We all feel the need to do our part to help protect the environment but when it comes to festivals, you might feel a bit stuck on how to ensure you're still being as sustainable as possible. Follow our guide and you're summer festivals will be the best ones yet.
Festivals are by nature dominated by a culture of convenience, where the aim is to have fun at the expense of almost anything else.
And let’s face it, the last thing you want to do when enjoying yourself with friends is stop to think about the environment (especially if you’ve had a bit to drink).
The result, 23,500 tonnes of waste are produced each year in the UK from music festivals alone.
With just 12 years until we cause irreversible damage to our planet, it is time for us to act.
61 of the UK’s biggest festivals, including Glastonbury, Boardmasters andBestival have pledged to ban all single-use plastic from their sites by 2021.
But without you it won’t be enough.This is a simple product guide that covers the basics to consider before you get to the campsite. It is designed to help you take steps towards a more sustainable festival this summer.
Before you start your festival, it is worth having the basics pre-purchased:
Whilst we admit that it is hard to buy these items sustainably, there are definite steps you can take to pick off your eco-friendly festival on the right foot.
Chances are you are planning to do more than one festival. If you are, it might be worth investing in a quality tent.
Whether you buy one with friends or by yourself, a good tent can make or break your festival experience. Those of you who have camped in the rain will know what I am talking about.
It is estimated that 250,000 tents are abandoned at music festivals across the UK every year, amounting to 900 tonnes of plastic waste going into landfills.
Initiatives such as Love Your Tent have been set up to help reduce tent disposal. The best way to counter this is simply to buy a good quality tent that will last for many years to come.
There are a few more sustainable options out there, such as The EarthShip which makes tents from recycled plastics, Bell Tents made from cotton canvas, Reel Tents made from 70% recycled paperboard, or Kartent who is partnering with festivals around the world to pre-pitch tents made from 100% recyclable cardboard.
Our recommendation is always to finds brand who are clearly trying to do their part for the environment. A more status quo option for sustainable tents would be Vaude, who commit to fair wages, good working conditions and refrain from entirely using PVC.
Again a bit of a challenge to find sustainable alternatives, but they are out there.
Synthetic fillings are effectively plastics and petro-chemical products – so score poorly from an environmental perspective. You can purchase down filled sleeping bags, but you must check where the filling is sourced.
A greener investment that is being explored by a number of companies is sleeping bags produced using recycled synthetics.
The North Face Aleutian range is made from 30% recycled materials is one of our favourites and adds a certain edge to your camping equipment. Yet you could do even more if you are willing to invest. Big Agnes Newcomb sleeping bags are made from 80% recycled content, but Nordisk’s produces a super-lightweight sleeping bag that has 100%-recycled synthetic filling made from plastic bottles.
Perhaps high tech eco-sleeping bags are not your thing, and you are looking for something a little more in connection with mother nature, something that will allow you to cuddle up with someone special??? In this case, a blanket might be more suitable for you?
The Tartan Blanket Company sells blankets made from 70% recycled wool and 30% mixed fibres otherwise destined for landfills.
Third on our essentials list is a sleeping mat. If you have been camping before, you know that a lot of your heat is lost directly through the ground. No roll mat can literally make or break your evening slumber, even on the warmest of summer nights.
Vaude, a leading brand in eco-friendly camping gear and clothing, offers a self-inflating mat built with the environment in mind. It is worth getting something that will keep you that bit warmer, particularly if you are actually planning to sleep.
Looking for an alternative to PVC or plastic based wellington boots? Natural rubber is that option. Rubber wellies are not only better for the environment when environmentally sourced, they are more durable and don’t release toxins when they decompose.
Rockfish sources all its rubber from sustainable plantations which are inspected regularly to ensure continuous replanting of trees. Handmade in Cornwall, they come in a range of colours and lengths.
A similar vegan friendly alternative to plastic wellies is Evercreatures, again handmade from sustainably sourced rubber, and sent in 100% recyclable packaging, they provide our favourite festival ready eco-wellington boot.
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