Hallelujah, after two long-awaited years, festival season is upon us and we couldn’t be happier! Whatever the weather, there’s no better feeling than singing along to your favourite band, finding new artists, and enjoying the culture and good vibes festivals bring.
Despite all the positive energy and goodness, festivals are notorious for high volumes of waste. Single-use plastics, cigarette butts and abandoned tents litter sites during and after the event. In fact, UK festival-goers can create the equivalent of over 2.7kg of waste per person per day, according to a report by Creative Carbon Scotland.
Whilst it’s the responsibility of the festival organisers to ensure there’s clean drinking water, plenty of recycling and reusable cups, you too can take responsibility whilst you’re enjoying yourself with just a few small changes in your actions and packing!
Here’s the OneNine5 guide to being eco-conscious and sustainable at your next festival!
How to be more sustainable at festivals: before you arrive
Do your Research
UK research* found that 100+ million plastic cups are used every year at UK festivals and live events, most of which are then sent to landfill. Thankfully, with this research and much more insight into the matter, a lot of festivals are now taking sustainability very seriously.
To tackle this, you can often get your hands on reusable plastic cups which can be used throughout the festival and then kept as a souvenir. Glastonbury offers stainless steel cups for a £5 deposit which can be used for drinks across the festival and kept or refunded at the end of the event.
Before you go to your next festival, research what you can take with you, what the festival is doing to support eco-initiatives, and the recycling options available onsite so you know what to look for.
There are plenty of travel options, including car-pooling, coaches, public transport, shuttle buses and cycling.
Discuss with your festival buddies and work out how you can make the most of the more environmentally friendly options available to you.
Sustainable Festival Fashion
Funky trousers, sheer shirts and florals - fashion doesn’t really get more fun than festival looks and outfits. Fast fashion retailers are constantly looking for ways to sell you more Hawaiian shirts, neon tops and denim shorts. However, we encourage you to get creative and buy second-hand.
After all, chances are you’ll be sweaty, smelly and possibly covered in mud by lunchtime, so why buy new?
Check out your local charity shops or go online and try Vinted or Depop to find those hidden second-hand gems.
If you’re after some new sunglasses for the occasion, take a look at Pala. These sustainable sunnies are made from eco-friendly materials AND for every pair of sunglasses sold, Pala gives back to eye-care programmes across Africa.
For a hot festival look, with protective eye-wear of course, we love the Boabab glasses in Amber, Jabali in Dark Green or Nyota in Quartz Pink.
How to be more sustainable at festivals: eating and drinking
Thankfully, long gone are the days of the one vegetarian option at a festival (the lone falafel stand). Today we’re seeing a huge range of vegan and vegetarian food trucks offering delicious Indian food, vegan meat replacements and more. Why not make an eco-conscious choice during meal times? You’ll be having an impact on the planet and your health (although the latter is usually less of a concern at a festival right?)
Refill your Water Bottle
There’s really no excuse not to have a water bottle with you at all times in 2022. There are plenty of refill stations at festivals this year and you can even get insulated bottles at reasonable prices to keep your water cool. Not only are you saving the planet, but by staying hydrated you’ll keep any hangovers to a minimum - that’s our advice anyway!
We love Ocean Bottle, not only does each bottle stop 1000 plastic ones from entering the ocean, it comes with some incredible features. An Ocean Bottle keeps your drinks hot and cold, is dishwasher safe, has an anti-leak seal and it’s made from recycled stainless steel. It’s a great investment.
On the go reusables
From squashable coffee cups by HUNU to reusable cutlery and straws, these things really don’t take up much room in your bag or rucksack. Find many bamboo cutlery options online or at your local eco-shop.
How to be more sustainable at festivals: personal hygiene
At least try to smell good…
From sustainable deodorant to compostable wipes, there is a lot of choice on the market today to keep the contents of your wash bag sustainable and eco-friendly. We love Fussy Deodorant, which offers plastic-free and compostable refills, 24 hr protection and it’s 100% vegan.
Instead of wet wipes, why not try the Luna Daily Everywhere-Spray-to-Wipe. This little bottle of freshness can be used to dampen tissue and then becomes a biodegradable wipe - perfect for a festival!
For those of us blessed with a uterus, the struggles of periods can strike at the most inconvenient times. The great news is that unlike tampons and pads (which are often made from 90% plastic**), a reusable menstrual cup can be left in for around 12 hours. The perfect solution for those party weekends you’ve got planned.
Try the original menstrual cup by Mooncup and Saalt who also offer period underwear.
Handy Hair Care
Grabbing a wash and blow-dry is highly unlikely at your next festival weekender, (unless of course you’re headlining, but we’re assuming not)!
We love the Dry Shampoo from Foamie, the perfect and sustainable solution to freshening up your hair whilst sleeping in a tent! Foamie is on a mission to “Think Outside the Bottle” with planet-friendly solutions for your bathroom (for portaloo) routine.
A Wonderful Washbag
Well, we couldn’t go through this whole blog without mentioning our own sustainable products; our eco-conscious wash bag is the perfect way to pack everything you need.
Use the hook on the back to hang up the wash bag whilst in the toilets or a shower (if you’re so lucky), or pop the essentials into the clear plastic pouch and take those with you for the day!
Shop our wash bags in four unisex colours and make a sustainable purchase today that will last you for your festival future and beyond.
We’d love to hear your sustainable festival ideas. What are you doing to reduce your impact every time you party the weekend away?