The Guardian recently reported that a study by Julie’s bicycle, revealed that large music festivals (i.e more than 40,000 people) can generate around more the 2,000 tonnes of CO2.
This year I’ll be going to Glastonbury Festival, and Camp Bestival and living by 10 greener festival tips as The GreenFestivalMan.
Number TEN – Fashion
Don’t waste money buying new clothes that will get trashed. Shop around charity or thrift Shops for pre-festival bargains. A large number of UK festivals have charity shops on site.
Number NINE – Toilets
This applies to guys more than girls. Festival toilets can be pretty grim but less grim than the thought of 10’000s of people urinating at random in a field. Doing so is tantamount, to empting the content of a large toilet right over the entire festival. Poor santitation = nasty stomach upsets and ecosystem pollution.
Number EIGHT – Lighting
It’s dark you need light. Use renewable power torches and lights, like the Puma Dynamo Torch available from EcoOutlet.co.uk. (It even has a strobe light).
Lights comes in all forms from solar to water powered.
Number SEVEN – Tent pegs
Made from potato starch, Millets.co.uk have launched a range of biodegradable tent pegs from GreenStake. Reusable, but won’t harm wildlife if you lose them in the ground.
Number SIX – Fire!
If like me you need fire be sociable and gather round someone else’s.
Use deadwood, don’t pull any branches down. Using charcoal? make sure it’s from a sustainable source. Charcoal in the UK should be FSC certified and can be sourced from British woodlands.
This year I’ll be using the WoodGas Biomass Camp Stove. Originally designed for developing countries to minimise smoke pollution. There are only a few UK stockists at the moment, but a larger number in the USA.
Number FIVE – Power
Use recharagable batteries or personal renewable power sources.
A number of personal solar panels are available to charge various different electronics like MP3 players, batteries and mobile phones. Most can be found for reasonable rates on the internet.
A recent addition to the pack, is the HYmini wind powered generator and handheld charger.
Number FOUR – Cleanliness
Use natural, bio degradable, wet wipes. Better still, take a flannel, remember those?
Use biodegradable soap and Eco-friendly toothpaste. Many ‘non-green’ hygiene products release nasty chemicals. These chemicals eventually get into food chains.
Number THREE – Rubbish / Trash
Leave no trace. Leave nothing but footprints. Use on-site recycling facilities or take home waste to recycle and/or compost.
Don’t trash your tent or burn it, give it to an organisation like Globalhand.org for recycling. If it does get trashed, salvage the useful bits. Tent poles can make good flag poles. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Number TWO – Food
Buy local, eat seasonal – try out the local food stalls. Meat eaters can cut back their carbon footprints but eating more vegetarian food. Cut it out or cut it back. This year at Glastonbury I’ll be only eating vegetarian food, but only if I can find another 15 meat eaters to join me. Sign up on www.PledgeBank.Com/GoVegetarian .
If going vegetarian isn’t your bag try to make the special effort to get something that’s local, free range and preferably organic. The meat tastes better that way and will have taken less carbon to produce.
A good range of organic and fairtrade museli and granola bars are available (excellent munchie food).
Decant soft drinks into a re-usable bottle, like CamelBak’s innovative BPA free range.
Alcohol from local breweries will quench the festival thirst. Find yourself stuck with a bottle but no way of getting in to it? Show your friends how old stuff can be reused. EcoOutlet.co.uk retail bottle openers made from recycled metal spoons.
- Number ONE -Transportation
Most of your Carbon footprint originates from the way you travel to the event. Use public transport where possible, many festivals across the world can be accessed by trains and coaches. Rock am Ring in Nurberg and Glastonbury included.
Going by car? arrange a lift share via liftshare.org or find a travelling companion on boards like eFestivals.com or networking sites like isanyonegoingto.com. Whatever your means offset it a few times using audited carbon offset companies like Climatecare.org.
Have a happy Festival and Camping Season. See you at Glastonbury or Camp Bestival.
(aka Gareth, GGG Editor)