Powerful-Thinking, the not-for-profit think tank for the events industry estimates that around 23,500 tonnes of waste are produced each year at music festivals in the UK alone! With two thirds of this waste ending up in landfill, many festivals are starting to take action.
With an annual 3.17 million music festival goers in the UK alone, there is even more onus on festivals to be as sustainable as possible. Some are already doing their bit to make an impact on the footprint of their event:
In 2017 Latitude sent zero waste to landfill for the third year running; recycling up to 59%, with the remainder going to create energy.
Multi-green award winning Shambala has reduced it’s carbon footprint by an impressive 81% over the past five years. It’s powered by 100% renewable energy sources and in 2016 became a meat and fish-free zone. Amongst all this it also takes the time to ban plastic bottles and [in 2017] an impressive 91% of waste materials from the festival were recycled, composted or used for energy!
The Green Gathering does equally well on the green front with the use of renewable energy. Most of the food and drink available on site is organic and comes from local suppliers – and all food waste is composted onsite. Up-cycling workshops make creative use of non-food waste on site while other waste can be recycled across 13 different categories. The Green Gathering boasts an impressive recycling rate of 73%.
Impressive stuff! It’s great to see that some festivals have made/are making a effort to reduce their footprint.
With the Glastonbury clean-up now underway, my thoughts were drawn to the beauty products we use during the course of a weekend of festival antics and what we can do as festival-goers to avoid unnecessary waste.
Here are some of my zero waste festival beauty essentials…
Wipe wipes have been a festival staple forever. This year if you want to go zero waste then consider packing some washable alternatives. Flannels and Konjac sponges are great for giving your skin the once over to freshen up or to remove your make-up. Use with either plain water or a facial oil (especially handy if access to water is tricky)
If you really feel the need to take a pack of wipes with you then make sure they are compostable (such as the ones from Beauty Kitchen) and take the wrapper (and if necessary the used wipes) home with you so they can be disposed of properly.
Unless you are planning to go braided up and worry about it on your return home, dry shampoo is a great addition to your festival rucksack.
Not everyone feels the need to wear make-up at a festival (totally fine) but for those of you who do then why not consider doing a little de-potting and popping your products into one palette? This not only reduces the number of pots and tubes in your rucksack but also could start off a new way of thinking when it comes to buying new make-up.
More and more brands offer refill options for many of their products: Kjaer Weis, Zao and Sappho are just a few of my favourites. As a Make-up Artist keeping my kit as light as possible is vital to me so I buy refills wherever possible and store them in a palette. My favourite magnetic palettes are from Z Palette and Make-up Forever but if you want to decent cream products then I suggest taking a look at those from Vuset.
As with make-up there are an ever growing number of zero waste options for skincare. To avoid buying additional products just so you can pack light, try decanting into smaller containers if you have some to hand; I frequently use those mini jam jars* to store decanted products (washed out of course!) but this may not help you if you are trying to keep the weight down.
Many places offer a whole range of lightweight, reusable pots and bottle which you can decant products into. You can pick them up easily in chemists/drugstores like Boots or Superdrug alternatively my favourites are from Muji – its a de-potters dream!
* watch out as some festivals may not allow glass on site
Now this is a tricky one but sunscreen is a festival must-have. We need to pack it however pretty much every sunscreen I have ever used/tried is packaged in plastic!
Obviously I don’t suggest you rush out and replace the tube you have (that would be wasteful) but if you are in the market for a new SPF then take a look at the Shade All Natural Sunscreen (from £3.75) which is housed in aluminium tins. Now I will add that I haven’t tried this sunscreen myself so can’t vouch for its effectiveness but I have read some very positive reviews so I will be checking it out at a later date.
Refillable Water Bottle
Being dehydrated is really not good for your skin so make sure you drink loads of water to ensure your skin remains looking as good as it can do – bearing in mind you are at a festival!!
There are now so many refillable bottles available on the market in a variety of deigns, shapes, sizes and materials. My favourites are those from One Green Bottle (from £12.00), which are available with a variety of colours, shapes and lid types to suit every activity and every member of the family.
I’m going to admit that this was a really hard post to put together. It’s tough to find refillable alternatives to products and everyday items. Do you have any zero waste festival tips to share? Do get in touch if you do and I can update this post.
Images: (1) via the Independent; (2, 3) LJS -OMUA