Summer is in full swing. That means street parties around every city corner, over-cooked tourists invading the beaches and, of course, an obscene amount of disposable plastic (yes, this is what we think about when out enjoying with friends). A plastic cup given out with every beer, unnecessary straws in every cocktail, disposable plates and cutlery, confetti, glitter, plastic bags, water bottles, camping equipment used once and discarded, plastic wrapped food, the list is endless.
If you've already been to a festival this season (unless you we're lucky to go to a zero-waste event) you may have noticed what we're talking about. The amount of plastic waste generated at these events is absurd, and in most cases unnecessary.
BUT FEAR NOT! It doesn't have to be the single-use nightmare that it could be. In fact, there are many measures that you can take to prepare yourself to avoid much of the wasteful plastic. Here are some examples of ways which you can reduce your personal waste at a festival...
Did you know that glitter is actually made of...PLASTIC? So, when at these events people like to decorate their faces, skin and bodies with the sparkly stuff, although it's an amazing away of expressing your shiney side it is actually creating pollution. When bits of glitter (inevitably) fall off into the ground or when you wash it off with water it enters to a natural environment where, as with all plastic, it will remain. Luckily, some geniuses invented biodegradable glitter which is much safer for the planet. If you're thinking about getting creative this summer then make a worthwhile investment into biodegradable glitter.
Bring your own
There are many things that are restricted from entering festivals but your own water bottle, coffee cup, glass jar, reusable cup, whatever else you may use will not be. This means that you can re-fill your bottle, take a coffee to go, save your leftovers and get a drink all without having to take single-use plastics. It may be useful to check out with the festival policies with regards to potable water access then you can be prepared.
Depending on the event that you attend they can be more or less conscientious about recycling. For example, some events provide bins of each different category for ease when recycling materials. Others however are a little less concerned with their environmental impact and just provide one standard bin for all materials (yikes). If this is the case and you cannot recycle any waste that you produce then bring it with you. We hope that with our little tips you can survive without producing much trash but just in case you do, you can bring it with you to a recycling point.
When humans gather in a space to create a community, wonderful things can happen. If you're attending an earth-conscious event you may find activities during the day related with some environmental topics, get to them! Otherwise, it is a great opportunity to CREATE discussion around different issues, especially that of plastic. When you have the chance to talk to people about plastic pollution you can also raise the consciousness of people about their personal impact on the problem. Whether it's the director of the festival himself asking about their plastic policies or just your tent neighbour, each moment is an opportunity to spread the wave of change.
With these little tips hopefully you'll be slightly more prepared for your festival or event and can drastically reduce your plastic consumption. Enjoy the rest of the summer!! Lydia Gaskell
Photos: Lydia Gaskell & Lucie Gaskell