For all the festival-goers wanting to be greener there are many ways to do so. Toiletries to take to festivals can be a big dilemma as more practical, travel-sized items mean more plastic packaging waste. Wet wipes, glitter and single-use food and drink containers are among the masses of waste created at festivals. We’ve come up with a list of suggestions to try and combat these problems:
Taking a reusable bottle is a good start. Certainly big festivals should have plenty of drinks fountains to use for water.
Bringing a reusable cup to get a hot drink or beverage from the bar is a great way to reduce waste. Whether drinks are served in plastic, paper or alternative biodegradable material cups, each one is a single-use item costing the world's resources and energy. There are now collapsible, reusable cups available to buy so they don’t take up too much room in your bag.
With drinks often come straws. Whilst plastic straws are soon to be banned in the UK, biodegradable alternatives are still single-use items of waste. If you know you prefer to drink with a straw, why not get yourself a reusable alternative to take with you? Metal and glass are the best options as these can be recycled easily when they come to the end of their life.
TOP TIP: With festivals comes food served in disposable containers. If you're already carrying a small bag for your essentials then do you have room for a collapsible lunch box? They may be made of plastic but they're hard-wearing and so over a long period they can save an awful lot of single-use waste. Simply ask the food vendor to put the food in your lunch box instead.
The same goes for disposable cutlery. Plastic is of course the worst but even other materials are still at the cost of the planet's resources. There are plenty of options for reusable food utensils, from sets which come in travel cases to sporks which could easily fit in your pocket.
Wet wipes may be practical to use but sadly they aren’t good for the environment. Not only is the packaging made of non-recyclable plastic, the wipes also contain plastic and so won't biodegrade. There are some more eco-friendly alternatives available or better yet using a wash cloth or reusable pads are both great zero waste options.
Choosing which toiletries to take can be done with a greener conscience. There are plenty of plastic-free options available for deodorant, suncream, soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
Sadly even glitter is made up of microplastics which are harmful to the environment. Don't worry there are now biodegradable, plastic-free options available so you can still sparkle with a clearer conscience!
Have you considered volunteering at a festival and spreading the word on environmental issues? It’s a great way of getting an extra sense of enjoyment out of a festival by making a difference whilst you're there. Both Greenpeace and the WWF run schemes for volunteering at festivals . You’ll spend some time on their stall and also get some free time.
If you have any other ideas of ways to be more eco-friendly at festivals then please get in contact to share your ideas!