expression is great (after all, what are festivals for?), it encourages fast fashion retailers to jump on the bandwagon and start selling cheap, polyester clothing that will likely be binned once the festival is over. Instead of contributing to the problem, try to source your festival wardrobe from charity shops, vintage shops, clothes swap events and independent boutiques.
Use the portaloos (and not the ground)
It’s no surprise that fields and farms take a beating during festival season, especially if thousands of people are doing their business wherever they feel like it. Yes, it can be frustrating to struggle through the crowds and queue for the portaloos, but let’s face it – the wee of thousands of alcohol-induced festival goers is not likely to do the grass much good.
Do you have any other tips to share?