Have a more eco-friendly festival experience

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Late-summer is in full swing, which means it's prime time to dust off your camping chair, air out your tent and bring your wellies out of retirement for a weekend of live music.

But a new report by Powerful Thinking, which reveals UK festivals are generating a staggering 23,500 tonnes of waste per year, means seeing your favourite bands performing live can often come at a worrying cost to the planet - and that's before you've even factored in the carbon emissions produced by travelling to and from the festival site.

You don't have to miss out on the fun entirely, though. With a few small lifestyle changes, you can reduce the impact your festival experience has on the world. Here are some key ways to green up your act...

 

1. Invest in a decent tent

Retailers have been criticised in recent years for selling cheap, pop-up tents that encourage gig-goers to leave them on the site after only a couple of days' use. Thankfully, the tide is turning against this wasteful practice and, according to festival organiser Emily Eavis, 99.3% of tents were taken home from this year's Glastonbury festival.

If you want to avoid being in the minority, skip the bargain deals and spend an extra few quid on a robust, weatherproof festival tent that you can reuse for plenty of summers to come. Many festivals also offer luxury tent hire (such as teepees and yurts), which can often cost a bit more money, but will take the temptation out of ditching your tent at the end of the weekend.

 

2. Glam up with biodegradable glitter

Glitter is a festival style essential, but its harmful environmental effects are so severe, that according to the Association of Independent Festivals, the sparkly stuff has been banned at over 60 festivals in the UK.

Luckily, a load of mainstream and independent beauty brands have launched biodegradable and sustainable alternatives - meaning you can get your glitter fix guilt-free. Some of our favourites are Eco Glitter Fun (ecoglitterfun.com) and Eco Stardust (ecostardust.com).

Swapping out traditional microplastic bases with plant-based components, eco-friendly glitter or 'bio-glitter' is vegan, breaks down naturally in water and still looks just as fabulous as its PET predecessors.

 

3. Invest in a reusable water bottle

More than a million plastic bottles of water weren't drunk at Glastonbury this year, when organisers called time on selling them on-site, and you can continue the good work at other festivals, by investing in your own reusable metal or glass bottle.

Reusable water bottles are great for so many reasons. As well as being good for the environment, they work out cheaper than buying several disposable water bottles, they're BPA-free (a plastic that some fear is linked with cancer) and they can often keep your liquids cooler for longer.

 

4. Car share

When it comes to festivals, transport is arguably one of the biggest burdens on the environment, so why not consider taking public transport instead of driving?

If you've got a boot full of camping gear that you can't physically carry onto a train or coach, think about carpooling with a group of friends. Veygo (veygo.com) offers a short-term car-sharing insurance that allows you to borrow a friend or family member's car on a temporary basis, from just one hour, to up to 30 days. This means you'll be able to share the laborious driving responsibilities on the ride to and from the festival site with your friends.

 

5. Ditch the wet wipes

Wet wipes are another type of single-use plastic that can harm the environment, but they're often the first thing people think to pack when they go camping. They might look flimsy, but these throwaway wipes are often made from polyester, a type of plastic that doesn't biodegrade and can cause problems for marine life if they make their way into the ocean (not to mention, wreak havoc with sewers).

When it comes to festival hygiene,  you probably won't be using a proper shower for a couple of days. If you want to keep both your body and your conscience clean, we recommend changing into your swimming gear and going for a good old-fashioned strip wash instead - using a bar of soap, a wash cloth and a bucket of water.

Woman's Way