Festival season is approaching and I couldn’t be more excited! Eating, drinking, and dancing our way through the Palm Desert is a dream. Unfortunately, though, festivals tend to not consider sustainability or the size of their carbon footprint while they all attending.
Many major festivals have recently announced new sustainability initiatives that help take responsibility for their impact on the environment. In 2020 Coachella will be building off its environmental initiatives and launching new ones to account for their emissions, save water and divert waste. They’ve even launched a new feature in their Explore Coachella app that allows you to earn rewards when completing different eco-challenges.
Yes, the festivals are taking their own steps to minimize their environmental impact, but how can you do your part?
While planning your epic trip, check out these tips to ensure your festival experience is as sustainable as possible.
Leave the Single-Use Plastics at Home
…or maybe never use them at all. Festivals have water refill stations, so bring your collapsible, reusable water bottle along with you. For other beverages, look for vendors that offer refillable cups or bottles, so you can use them the whole weekend.
While you’re at it, be sure to ditch the plastic straws too. If you need to use one, invest in a reusable, collapsible straw that can attach directly to your bag or keys.
If there’s a chance of rain during your trip, please also pass on the plastic poncho and get yourself a raincoat.
Don’t forget to pack yourself a plate with some reusable cutlery. Food is a massive part of the festival experience but most meals are served on polystyrene plastic. If you’re camping, a reusable bamboo set will be a game-changer around the fire too!
Think About How You’re Getting Around
Transportation methods are one of the biggest carbon footprints left by festivals around the world due to CO2 emissions. Many of these events are in remote or luxury locations that are hours away.
Minimize the number of vehicles you are taking and carpool with all of your friends. Many festivals also use shuttles or other forms of public transportation to get in and out of the festival grounds. This is a much more environmentally friendly option than getting your own Uber.
Better yet, you can even bring or rent a bike to get around.
Fast Fashion Isn’t Cool Anymore
It’s okay to rewear your festival looks. Great outfits are worth repeating anyway, right?
According to The Fashion Law, festival-goers spend over $307 million on single-use outfits for music festivals each year. To put it in perspective, that’s about 7.5 million outfits that are worn only once.
Fast fashion has a detrimental impact on the environment. It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans. And it’s really hard to justify that amount of waste for something you’ll wear only once.
If you must buy something new, hit your local thrift shop! Plus, then you can guarantee no one else will have the same look like you! You can also purchase from brands such as Keen or Patagonia that are Certified B Corporations, Fair Trade Certified or GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard).
Use Good for the Globe Glitter
For all of you glitter lovers out there, please find a sustainable alternative. Glitter is technically a microplastic that can be extremely harmful to the planet, especially marine life. Because of its tiny size, it gets eaten by sea animals and even makes its way all the way down the food chain to our own plates.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to sacrifice your festival style for the environment. Grab a non-toxic, allergy-free and biodegradable BioGlitter instead.
Choose Toiletry Alternatives
If you are tent camping and without showers, wet wipes can be a godsend during festival weekends. Nothing is more refreshing than that full-body wipe-down after a long day of dancing.
Unfortunately, your wet wipes are also made of plastic. They are known for ending up in oceans, clogging city sewers and containing toxic chemicals. There are endless options when it comes to finding reusable or biodegradable option instead.
There are even eco-friendly alternatives when it comes to your standard toiletries such as sunscreen, toothpaste, cotton swabs, or deodorant. Plus, these alternatives are also free of chemicals and are better for you too!
Clean Up After Yourself
Please clean up after yourselves. There are festivals such as Burning Man that are setting new standards by operating under the Leave no Trace policy. Every camper is not only encouraged but is required to take everything they brought in with them, back out. This tends to be a problem at camping festivals.
The sleeping bags, mattresses, and tents that get left behind will not be donated. They typically end up in the trash. If you only intend to use your gear for the weekend, try renting it from a local outdoor retailer instead!
Trust me, it is possible to still party all weekend long without destroying the planet and hope these tips make it possible for you.