Late-summer is in full swing, and with All Together Now, Vantastival, Longitude, and Beatyard behind us, it means we're finally gearing up to the big finale - Electric Picnic.
However, as much as we love festivals, we also know that seeing our favourite bands performing live can often come at a worrying cost to the planet – and that’s before you’ve even factored in the carbon emissions produced by travelling to and from the festival site.
You don’t have to miss out on the fun entirely, though. With a few small lifestyle changes, you can reduce the impact your festival experience has on the world. Here are some key ways to green up your act…
1. Invest in a decent tent
Retailers have been criticised in recent years for selling cheap, pop-up tents that encourage gig-goers to leave them on the site after only a couple of days’ use. Thankfully, the tide is turning against this wasteful practice and, according to festival organiser Emily Eavis, 99.3% of tents were taken home from this year’s Glastonbury festival.
If you want to avoid being in the minority, skip the bargain deals and spend an extra few quid on a robust, weatherproof festival tent that you can reuse for plenty of summers to come. Many festivals also offer luxury tent hire (such as teepees and yurts), which can often cost a bit more money, but will take the temptation out of ditching your tent at the end of the weekend.
2. Glam up with biodegradable glitter
Glitter is a festival style essential, but its harmful environmental effects are so severe, that the sparkly stuff has been banned at over 60 festivals in the UK.
Luckily, a load of mainstream and independent beauty brands have launched biodegradable and sustainable alternatives – meaning you can get your glitter fix guilt-free.
Some of our favourites include:
- PS... Biodegradable Glitter, Pennys, €2.50
- Lottie London Dreamcatcher Eco Glitter, ASOS, €8.26
- Inglot Body Art Adhesive, €8.00
- EcoStardust Kiss My Disco Biodegradable Glitter, ASOS, €8.30
3. Invest in a reusable water bottle
This year, All Together Now asked festival-goers to bring drinks in reusable water bottles and they sold cartons of water on-site, rather than plastic bottles.
Reusable water bottles are great for so many reasons. As well as being good for the environment, they work out cheaper than buying several disposable water bottles, they’re BPA-free, and they can often keep your liquids cooler for longer.
4. Car share
When it comes to festivals, transport is arguably one of the biggest burdens on the environment, so why not consider taking public transport instead of driving?
If you’ve got a boot full of camping gear that you can’t physically carry onto a train or coach, think about carpooling with a group of friends. This means you’ll be able to share the laborious driving responsibilities on the ride to and from the festival site with your friends.
5. Ditch the wet wipes
Wet wipes are another type of single-use plastic that can harm the environment, but they’re often the first thing people think to pack when they go camping. They might look flimsy, but these throwaway wipes are often made from polyester, a type of plastic that doesn’t biodegrade and can cause problems for marine life if they make their way into the ocean (not to mention, wreak havoc with sewers).
When it comes to festival hygiene, you probably won’t be using a proper shower for a couple of days. If you want to keep both your body and your conscience clean, we recommend changing into your swimming gear and going for a good old-fashioned strip wash instead – using a bar of soap, a washcloth and a bucket of water.