Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Trashed tents, waterlogged wellies and pricey parking - A British Festival

Britain should be proud of its festival tradition. 

From Glastonbury to the saggy marquees in our back gardens, there’s something going on most summers to cater for a wide range of interests, however holding festivals in the great outdoors can be bad news for the environment. 

With the season about to start, we thought it would be helpful to provide some ways in which you can be as environmentally friendly as possible while enjoying some great live performances...and maybe one or two beers or an £8 burger. 

  1. Make use of public transport.

Many major festivals will provide information on how you can reach the site, but few actively promote car sharing or public transport. If you are driving, why not register on GoCarShare.com where you can rent out your free seats! http://gocarshare.com/ We speak from experience when we say getting a coach with all our clobber is actually easier, and cheaper, than you may think. Plus, National Express does some great deals with major UK festivals where you are dropped off and picked up at the site. For more information on this, visit the National Express website. http://www.nationalexpress.com/wherewego/events/index.aspx

  1. Two bin bags…

…is all it takes to separate your cans and plastic bottles. You would do it at home, so why should a festival change your wonderful good habits? Bottled water and those cans you smuggled in aren’t going to decompose, so take two large bin bags and put your plastic bottles in one and your empty cans in the other then tie the tops and take them with you when you leave. Many festivals now have recycling systems on site. Check out Every Can Counts to find out how you can contribute and which festivals have signed up to the scheme. http://www.everycancounts.co.uk/events

  1. Get creative.

Festivals, in our humble opinion, are the best time to go all out and wear whatever you want. This is a great opportunity to dig those old jeans out of your cupboard and cut them into shorts and to tie dye those t-shirts. Getting muddy at a British festival means that it’s no place for shiny new fashion buys, so why not emulate the seasons distinctly hippy trend by taking a trip to your local charity shop? Check out Kate Benton’s designs using old tent fabric http://www.ecouterre.com/withintent-transforms-abandoned-tents-into-recycled-festival-fashion/withintent-recycled-tent-fashion-2/ One thing we won’t tolerate however: socks with sandals. 

  1. Speaking of tents

Recently, the head of Glastonbury went nuts because shards of metal tent pegs were getting into his silage and subsequently killing his cows. We’d be pretty upset too. If you’re going to a festival held on farmland this summer, get your hands on some biodegradable tent pegs from the Mountain Warehouse (99p for 4). Glastonbury give them out for free. Also, we hate to rabbit on, but please take your tent home – have a look here for ideas on what to do with it http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/20070702/how-can-i-reuse-or-recycle-bits-of-an-old-tent

  1. Enjoy yourself!

Although you will undoubtedly feel great for leaving a carbon footprint the size of a tiny Hunter wellie, it’s important that you throw yourself in and take advantage of the fact that you are supporting many festivals that will have been hit by the recession. Green festivals like London Green Fair held in Regents Park have been postponed as it become more and more expensive to hold an environmentally friendly, sustainable event. http://www.londongreenfair.org/

For more information on Green Festivals and the initiatives being followed by major UK events, please visit the WasteConnect website: http://www.wasteconnect.co.uk/page.aspx?ID=2197c32e-cb45-49a3-9fb8-41a24b650548

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