Everyone loves a good festival, what’s not to love, the atmosphere, the music and the drinking. But what effects does it have on our environment?
The biggest CO2 impact of a festival is people travelling there. In 2008 67% of people travelling to Leeds and Reading festival used the bus or train in comparison to the 33% that travelled by car.
Car Travel (average sized petrol car)
– 344 gram CO2 per mile (1 passenger)
– 172 grams CO2 per passenger mile (2 passengers)
– 86 grams CO2 per passenger mile (4 passengers)
The impact may not be as high if travelling with a number of passengers per car, but for a single person travelling the impact is great. The figures say it all, travelling by bus uses 26.97 grams CO2 per passenger mile and by train 96.32 grams per passenger mile. Leave your car at home and let the party start the moment you board the train!
Less is more
Over packing for a festival can be painful. Having to Lug your heavy bags around and waiting in large queues is a stress you don’t need on arrival. Car parks and drop off points can be miles from the entrance, so having 4 or 5 bags full of stuff is the last thing you need. Why not pack effectively and take just 1 or 2 bags. All you need is the essentials such as a couple of changes of clothes, enough drink to last you the weekend, a sleeping bag, a tent and enough food. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint in travel, but it will reduce the amount of waste you leave behind.
Cup deposit scheme
For a number of years festivals such as Leeds and Reading have offered a service where people collect unwanted cups and plastic bottles then exchange them for money. An additional fee is added to the price of a drink when bought in the arena (around 10p), then when the unwanted cups are collected, you receive the additional 10p. So if you collect 100 cups you will receive £10, a great idea if you run out of money. Another service festivals are offering is a deposit scheme, where you take unwanted cups, trays and water bottles to a collection point, where they are recycled. Both schemes are great for the environment and make the festival experience more enjoyable.
The big picture
No one is saying take the bare minimum to a festival and to pick up every bit of rubbish, it’s the little things that count. Think about what you are doing to the environment and how you can help it. A festival is about having fun after all, so grab your glow sticks, have a few drinks and rave the night away.