Festival season is upon us! Coachella kicked off in California last weekend, and it officially marks the start of festival szn. I myself am a seasoned festival goer, and have seen a lot of the aftermath of these behemoth productions. Post any event involving thousands and thousands of people, there tend to be huge bins of trash left behind, and garbage strewn across festival grounds, as people drink, eat and smoke their way through the music. Recently, Glastonbury Festival in the UK announced that they’re doing away with plastic beverage bottles. NYC’s House of Yes is swapping out sale of plastic water bottles for aluminium bottles instead, in an effort to be more green. Aluminium is a material that can be recycled over and over again without losing its integrity. Plastic, if it recycled, can only be re-made into new items about three times before it can no longer be used. I’ve curated a short list of things you can do to be more environmentally conscious without sacrificing any of the fun.
B stands for bottle. My number one rule for dancing is to hydrate! I have brought CamelBak backpacks to festivals in the past to refill and wear. Hands free! If you’d rather not wear a full sized backpack, consider bringing a metal bottle, or a collapsible bottle with you. Glass is a great alternative, but many festivals will not allow glass items onto the grounds for safety reasons. Bringing your own bottle is not only better for the environment, but better for your wallet too - don’t get stuck shelling out $10+ a bottle for water.
Say “No” to Plastic Body Decor
This is a hard one because we all want to look sparkly and fun. Face jewels and glitter are all the rage at festivals, but they are also just little bits of plastic that will likely end up in a water source. Glitter is a micro-plastic, and it gets everywhere! It’s also nearly impossible to get rid of. Consider alternate ways to decorate yourself, or look into biodegradable glitter options.
Plogging - But with Dancing
Plogging originated in Sweden - it’s where you pick up trash while you’re out on a run. You don’t have to go super far out of your way to do it, but the chances that you’ll come across some trash while you’re out jogging are high. Turn it into picking up trash here and there while you’re dancing. Bring a grocery bag with you and load it up as you go. You might even get other festival goers on board with you!
Counter Your Own Carbon Footprint
I like to think that I have a reasonably small carbon footprint - I take public transportation, shop organic and local, don’t buy many clothes, etc. But flying is something I do that has the biggest carbon footprint. Consider planting trees to offset your flights to and from the festival, or the gas it takes you to drive there. You don’t even have to get dirty to plant it.
Don’t Buy New Outfits
This is another difficult one because who doesn’t want to be photographed in their shiny new outfits?! However, a lot of clothing that retailers sell are cheap - in price, but they are also cheaply made. Fast fashion is so incredibly bad for the environment. Consider wearing vintage outfits - which are totally cute - or host a clothing swap with friends. Chances are, they don’t want to wear the same festival outfit two years in a row either. Secondhand shops like Buffalo Exchange generally only resell on-trend clothing too.