By Lily Corcoran
With festivals back on the cards again after over a year of no live music, no large social gatherings and above all, no glitter, it won’t be surprising if we’ve forgotten how to ‘festival’. There’s bound to be an inclination to go a bit mad when we finally reach the main stage after all this time. However, being mindful of just how much waste festivals produce can help us curb the huge amount of rubbish left on the fields once we’ve had our fun. So, we want to talk about how to bring sustainability to festivals this summer!
Let’s dive into three effective and sustainable tips for festivals so you can re-enter the party scene without shocking the planet!
Tip 1: Swap your plastic cup for a reusable one
When speaking about festival waste, the thing that probably comes into your head first is all the cups and straws. Without being able to bring your own drink into the main festival arena, we’re at the mercy of the bars and stalls as to what our drink comes in. Although most places have shifted to paper cups, the plastic coating on them doesn’t exactly make them environmentally-friendly.
The total amount of waste of all festivals in the UK in one year is thought to be around 23,500 tonnes. That is an extraordinary amount of rubbish. To see the festival site at the end is really quite shocking and saddening, but there are certainly ways for us to have fun without the waste. Instead of worrying about how many cups you’re chucking in the bin, there are other options to ensure you’re focusing on enjoying the music.
To cut out disposal altogether, why not bring a bottle or a flask which can be refilled? Whether it be a reusable cup that you pack with you, or a water bottle that you bought at the start of the day, it’s far better to reuse than get new.
A great sustainable brand of water bottles that’ll keep your drink cold even in the blaring sun is Hydro Flask. There’s also WAKECup, which will definitely be able to sort you out with sustainable, chic reusable cups, tumblers and flasks. The best part? They’re durable, so can definitely handle the festival scene!
Paper straws are a great new low-waste alternative that have been greatly picked up in recent years. However, although they can biodegrade a lot faster than their plastic counterparts, they’re still waste at the end of the day. Depending on what’s permitted at your festival, you could consider bringing in a metal, silicone of bamboo straw to see you through the day. And of course the best way to avoid waste is to cut out straws altogether!
Tip 2: Avoiding waste in your fashion choices
As for your festival outfits, you obviously want to make these memorable! For fun, unique pieces that you may not wear again, second-hand clothes shops and online platforms are a great idea.
I found some brilliant pink sunglasses on Depop a few years ago and they’ve seen me through a couple of festivals without a problem! You’ll often find accessories like sunglasses, belts and even shoes are significantly cheaper and still in excellent condition on Depop, despite the exact same item being available for twice the price brand new elsewhere.
We can’t forget about charity shops, either. There are tons of great pieces to be found there, and it’s not unheard of to run into someone else’s pre-loved festival outfit that they’ve donated after the summer. Because, let’s be honest, how likely are you to re-wear your festival outfit after that weekend?
Not to mention how rewarding it is to look for fun, retro pieces in charity shops.
And finally, perhaps the most obvious tip of all – explore the back of your wardrobe! I for one have found loads of great, festival-esque pieces buried under my other clothes, or old pieces that have been gifted to me from older family members. The ultimate way to find authentically retro clothes is from parents’ or grandparents’ collections! Borrowing from a sibling or parent is too often overlooked, and yet it’s the cheapest option for sustainable fashion!
Check out some sustainable fashion festival favourites
Tip 3: How to have a sustainable sparkle
As for makeup, getting it second-hand can be a little bit trickier (unless you have very generous siblings who don’t mind their supply being pilfered!). Though, that doesn’t mean you can’t get imaginative with what you’ve got to create an eye-catching, festival look. And of course, if you do end up investing in some new makeup for festival season, there are plenty of sustainable beauty brands to choose from.
To stay matte in the heat, I’d recommend this sustainable gem! Your base is even more important when you plan to be out in the elements for a long time. Stay protected from unwanted shine with this gorgeous matte moisturiser.
Not to be forgotten, glitter is such a big part of festival culture, but we’re starting to realise how these tiny pieces of plastic eventually end up in our oceans, harming fish and the ecosystem. The solution? Biodegradable glitter! Check out a few of these eco-friendly glitters and pigments.
Of course, the star of the show at music festivals – glitter! There are plenty of biodegradable glitters out there (at last!) so here’s a selection for you to choose from.
First off, have a look at SHRINE and their fabulous chunky glitter. This is what every festival goer’s dreams are made of…
If you’re looking to support a smaller business, why not check out Nature Glitz? They’re made in Germany, offering free worldwide shipping, and are of course vegan and plastic-free.
Finally, for eco-friendly glitters and pigments, Make Up or Break Up has you covered.
Whether you make it to a festival or not this year, I hope these tips will have sparked some ideas on how you can strive for a sustainable take on festival season. Be sure to check out some of the brands mentioned above, and feel free to comment any down below so we can grow the list!
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