How not to trash the planet at a music festival

How not to trash the planet at a music festival

Ditch the plastic bottle

In the UK, where more than 3 million people go to music festivals each year, an estimated 23,500 tons of waste are produced annually.
Almost 70% of this ends up in landfill, according to a report by Powerful Thinking, an organization working to improve the industry's sustainability record.
In the United States, festival-goers produce 53,000 tons of waste each year, the equivalent of 450 blue whales, according to Claire O'Neill, co-founder of A Greener Festival, a group that helps festivals reduce their environmental impact.
But this year, some festivals are pledging to reduce their plastic footprint.
The organizers of the UK's Glastonbury festival are banning single-use plastic bottles and will be selling water and soft drinks in recyclable cans instead.
"With more than one million plastic bottles sold [in] 2017, we felt that stopping their sale is the only way forward," Emily Eavis, one of Glastonbury's organizers, told CNN, adding "we need move away from this idea of disposable living."
Other festivals should follow Glastonbury's example, according to Christophe Steyaert, an environmental activist in Belgium, who organizes "Plastic Attacks" at supermarkets, where customers remove single-use plastic from their shopping and return it to the store.
"All throwaway plastic should be banned," he said, adding that festivals can implement a system that is both sustainable and profitable if they introduce a deposit scheme for reusable cups and cutlery.
It is easy for festival-goers to be more eco-friendly, according to Steyaert. "Go with your own cup, plate and cutlery and give it to the food truck or bar staff."

Sleep in a cardboard tent

Plastic bottles are not the only items littering festival sites.
Each year an estimated 22,700 plastic tents could be left behind at UK festivals, according to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which launched the "Take Your Tent Home" campaign this year.
One in five tents are left behind at European festivals each year and most end up in landfill, O'Neill said.
An average tent contains as much plastic as 8,750 straws or 250 cups, according to the AIF.
If you are attending a festival in Europe this summer, you can replace your plastic tent with one made from cardboard.
Two Dutch entrepreneurs have created KarTent, a 100% recyclable and completely waterproof tent.
This year the company will provide almost 15,000 tents to festivals across Europe, Wout Kommer, one of KarTent's founders, told CNN.
According to Kommer, cardboard tent orders have more than doubled since last year as organizers are becoming "more conscious about their environmental impact."
After the festival season, KarTent recycles all the tents and turns them into boxes and bins, which are then resold to event organizers.

Take the bus

Greenhouse gas emissions are another big problem for the festival industry.
On average a festival produces 500 tons, the weight of three single-story houses, of carbon dioxide emissions and a festival goer generates 5 kg of CO2 per day, according to A Greener Festival's latest report, which analyzes data provided by festivals in 17 countries. 
The UK festival industry uses 5 million liters of fuel annually and emits nearly 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide, with transport accounting for over 80% of total emissions, according to Bethan Riach, a spokesperson for Powerful Thinking.
Riach told CNN that there are several easy ways for festival-goers to lower their carbon footprint.
    Traveling to the event by public transport can drastically slash emissions, she said, adding that many festivals offer discounted coach and entry tickets.
    If you have to travel by car, team up with other festival-goers and fill your car with new friends. "Try Liftshare, Blablacar or GoCarShare. Got a lot of friends? Consider hiring a minibus to get your crew there in style," Riach said.


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