Summer is in full swing across the northern hemisphere, and everyone is scrabbling to get the last few festival tickets for 2015. Every year, the media is full of tales of post-festival destruction – fields turned to swamps, and seas of rubbish that have to get carted off to landfill. So how can you ensure that your weekend of music won’t be damaging more than your bank balance?
Thankfully, this year a number of festivals worldwide have stepped up their sustainability game and come up with lots of ways to limit their environmental impact, from the straightforward to the brilliantly bizarre. Here’s our pick of five music festivals that are getting eco-active this summer.
Electric Picnic’s B.Y.E. (Be Your Environment) Eco Campsite hit the news earlier this year for selling out in just two hours, despite being twice as big as last year’s due to popular demand. The B.Y.E. campsite makes campers responsible for their own waste, with a policy of ‘You brought it in? You bring it out!’ and emphasizes the need to respect fellow campers and the environs of Stradbally Hall.
In addition, the rest of the festival’s 40,000 revellers can visit The Greencrafts Village – ‘Ireland’s biggest creative hands-on craft and eco zone’, we are told, and entirely off-grid. There’s also a Fairtrade policy that means all tea, coffee, sugar, hot chocolate and bananas are Fairtrade certified, and Every Can Counts will be on-site to encourage recycling.
30 July – 2 August
The Cambridge Folk Festival has some impressive eco statistics from last year, and it looks set to exceed them in 2015 with an ambitious target of zero landfill. Whilst this is one of the smaller festivals on the circuit, recycling the debris of 10,000 attendees will still be an impressive feat! 2014 saw just 2% of festival rubbish going to landfill, with 69% being recycled and the remainder being used to produce matter for energy production and compost. With the event’s bars already generating zero landfill waste, there’s little wonder that the festival was certified Outstanding by the A Greener Festival Award 2014.
With a name like ‘We Love Green’, this festival sets high sustainability expectations, which thankfully it delivers. Projects included The Recharge, the first grocery store without disposable
packaging where you bring your own container to refill, a workshop creating furniture from recycled materials, and a commitment to running the festival on wind and solar power. Didn’t get tickets this year? See a round-up from the 2015 festival by clicking here.
We Love Green is one of ten events to be recognised this year by certification from COP21, the impending UN climate summit. “Given the quality of the program of action you plan, its participatory and mobilization of civil society that follows, I am pleased to announce that the labeling committee that I chair has awarded COP21 label at WE LOVE GREEN festival,” French environment minister Ségolène Royal explained.
Famed for being the festival of choice for the rich and famous, Coachella outdid itself this year with a suitably flashy sustainability programme for its 100,000 ticket-holders to get involved with. Highlights included a playground that generated energy to charge phones, the Global Inheritance Trashed Recycling Store where used bottles could be exchanged for merchandise, a competition to redesign a recycling bin, and the Carpoolchella program, which has been operating since 2007.
As you’d expect from a festival partnering with Greenpeace, Welcome to the Future’s green programme is comprehensive, incorporating preparation and recovery of the area as well as on-the-day activities. The food served is 100% organic, decorations are made from recycled materials, and there’s a ‘leave-no-trace policy’. Their recycling programme is the result of another high-profile collaboration, with Coca-Cola, and the festival is partly fuelled by biodiesel created from used frying fats. Particularly interesting is their dedicated volunteer day, when festival attendees help plant trees and renovate the local area.
All these festivals are making positive steps to reduce their environmental impact, however, at Celestial Green Ventures we know that some emissions are unavoidable. See how you could offset your business’s emissions and improve you sustainability profile through our Trocano Araretama REDD+ Project by clicking here.
For more guilt-free festival ideas, visit http://www.agreenerfestival.com/award/.
Check out our Insider’s Guide to Sustainable Festivals slideshare for 10 easy ways to limit your environmental impact with limiting your fun!