With the summer gaining momentum, various festivals are inviting music lovers to celebrate the season. Even though festivals bring fun and tons of joyful memories for those attending, it also has a costly price to our environment. On the brighter side, it doesn’t take much to change that.
During a very short period of time, festivals generate an incredible amount of waste. One of the biggest summer festivals in the world, the UK’s Glastonbury create almost 2 thousand tons of waste in only one week. An average participant there generates approximately 15 kilograms of waste. And again, all in just 7 days.
What is more, only 20-30 percent of all waste is sorted to be recycled. Most of it is comprised of single-use plastics, which progresses into the pollution of microplastic. In other words, most of the generated waste ends its short life in a landfill.
It’s not only about the enormous amounts of trash. Mass travelling to and from festivals causes a rise in CO2 emissions. In fact, approximately 5 million litres of pure fuel are consumed for summer festivals every year in the UK. These statistics include both travelling and the energy used on-site of the event.
It’s not hard to change these overwhelming statistics. By altering our consumption choices while preparing for the summer events, festival lovers can help to change the situation for the better. Here are five tips on how to celebrate summer in festivals in a more circular way.
Travel together. A car travelling to festivals has a huge impact on CO2 emissions. To change that, consider car-sharing initiatives. There you can find people coming to the same festival and join them to travel together.
Choose reusable cutlery. Single-use plastic cutlery is one of the most common wastes generated during festivals. Adding to that, it is most often non-recyclable and ends up in a landfill. By choosing reusable cutlery, you can lower the amount of waste produced and also save money in the long term.
Choose eco-friendly hygiene products. As single-use wet wipes are filled with microplastic, replace them with biodegradable ones. You can also take one step further and choose a reusable cloth and a bowl with some soapy water to remain completely zero waste.
Dress up in an environmentally-friendly way. Circular fashion is a solution to combat fast fashion, which is flourishing during the festival season. Also, consider replacing a regular glitter with a biodegradable glitter option, as it is more eco-friendly and also less skin-damaging.
Take everything home with you. As most of the festivals take place in nature, it’s important to take everything you came back with: from the tent, that can easily be used again, to domestic waste that you generated during your time there.
Extra tip: don’t forget to stay hydrated! With upcoming record heat, it’s important to drink a lot of water (hopefully from your reusable water bottle).
ReGeneration 2030’s Circulents project is focusing on educating youth in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region on circular economy. If you want to be a part of this working group, fill up the volunteer form.