The green festival goer’s guide20th June 2014
We've already looked at some of the simple ways to watch your carbon footprint when you're at a festival. Whether this is jumping on the train or getting a lift with a friend, only taking items with you that you actually need or properly disposing of any rubbish, there are plenty of ways to be environmentally friendly at Glastonbury, Bestival, Reading and the like.
Here are a few more tips for those of you looking to be even more green at this summer's upcoming events.
Watch your water and food
Some festivals, such as Glastonbury, have made a conscious effort to ensure the tap water is monitored and drinkable. Resist the temptation to buy numerous bottles from vendors – your wallet will thank you as well as the environment. Reuse the same one throughout the event and make some new friends in the queue while you wait for the tap. This is one really effective way to reduce the amount of plastic that builds up on the site across the course of the week.
However, watch how much you use. Just because you're not at home, it doesn't mean you can be reckless with your consumption.
Bestival has a policy where all beer cups and cans that are bought from the bars are worth 10p. Stock up on them and bring them back to the dedicated return points and you could accrue enough money to buy yourself a cheeky bevvie and maybe some for your friends, depending on how generous you're feeling. Reading Festival also has a similar strategy.
The same is true of food containers – can you imagine how many are left discarded at the end of the event? It almost doesn't bear thinking about. Reusing water bottles isn't the only thing you can do – consider bringing along a thermal cup to avoid using a polystyrene one when you want a cup of tea or coffee. Similarly, could you take a food container along? With the way things are going, it's likely such measures will become more commonplace as festival organisers do their best to limit the carbon footprint of these events. You could even be touted as a pioneer for energy efficiency.
One of the most inconvenient things about a festival is that when your smartphone runs out of juice, it's very difficult to recharge it. How do you call your friend when you get separated, let your mum know you're fine or tweet to the world about how great a time you're having? Not to mention the fact you just feel a little strange and even vulnerable when you don't have a working phone.
The answer, we believe, is portable power. We sell a wide range of rechargeable chargers that mean you and your phone can have longer together when you're at these kind of events.
If you're using the latest iteration of the iPhone, we've got the Lightning ChargeGenie that seamlessly attaches itself to the handset and a series of lights will let you know the capacity of the battery.
Similarly, if you're using a different type of smartphone, we've got just the product – the ChargeGenie Universal microUSB rechargeable charger. Its innovative gel pad design securely fits on the back of the handset and provides up to 75 per cent longer battery life, meaning you can make the most out of your Android, BlackBerry or Windows handset. Fancy having a smug look on your face as you can browse the net while others can't? This is something you have to have.
Use the toilets
This sounds ludicrous, but you'd be amazed at how much of an issue this is for festival organisers. It's fair to say the toilets at these kinds of events aren't akin to the ones you'll find at Harrods, but this isn't an excuse to go wherever you feel like it.
Not only is this unappealing, but urine is also bad for the soil, which could have adverse effects on the location for the rest of the year.
Urine at these types of festivals goes straight into the water table and into rivers and streams, which isn't nice for the poor fish who live there.
Tidy up your tent
While it's really important to make sure you take home everything you bring, such as your tent, airbed and gazebos, don't forget the small things that could pose just as much of a risk.
For instance, tent pegs are really easy to miss and, because they're replaceable, they're very commonly left behind in the ground. They can easily get imbedded and, when the fields get rotavated, the pegs get chopped up into small pieces that the cows could eat and die from. Unless you personally want to be responsible for a milk and meat shortage, take a few minutes to check you've got all your pegs before you leave, go home and sleep for a day.
Everyone doing their bit
Sometimes, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the task of reducing your impact on the environment and it can feel like your little efforts aren't making a difference. Festivals like these are a great way to lead by example and there's a good chance your group of friends could follow suit in your energy-saving ways.