How to be sustainable this festival season

Festival season is in full swing! Here's how you can groove a little greener.

Summer is here, and you know what that means—festival season is on! There's nothing like dancing under the sun (and stars), discovering new music, and making memories with friends. But let’s keep the good vibes rolling by going green at your favourite festivals. Here’s your ultimate guide to having a blast while staying eco-friendly.

A look at the facts

It's no secret the UK loves a festival (Glastonbury is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world!) however they can be large contributors to waste and CO2 emissions. In 2020, it was reported that UK festivals generate over 23,500 tonnes of waste in one year alone (that's equivalent to approximately 8,000 wheelie bins per festival!).

While 89% of people attending music festivals want to be more responsible for the waste they produce, a survey at Glastonbury revealed that around 58% of attendees either leave, lose, or break something at the festival. And those tents you think get donated to charity after the festival (an estimated 250,000 tents are reported to be left behind every year in the UK), it turns out up to 90% of them actually go to landfill or are incinerated!

So, while you're partying outdoors this summer, consider your impact on the environment. Enjoying a festival doesn't mean you have to be wasteful!

Pack smart, pack green

Before you even set foot at the festival, think about what you're bringing:

  • Borrow before buy: Before you splurge on new gear (did you know, over 80% of festival goers are reported to have bought new things for the event!), hit up your friends. A quick group chat might save you money and cut down on single-use plastics.
  • Reusable gear: Invest in a sturdy, reusable water bottle, utensils, and plates. Remember to take your reusable items home with you or it defeats the purpose. Single-use plastics? Not invited.
  • Eco-friendly toiletries: Swap out your regular toiletries for biodegradable soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. Your campsite neighbours and the planet will thank you.
  • Sustainable fashion: Rock outfits made from organic or recycled materials. Thrift stores are your best friends for finding unique festival wear. And remember not to leave it behind (over 80 tonnes of abandoned clothing was collected after a single music festival in 2018)!

Travel green

Getting to the festival is half the fun, so make it eco-friendly.

  • Carpool party: Grab your friends and carpool to the festival (don’t forget the tunes!). By reducing car parking at festivals by just 20%, it could lower festival audience travel emissions (excluding flights) by 10%.
  • Public transport: Many festivals offer shuttles or are accessible by bus or train. It’s convenient and reduces your carbon footprint by taking more cars off the road.
  • Bike it: If you're close enough, why not cycle? It’s a great way to kickstart your festival adventure.

Stay sustainable at the festival

Once you're there, keep the green vibes going:

  • Zero-waste camping: Bring reusable containers for food and drinks, and sort your waste at recycling stations. Leave no trace behind!
  • Support green vendors: Many festivals feature eco-conscious vendors. Support those who use sustainable practices and offer plant-based food options.
  • Eco-friendly merch: If you're grabbing festival merch, pick stuff made from sustainable materials or things you’ll use beyond the festival. No sending items to landfill after one use.

Respect nature

Festivals often take place in beautiful outdoor settings. Let's keep them that way:

  • Stick to paths: Avoid trampling on vegetation by sticking to marked paths and areas.
  • Use eco-friendly glitter: Traditional glitter is a microplastic nightmare. Opt for biodegradable glitter to sparkle responsibly.
  • Pick up trash: Even if it’s not yours, picking up litter helps maintain the festival grounds for everyone to enjoy (the average festival-goer produces 8kg of waste per day and over 95% of people reported seeing someone litter - don't be part of the problem!). And yes, that means taking everything home with you - no leaving tents behind! 


Going green at festivals doesn't mean killing the fun. So, let’s groove a little greener this summer and party with purpose!

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