Festivals and events are a great way to enjoy life, music, culture, and traditions. From music festivals to food fairs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. However, with the increasing awareness of climate change and environmental issues, it’s important to consider the impact these events can have on the planet. The good news is that we can still enjoy these festivals while protecting the environment. With a little planning and conscious effort, we can be mindful of our impact and make a positive difference to the environment.
The environmental impact of outdoor events
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that outdoor events can produce a lot of waste and use a lot of energy, given the sheer number of people who attend them each year. For example, outdoor music festivals often require a lot of energy to power the stages, sound systems, and decorative lighting. They also generate a lot of general and non-recyclable waste, such as plastic cups, food packaging and other disposable items. In addition to waste and energy consumption, outdoor events can also have a significant impact on the local environment in a short period of time. Large crowd gatherings, for instance, can trample on vegetation, disturb local wildlife and pollute the environment. They can also contribute to local air and noise pollution. This is why it’s important to consider the impact of these events and take steps to minimise our environmental footprint. Some of them are listed below:
Choose eco-friendly transportation options
Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to the environmental impact of outdoor events, with thousands of cars travelling to a single destination and a sizable area of land required just for parking. This is why it’s important to choose eco-friendly transportation options whenever possible. If you’re attending an outdoor festival, consider carpooling with friends or taking public transportation to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. You can also consider renting an electric or hybrid car for the day or weekend. Many festivals and events can also offer shuttle services or bike parking spaces, so consider biking or walking instead of driving.
Bring your own reusable items
One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste when attending events is to bring your own reusable items. This can mean bringing reusable cutleries, plates and bowls, as well as a water bottle instead of using disposable items. Many events provide water stations where you can refill your bottle for free. Also, consider bringing a reusable bag or backpack instead of a plastic bag to carry your items.
Reduce and recycle waste
Many festivals and events will have recycling and even composting stations, so make use of them to dispose of your waste properly. Sort your waste into recyclables, compostables, and non-recyclables when you can. If you’re unsure or have any questions about what can be recycled or composted, ask the event staff or look for signs and labelling. Also, make sure that the event you attend has a responsible waste management system and measures in place, such as hiring professional services for waste removal and recycling paper, plastic and metal.
Support eco-friendly vendors and businesses
When shopping at fairs and events, look for vendors that offer eco-friendly products and services, such as reusable water bottles, sustainable clothing, or organic food. Similarly, when buying food and drinks, look for vendors who use compostable or biodegradable packaging. If you do use single-use plastics, such as plastic cups, straws, and utensils, make sure to properly recycle them. Many festivals may also have a ‘leave no trace’ policy, which means you must pack out everything you bring in, including your waste.
Some more tips for reducing your environmental footprint at events
Here are some more tips for reducing your environmental footprint at festivals and events:
- Choose a festival or event that encourages environmentally friendly practices and has a ‘leave no trace’ policy.
- Bring a solar-powered charger to charge your phone or other devices
- Use eco-friendly sunscreen and insect repellent
- Choose vegetarian or vegan food options if you can
By following the simple tips in this blog, you can enjoy outdoor events while also caring for the environment. Even small changes can make a big difference, so be mindful of your carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it.