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A Guide To Being Eco-Friendly At Festivals

Eco-friendly festival

Written by Charlie Gill. Last updated, 12:40pm 25 June 2024

Everything You Need To Know About Having An Eco-Friendly Festival Season

Festivals have many advantages. You can spend time with friends, listen to bands you love, discover new music, wear funky outfits, dance and enjoy good vibes from everyone and everything. But festivals also bring negatives, in that they create lots of waste.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. In this article, we talk about the negatives of festivals and how you can make your festival season as eco-friendly as possible.


The Negatives of Festivals on the Environment

  • Hundreds if not thousands of tents left after the event
  • Drinks and food sold in single-use plastic
  • Rubbish discarded all over the floor
  • Outfits especially purchased for the festival and only worn once


What is an Eco-Friendly Festival?

An eco-friendly festival is a festival that reduces its waste and asks its festival-goers to do the same. That could mean only using biodegradable glitter, bringing reusables and taking their tent home. Eco festivals often promote reducing single-use plastic through refill water stations and reusable cups.

Eco-friendly festival musicians


How to Reduce Your Waste At A Festival

1/ Take Your Reusables

Lots of festivals now allow and encourage reusable bottles to be taken into the site with you. These can be refilled at refill stations or at bars.

Likewise reusable pint cups can be used as an alternative to the plastic pint cups for any alcoholic beverages.

Double check the frequently asked questions (FAQs) of the festival you’re planning on attending. If they don’t allow reusables, consider purchasing one water bottle or pint cup and refilling that instead.


2/ Take Your Tent Home

Tents are highly polluting at camping festivals with people leaving them behind rather than taking the tents home with them. Any that can’t be salvaged are put into landfill as they can’t be recycled and are largely made from plastic, so that 875 tonnes of plastic are unnecessarily dumped into landfill sites every year from UK festivals alone.

If you don’t have a tent personally, consider borrowing a tent from a friend, family member or using a website like outdoor hire to rent your camping gear.

By taking your tent home at the end of your festival, you’ll be producing less waste and have a tent ready to take with you next year! If you no longer need your tent, consider donating it to a homeless charity.

 Borrowing festival outfits for an eco-festival

3/ Rewear Your Outfits

Festivals are well known for their bold, out-there outfits. With sequins, bright colours and clothing most people wouldn’t wear in their normal day-to-day.

To avoid purchasing new items and only wearing them once, consider switching festival wear with your friends. Last year’s flares for you, are the perfect missing piece to their outfit.

Alternatively, shop for your festival outfits from secondhand shops or use resale apps like eBay, Vinted or Depop.

The most important thing, avoid fast fashion and think about the re-wearability of anything you buy.


4/ Be Prepared For The Weather

At every festival there are always stands where you can buy a plastic rain poncho. These ponchos are flimsy and ready to wear once and throw away. Instead, plan ahead by checking the weather forecast and taking your trusty waterproof coat with you.

Double check the weather before you go to see if you need wellington boots, but remember to never leave home without your suncream


5/ Choose An Eco-Friendly Festival

The easiest way to be more sustainable yourself is to make it easier for yourself and attend an already eco-friendly festival.

For example the festival ‘We love Green’ in Paris is run by the search engine Ecosia. They plant a tree for every festival-goer (80,000 trees), have completely banned single-use plastics, have 100% locally sourced food, eco-toilets to save on water, and use solar panels to power the stages.

Other UK eco-festivals to look out for include: Green Gathering and Green Man Festival.


Being more environmentally-friendly at a festival doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these easy tips and you’ll soon be enjoying the music without any guilt.

Are you going to try and be eco-friendly at festivals this year? Let us know in the comments.



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