How to reduce your festival waste this summer

How to reduce your festival waste this summer

We’ve got some ideas on how to reduce your festival waste this summer. Image from Adobe Stock.

With festival season in full swing, thousands of Kiwis are flocking to shows all around the country, with a tent in their boot and dancing shoes on their feet. But what most people don’t contemplate is that music festivals produce a lot of plastic waste – from single-use cups to abandoned tents, all of which will end up in the landfill or in our waterways. With lots of festival organisers making sustainable switches and changes to their events, it’s still not enough to eliminate the waste completely – so we all need to work together as a team to keep NZ green this summer. Read on to find out how you can reduce your festival waste and be a tidy kiwi!

BYO drink bottle
Single-use plastic bottles and plastic cups are one of the main culprits for festival waste. Although some festivals have a return system for their plastic cups, where you use the cup for the night then return it once you’re finished for a small fee – usually, it’s more hassle than it’s worth. Those cups then end up all over the ground and get picked up at the end of the festival and put into landfill. To try and eliminate your waste footprint, bring a reusable drink bottle to the festival with you (make sure it’s empty or you won’t be allowed to bring it in with you) and use that to fill up at the free water stations.

Use biodegradable glitter
It’s not a music festival without glitter, but glitter is one of the worst kinds of plastic as it is a microplastic and ends up polluting waterways and harming marine life (read more about this in our article on the blue beauty movement) If you can’t go without glitter when attending your next music festival, opt for biodegradable glitter instead.

Buy second-hand festival outfits
Getting your outfits sorted for music festivals is one of the best parts of your party preparation, but the fast-fashion industry is one of the biggest polluting industries in the world. When thinking about your festival outfits, opt for second-hand pieces rather than those cheap party outfits you are only likely to wear once. Another benefit of shopping second-hand is that you can find some really cool, designer pieces or funky, vibrant, out there garments that you can wear over and over AND you’re less likely to bump into someone wearing the same outfit as you. Also, leave the tacky, plastic party props in the $2 store.

Ditch the plastic poncho
There is nothing worse than dancing in the pouring rain with your shoes full of mud. Many party-goers opt for single-use plastic ponchos to keep them dry but they are the worst as they end up in landfill, contributing to plastic waste pollution. Bring your own rain jacket instead, it will surely be warmer than a plastic poncho and on a cold rainy night at 2 am, warmth is invaluable.

Take your mess with you
When the sun rises and the music stops and the festival-goers jump in their cars to embark on the seedy, hours-long car journey home – what is left behind is tent city. Thousands of tents end up abandoned every year at music festivals and where do they end up? In a landfill, that’s where! Don’t be lazy, take your mess AND your tent with you!

Ditch the wet wipes
Wet wipes may be the most convenient option for cleaning when camping at a music festival, but they are terrible for the environment – even the biodegradable ones. Instead, take a couple of flannels or micro fibre cloths with you and use a body wash bar to clean yourself instead of the wet wipes.

Bring package-free toiletries
Instead of bringing down a mound of plastic bottles for washing – opt for package-free toiletries at your next festival. They clean you just the same, sans packaging, so once you’re finished you won’t be leaving behind plastic bottles in the shower area or lugging them back home with you.

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