Hey, welcome back and if this is your first time here then hi, this probably isn’t going to be my most upbeat or fun blog post but it’s one that I just have to get out. I asked my Instagram followers if they would be interested in reading a post on sustainability and so many did so here we are.
I am in no way claiming to be an expert on anything I’m talking about and I’m really keen to learn, I’m welcoming any correction or expansion on anything I cover in this post but can I just ask that it is delivered respectfully because every point will be leading back to one issue and that will become extremely apparent as you read through.
Music festivals, we love them, I love them I don’t get to do as many of them as I’d like but I feel like I live vicariously through others on social media which is something I really enjoy, unless it’s just a string of shaky drunkenly filmed videos on snapchat but anyway, I digress.
Something I don’t like about festivals, however, is their negative effects on the environment and this has become extremely prevalent over the past couple of years. You could argue that it’s always been this way but through the rise of social media we just see it a lot more, everyone’s got a phone with a camera becomes a prosumer providing their very own coverage and this where the cracks are showing.
Two festivals that have drawn particular attention in the UK this year for the shocking about of rubbish left behind are Reading/ Leeds and Boomtown.
As the pictures show the number of tents, chairs and general shit left behind it mental. The clean up for these festivals can last way over a week, to clean up after GROWN FUCKING ADULTS. That’s what baffles me I don’t know what is going through peoples heads when they choose to leave all their rubbish behind.
Invest it a decent festival tent and take them home please I don’t care how convenient it is, how cheap it was, how hungover or tired you are. A tent takes 1,000-10,000 years to fully breakdown, if you can’t respect and leave no trace the space then please rethink going
I’ve seen on social media people suggesting that festivals need to provide incentives to make people clean up after themselves like putting down a £25 deposit that you can get back if you take your rubbish home. While I can fully see the thinking behind that we should not have to be doing it, people should want to do it, they’re not children where we should have to provide a reward for being ‘Good’.
There are some really great charities that come and collect tents from festivals to distribute to local homeless people and I’ve seen many people using that as their justification for leaving their tent behind, it’s not and while peoples intentions are good the reality is that the charities can only take so many an extremely small percentage. If you are considering that then please rethink, if you are passionate about donating it to someone in need then take it home with you and consider giving it directly to someone in your area or find a charity that is happy to take it. Leaving it for someone else to pick up and for it most likely go in the bin is the reality.
Things you can do to have a more eco friendly festival experience:
- Invest in a decent tent that is no bigger than you actually need so it’s less hard work to take down
- Take a refillable aluminium water bottle so you don’t have to buy plastic ones on-site, every festival has taps scattered around the site where you can refill it.
- If you are buying drinks from the bars and they use plastic cups then keep hold of it and ask them to refill it the most likely will.
- If you are going to be using glitter than make sure to pick up the eco friendly type.
- Fast fashion is all too popular at festivals, consider buying clothes you can see yourself wearing again.
- Think we’ve covered this one but pick up everything and leave no trace.
Things festivals can do to encorage and inform people
- Charge people for a reusable plastic cup on their first trip to the bar, if they want another one they will have to pay again.
- Provide more bins around the site and make they easy to find.
- In advance of the festival use social media to let people know what standards is expected of them, sharing facts and statics surrounding single use plastics, litter etc. Education is key.
- Encorage group and coach travel to reduce emissions
- Have stalls set up by charities sharing resources and information
- This is a small one but use wooden fastening clips on the wristbands rather than plastic. If a festival has over 100,000 people going thats 100,000 small pieces of plastic
It all comes down to poor education, I personally didn’t think I knew any more about the planets state and how to live sustainability until I’d seen some old school acquaintances posting so much misinformation surrounding veganism amongst some other topics. I’ve realised that on social media I have created a very informative space for myself, I am in groups on Facebook that focus on veganism, I follow activists, sustainable brands and charities etc and I genuinely believed that everyone my age was kind of doing the same thing. That’s not me saying that I’m saying I’m better than anyone because a lot of my close friends are also extremely liberal, environmentally aware and are making attempts to live more sustainably so that’s just what I’m surrounded by.
When I see said school acquaintances sharing misinformation I feel like I want to be quick to jump in and call them ignorant but then I realise that they just need to be educated and that’s ultimately what it comes down to.
So let’s talk veganism and vegetarianism. A report published by animal welfare charity Viva! describes the meat and dairy industry as ‘one of the main contributors to global warming’. Changing your diet is the biggest thing you can do to help the planet let’s have a look at the statistics:
-Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide together cause the vast majority of global warming. Producing a little more than 2 pounds of beef causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours and uses up more energy than leaving your house lights on for the same period of time
-Each day, factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure, which ends up in lakes, rivers, and drinking water.
-It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat. It takes 25 gallons to make a pound of wheat.
-If one person exchanges eating meat for a vegan diet, they’ll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons per year.
-You’d save more water by not eating one pound of meat than you would by not taking a shower for 6 months.
I’m not going to reel off all the statistics because there are endless amounts but you get the idea, switching to a vegan or even veggie diet is going to help the planet out. I have personally been veggie since January and I’m now transitioning into Veganism, being veggie is often shamed in the vegan community but for me personally, any change is welcome, small changes are better than none. I feel that the vegan community can often be seen as preachy and intimidating but don’t let that put you off once you learn more about it you realise why they are super passionate.
Veganism is often regarded as being too expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Admitidly when you are the only veggie/vegan living in a house of meateaters like myself it can add up but meal prep and freezing can be your best friend and helps to reduce waste.
Thanks to the internet there are so many amazing blogs, websites, instrgam pages, youtuber channels creating really helpful vegan related content and recipies. Here are just a few of my favourites:
BUDGET BYTE$- www.budgetbytes.com (Not everything is vegan but if you put it in the search bar there are so many recipies)
RACHEL AMA- www.youtube.com/rachelama
MADELEINE OLIVIA- www.youtube.com/madekeine
SIMPLE VEGAN – simpleveganblog.com
THE CRUDE VEGAN- www.instagram.com/thecrudevegan
Right, I think I’m going to end the post here, I feel like I’ve just been rammbling for the longest time but I hope that maybe I could have helped inspire someone with this but if not then it was just nice for me to gtet off my chest because it’s been on my mind a lot recently. If you liked this then let me know I might consider doing some more posts on sustanibility, my favoutire eco friendly products and my vegan journey.