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Going Green at Festivals: Simple Swaps for the Eco-Conscious Festival Goer

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Going Green at Festivals: Simple Swaps for the Eco-Conscious Festival Goer

Phoebe McCarthy

Summer is upon us (well sort of, despite the miserable weather!) and many of us will be heading to enjoy a couple of festivals over the coming months. Music festivals are a fantastic part of British culture, however they also generate a large amount of waste like single use plastics, disposable food containers, rain coats, tents and even glitter.

As we enjoy the great music, food and banter at some of the UK’s best festivals, the last thing on our minds is our waste and how we go about recycling it.  We have put together our simple fashion, beauty and lifestyle swaps for festival goers to make it easier to reduce our waste and impact on the environment.

1. Transport - Instead of taking the car, consider public transport like getting a bus or train. Festival organisers typically have a number of buses arranged which drop you onsite so check out their websites. Every coach saves about 25/30 cars worth of emissions. Also you get to start the party earlier and enjoy the pre -festival atmosphere en route!

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2. Single use plastics - There are a couple of items you can pack that will help you reduce your single use plastic waste. 

  • Reusable Water Bottles, Straws and Cups - The bulk of single use plastic waste at festivals comes in the form of plastic water bottles, cups and straws. Consider buying some reusable ones – a reusable bottle will keep your water nice and cool and most festivals have water refill areas to keep you hydrated. You can also bring a reusable cup for your morning hangover coffee and a bamboo straw for your drinks. Look for ones made from recycled non-toxic materials where possible. 

  • Reusable Eating Utensils - Bring your own reusable knife, fork and spoon set for meals and skip the plastic ones that end up in landfill. You can get compact reusable utensil sets that roll up easily to fit in a coat or back pocket from Weety.

  • Rain Coats – It’s inevitable at every UK festival that it will rain! It’s worth packing a lightweight raincoat rather than buying the single use plastic ponchos. You can even buy raincoats made from recycled plastic. We love these from insaneintherain, serious festival vibes! They won't take up too much space in your bag plus it works out cheaper in the long run as you can reuse them at future festivals. 

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 3. Vegan Festival Food - One of our favourite swaps! Why not give the tasty plant-based festival food on offer a try! Eating vegan is the single biggest way you can reduce your carbon footprint. Researchers from the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet can reduce your individual carbon footprint from food by up to 73%.

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 4. Toiletries - Travel toiletries are pricey and also come with a lot of unnecessary packaging. Why not bring your own toiletries along? Here’s our handy beauty kit list:

 Beauty Kit List:

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5. Body Glitter - Lastly no festival would be complete without copious amounts of body glitter! Unfortunately most body glitter is made from micro-plastics which are super toxic for the environment. Luckily there are some lovely companies that offer biodegradable eco friendly glitter like Festival Glitter.

Most major festival organisers are taking positive measures to reduce waste. Many have areas where you sort your cans and glass trash for recycling. Organisers are taking steps to ban single-use plastics where possible. For example, Glastonbury announced it won't sell single-use plastic water bottles this year. Some organisers have come up with great ideas like Bestival who are aiming for zero landfill. They take any non-recyclable waste that is produced and convert it from waste to energy at the island’s gasification plant. 

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Our festival friendly fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands will be available on our Online Vegan Marketplace this Autumn 2019. 

 Shop vegan and ethical with CARMA. Sign up for the latest updates ahead of our launch here.