Festivals: How to Leave No Trace

I'm not a big festival goer. Personally, I prefer the small local festivals where it's a smaller community with local food and local bands. The Tandem Festival was just this. 

Being zero waste at a festival is slightly more challenging than camping alone as you need to take into account food, drink and clothes. Like most zero waste solutions: it's all in the planning... 

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ESSENTIALS LIST: 

  • Lunch box

  • Spoon, fork and knife

  • Handkerchief

  • Drawstring bag

  • Sleeping bag

  • Pillow

  • Tent

  • Snacks e.g flapjack

  • Food (see below for more)

  • Water bottle (preferable double-lined metal)

  • Cup (metal if possible)

  • Soap

  • Zero waste toilet paper

  • Clothes (with lots of layers)

  • Hairbrush

  • Make up remover cloth

  • Condoms

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Out of everything on the essentials list, the lunch box was easily my favourite item as most mornings I love a big bowl of porridge! It gets me going for the day. Luckily at this festival they had food trucks, one of which sold a lovely big bowl of porridge. They were selling them in either plastics tubs (yucky!) or cardboard tubs for a bigger option. With my handy lunch box I could just ask them to put the porridge in it and wash it out after. Bob's your uncle! 

Making zero waste snacks can be a lifesaver too, as it stops 'hangryness'. For this festival I made flapjacks and brought nuts, as well as dried and fresh fruit with me. It's often a struggle to bring zero waste snacks that last the whole four days, but flapjacks can do just that – plus they're a great, slow-releasing energy booster. 

Because I was travelling to the festival by train, being light-weight was essential. Carrying lots of zero waste essentials can weight you down, that's why I chose not to take any ready made meals with me they would take up a lot of rucksack space. This did mean I spent more money at the festival, but with a lunch box to put food in it didn't make any negative impact on the environment. 

Water bottles are great at festivals! Especially with a karabina, that way you can clip it to you the whole day and it's easily accessible. I opted for a double-lined metal bottle, as you can also have a hot drink from it in the mornings.

Having a reusable cup is also great for alcohol – it's durable, great for the environment and if you choose a metal one very it's light and easy to clean.

 They even used hay bales for toilets!

They even used hay bales for toilets!

Soap is a must if you're staying for more than one night. I know lots of people at festivals often don't shower and use baby wipes, but think of what all those wasted baby wipes will be doing to our poor planet. I opted for soap as it's great to wash not only yourself but also clothes just in case! The shampoo soap from Lush washes everything, its light weight and compact; I often used my reusable bottle to shower (as the queue was so big) with the soap, meaning I didn't have a need for baby wipes. 

The Tandem Festival was great at recycling and toilet waste, but a lot of festivals struggle with this aspect. I recommend bringing at least one roll of compostable toilet paper (Who Gives a Crap) and that way at least you know your paper will degrade faster. 

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Charlotte discovered this make up remover cloth which gets rid of make up without any moisturiser. It's pure genius – the fibers in the cloth are so small that they remove the make up, you just need a dab of water to wash it off. 

Finally, I know festivals are all about letting loose and going a bit wild! Me and Charlotte have yet to discover zero waste condoms but often these are a must, so for now I recommend Durex but we will keep looking for them. 

HAPPY CAMPING!