Five Go Eco Friendly! Top Tips for a Sustainable Festival Season

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Festivals are now THE Summer staple for making memories full of music, theatre, silliness, dance and fun. But sadly, our festival fun can come at a costly price to the planet. Bigger festivals like Glastonbury can generate nearly 2000 tonnes of waste in a week, this equates to around 15kg of waste per festival reveller!!

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What was left behind… Credit: The Independant ©

Things ARE however, starting to turn around and a lot more festival organisers are finding ways to make their events more sustainable and eco friendly. YAAY!

Our first festival this year comes courtesy of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s WildSide Festival in June. Wildside Festival is a day of live music, art, wild activities and good food and drink; and it’s all in support of local WILDLIFE which is definitely a huge selling point for us! This festival is all about getting closer to your wild side, immersing yourself in nature, and learning about the local environment.

Designed for families, events such as pond dipping, den building, wild yoga and flower crown making are part of the programme and help to instill a love of nature and wildlife from an early age.

Credit: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ©

Each ticket sale directly supports local wildlife. For full details and ticket info visit the WildSide Festival 2019 website.

Credit: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust ©

We are extremely lucky to also have been invited to two further festivals this summer. First up, there’s Timber Festival in July which is an incredible weekend celebrating nature in the National Forest.

In Aug we’ll be heading to Just So Festival. Just So is dedicated solely to children and their families offering a magical annual weekend-long intimate festival. Just So is an imaginative outdoor adventure like no other held with the grounds of the beautiful Rode Hall. Read more about Just So and what we’re looking forward to most here!

Credit: Wild Rumpus ©

Both are hosted by Wild Rumpus – a social enterprise producing large scale outdoor arts events, most often in wild natural landscapes.

“We believe that by creating visceral arts experiences in nature, we can encourage people to re-imagine their relationship with their environment and that by feeling more emotionally connected and passionate about nature people are more likely to take action to conserve and protect it. Our aim is to minimise the potential negative impacts we have on the environment and to leave a positive contribution to the local community and economy.” Wild Rumpus

Credit: Samuel Mills

“Timber Festival is underpinned by an ambition to share our love of forests, to celebrate the transformative impact of the National Forest and its rich and diverse heritage and to provoke thoughts, discussion and inspiration about what it means to live sustainably. We hope our audiences join us for an incredibly playful and creative weekend whilst also helping us to manage and mitigate the impact of the festival on the environment” For ticket info click through on the following links:

Timber Festival 2019

Just So Festival 2019

Credit: Adventures Begin Photography

“Eco-consciousness above almost every other festival I have experienced is evident throughout the site and the spirit is overwhelmingly generous and inclusive.”
Psychologies, Review: Just So Festival 2017

Now that I have discovered how the festivals we are attending are putting their principles into action I started thinking about our own environmental impact during festival season.

What can we do to make our family festival experience more sustainable?

As the saying goes, every little helps…if we made one change daily to help the environment (no matter how small) it would add up to make the biggest difference for the future of our planet if enough people did the same. So after a bit of brainstorming and Internet research from fashion to transport via teabags (you’ll see how) Here are our top tips for enjoying a more sustainable festival season:

1. Share the load.

Going with friends? Then car share or start your adventure early by getting public transport to the site (no designated driver issues, so gin o’clock can come earlier – bonus!). Some festivals also offer you the chance to offset the carbon emissions from your travel at the point of ticket purchase.

2. Say NO to plastic!

Try to avoid taking any single use plastic with you. Make sure to take any excess packaging off items before you pack them and recycle it at home. Invest in your own reuseable bottles, cups, straws and cutlery.

Don’t be afraid to ask vendors to put food and drinks straight into your reusable containers and cups – they’ll love you for it, I promise!

3. Get your glitter on without the guilt.

I don’t know about you, but I had been trying to keep my head in the sand about the environmental impact of glitter, much like tea bags (only click the link if you’re of strong heart, I’m still grieving the loss of my innocent cuppa); I didn’t want to believe that something so fun and seemingly innocuous as glitter could be so environmentally damaging.

My glitter babes

It wouldn’t be a festival without a tiny bit a job lot of sparkle but as glitter is usually made from microplastics it can be very harmful to the environment. When we wash all that glitter off we’re adding to the oceans plastic problem, and any that is swallowed by marine life will then enter the food chain…not good! These micro particles can take 400 years or more to break down naturally.

So, do your research and purchase some biodegrable plant based glitter beforehand (there are more brands out there than you think!) and take it with you. I’ll very quietly mention that lentils are being championed as a glitter alternative, please feel free to send me photos of your lentil covered faces for pure comedic value research purposes.

Credit: Bio Glitter

4. Be a wet wipe winner!

Seriously, where would we be without wet wipes? I can’t imagine attending a festival (especially with children in tow) without packing a good supply. Most wet wipes are made from polyester, which happens to shed microplastics when wet and the wipes can also contain other non-biodegradable materials too. One of the main problems however is flushing them! River cleaning teams have found that the hundreds of thousands of wet wipes flushed down toilets in London have actually formed a new riverbed in the Thames…how awful is that?

So, pack some natural organic cotton biogradable wet wipes in your bag to lessen your impact on the environment, and you can get as muddy as you like!!

Mud glorious mud! Credit: NME©

5. Less is definitely more!

The less stuff you take, the lighter you’ll be and the easier it will be to pack up at the end. OK, I understand that if you’re travelling with littles this is much easier said than done, but try and take 2 in 1 products such as hair and body bars where possible.

6. Dressing up to get on down?

Make your own costumes from repurposed clothes or charity shop finds..get creative with the kids! Nobody will bat an eyelid, that’s what festivals are all about…the wackier the better! Set a challenge amongst your party – can you create a costume/outfit without buying anything new?

Credit: Wild Rumpus ©

7. The home zone.

Take any rubbish home with you and/or use on site recycling points where available. As a golden rule always leave your pitch better than you found it.

8. Don’t dump, donate!

Gift your unwanted tent to a charity such as gift your gear

And most importantly, remember to have a magical time, safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to make the world a better place in the process!

We’re in it together!

All images are my own unless otherwise credited.

Disclosure: We have been invited to attend the above events as a press trip. Tickets are being gifted in return for blog coverage, a review of the event and promotion across my social media channels.
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