Music festivals can be so much fun for you but may take a toll on the environment. Taking a few extra steps to be environmentally conscious this season can help keep Mama Earth happy, and ensure that you leave behind nothing but footprints.
Tons of ways exist to make your festival more green, but these are some of the easiest to accomplish. First, make sure you carpool. Fitting as many people in your car as possible not only saves you gas money, but it reduces the amount of pollution being emitted by cars traveling to the show. If you have extra room you can always post on the festival’s wall or any discussion boards to look for other fans who may be looking for a ride.
When you start packing for the festival, it is tempting to buy a bunch of plastic cups and silverware, as well as paper plates. This may be easier on you but it is definitely not the best way to go. Instead, try packing only a few dishes and cups which you can wash and reuse over the weekend. You can use biodegradable camping soap (which can be bought anywhere camping supplies are sold) to ensure that you are not polluting the ground around your site. Try bringing a large tub or serving bowl to use as a wash basin to make it a little easier. Doing this will cause so much less waste to be produced, and make Mama Earth smile.
If you do use any plastic, be sure to keep all of your recyclables in a separate trash bag. Some festivals make it really easy on you to be environmentally conscious by providing green bags which can hold your recycling or even provide Clean Vibes volunteers who stand by the trash cans and instruct you which items go where. They let you know what is waste, compost, recycling, etc. These volunteers are great and festivals who use them really help reduce the amount of waste produced by the event.
Be aware of your cigarette butts! If you take a few extra seconds to put out your butt and throw it in a trash can instead of on the ground it will leave the festival grounds a little cleaner once the crowd leaves. Pack an ashtray or two to keep around your campsite. When everyone is sitting around chilling between shows your site can accumulate a pile of cigarette butts so this will keep them contained. There is a sweet little ashtray sold at camping supply shops which are shaped like a cup and magnetic so you can post it up on the side of the car or on something metal to keep it handy wherever you are hanging out.
Hydration is very important over the weekend, but using a ton of plastic water bottles can create a lot of waste. Instead, try refilling a Nalgene bottle or camel pack to reduce the number of plastic bottles being thrown away. You can bring your own water to refill them or most festivals have drinking water stations set up for your convenience.
When you find yourself wandering around the festival grounds or leaving a show, take note of the ground around you. If you see some trash, bend down and grab it. If everyone picked up just a few things a day and threw them in the recycling bin or trash can it would make a huge difference, and it only takes a little bit of effort. Pitch in and do your part party people!
Any little bit we can do will help out the environmental impact of music festivals, so if you have other suggestions share them and help spread the word among all your festy friends. Go green, and have a good show!