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Green Trend: The Green Festival

We identified a very exciting trend in 2016 – the Pragmatic Consumer, which tells us that people want to know the details of the products they consume. This applies equally to recreation. We asked the question “How do we set festivals apart (and give them the edge) by offering consumers a responsible recreation option?”

In addition, the introduction of the ISO 20121:2012 standard for Green events has left people asking what is entailed for an event to be classified “Green”.

We’ve collected information from Green events far and wide in order to provide some ideas of how to include social and environmental responsibility into the event experience.

Energy Efficiency

Sustainable Energy is a huge talking point, not only for festivals but also for the future of the planet. There are events taking place around the world that pride themselves in being completely off the grid. They use only alternative energy sources. If it is not possible to do so for the entire festival then why not try one or two of the dance floors?

Water Efficiency

Did you know how much water it takes to bottle water? It is a comprehensive debate for a rather simple answer: More water than it takes to get it from a tap.  Event organisers can consider introducing a no bottled water to be sold on the premises policy.  Instead, offer filtered water at water fountains and sell branded reusable containers for people who don’t being their own to the event.

Waste Minimisation: Procurement

Food and drink creates a significant part of the waste generated by a festival. In order to minimise the waste sent to landfill, it is important to establish procurement and waste management policies prior to the event.

Request that stall holders reduce excessive packaging and favour reusable and recycled packaging. Anything disposable should be made from plant materials and be biodegradable. These policies will help to ensure waste sent to landfill is kept to a minimum. You could take it one step further and request stall holders to source only local and seasonal produce.

Waste Management

Separation at source is one of the biggest challenges regarding waste management at festivals.

This challenge can be solved with just three bins:

  • Composting
  • Recycling
  • Landfill

Some festivals we researched only ask food stalls and crew areas to separate out compostables, others ask this of all festival goers.  Handling green waste at the venue is the best option. Read our post about the 2007 Live Earth FestivalRocking the Daisies do this every year! If you are in a city or at a venue where it is not possible to leave a big pile of compost behind, get in touch with a Compost Solutions Provider.

Educating festival goers regarding which bin to use for what can be challenging. This can easily be addressed with  detailed signage and employing “Green Police”.  At the annual Glastonbury Festival the purpose of the Green Police is to ensure the festival’s environmental policies are followed.

Pollution Management

Create a sense of community by encouraging people to share transport to the venue or look at how to incentivise the use of public transport systems to reduce the amount of cars brought to the venue. Rocking the Daisies have done really well by encouraging non-motorised transport with Walking the Daisies and Cycling the Daisies programmes.

Compost Loos

Would you? Could you? A number of large international festivals have successfully introduced compost loos, making it unnecessary for festival goers to use small, plastic porter loos thus reducing the water footprint and producing compost instead of waste. Take a look at how it is done at the multi award-winning Boom Festival.

Green Event Discount

We love to see festivals and events choosing sustainable and green practices. Not only because of the reduction in the festival footprint, but also because it is a great way to set an example for a large audience regarding sustainability issues. If a festival qualifies for a GreenHome Green Events Discount, then all traders at the event receive a large discount on our biodegradable food packaging, cutlery, cups etc.  Contact us for more information.

More Info

Below are links to sustainability policies from award-winning green festivals across the globe. Which will be the first South African festival to enter this list?

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