12 Ways to Have a Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Festival
Festival season is fast approaching – are you going to any this summer? Going to a festival, especially with kids, can be a daunting experience – what on earth do you pack? Space is likely to be limited when you’re camping. and we’ve all seen those horrifying pictures of the waste left over at the large festivals – as well as plastic bottles, food wrappers etc, often whole tents are left behind! With Glastonbury banning single-use plastic bottles this year, meaning 1 million fewer plastic bottles going to landfill from this festival alone! But what else can we do to have a more eco-friendly festival? Read on for my guide to eco-friendly festival and camping essentials.
Keeping Clean, Sweet-Smelling and Looking Good at a Festival – Without Creating Loads of Rubbish
So I’ll kick off with arguably the most important thing to consider when going to a festival: how to negotiate the toilet and shower situation, and look vaguely presentable for your photos.
Eco-Friendly Festival Hygiene Pack
The grim toilets and showers are the number one thing that puts me (and all the girl-friends I’ve ever spoken to) off about going to a festival. Now there’s not much we can do about the toilets, but keeping clean and sweet-smelling at a festival needn’t be a nightmare, thanks to the eco-friendly festival hygiene pack from Full Circle (gifted for review).
This reuseable cotton jute bag contains:
- Unisex antiperspirant in a recyclable aluminium can
- Fresh Mint toothpaste in a zero-waste reusable aluminium pot
- Biodegradable bamboo toothbrush
- Alcohol hand gel in a zero-waste reusable aluminium bottle
- No-rinse body wash in a zero-waste reusable aluminium bottle
- Tropical dry shampoo in a recyclable aluminium can
- Plastic-free biodegradable face-wipes (not pictured)
- Biodegradable eco-towel
- 100% recycled Eco-leaf toilet paper
Everything is made in the UK, hasn’t been tested on animals, and vegan friendly. They are either reusable, biodegradable or recyclable, which helps reduce single-use plastic, needless water consumption and general waste at camping festivals.
The no-rinse body wash doesn’t require running water so a festival goer can wash from the comfort of their tent without visiting the showers. Pretty clever! It smells nice and I can confirm it does make you feel refreshed – you just massage it on and rub off again with the biodegradable eco towel (or any other towel/flannel).
The hand gel is great, and the dry shampoo smells good and does the job well! The antiperspirant deodorant has a very powerful spray, so you’ll want to put it on outside your tent! It smells a little masculine to me initially, but then mellows.
The pack will last about 4 nights, and £2 from every eco-friendly festival pack is donated to Full Circle’s charity partners charity: water, and their objective for 2019 is to fund four entire community projects.
Green Sun Cream is an Eco-Friendly Festival Essential
You’ll (hopefully) also be needing sun cream, like this one gifted by Green People.
Green People’s award-winning sun creams now come in plastic-free packaging made from sugar cane, which is also fully recyclable. Their new formula is reef-safe, and offers effective broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It also contains 84% certified organic ingredients, and is rich in natural anti-oxidants. It’s a little time-consuming to rub in, but does give such effective, safe protection, I think it’s worth it! It leaves white streaks to start, but once you rub it in, it’s fine.
I also rate their facial version, which is more matte, and you can see my review of it here.
And when it comes to washing your face at the end of the day, you could use the biodegradable wipes from the festival pack, or this clever cleanser from Green People. You can even leave it on, without rinsing it off, if water is scarce. It didn’t really stand up to removing make-up, but it would be fine for general end-of-day dirt, and feels refreshing. It contains willow bark to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, and tea tree extract to help control bacteria. It’s designed for acne-prone teenage skin, but suitable for all skin types, even sensitive and is made of 90% certified organic ingredients.
Before You Go To Your Festival, try a 99% Natural Fake Tan
If your skin is on the pale side, thanks to being under wraps for what seems like years (or is that just me?) you may want to do a bit of fake tanning before you go. My eco-friendly pick is TanOrganic Certified Organic Tanning Oil, which is 99% natural and comes in a recyclable glass bottle with a cork lid. It gives a really natural-looking tan and fades gently and slowly. It’s also super easy to apply with no streaking with your hands, so no need for a tanning mitt. You can read my full review of this 99% natural fake tan here.
Multi-Tasking Clean Make-up
You you probably don’t want to be fussing with a bulging make-up kit at a festival, and you may want to go make-up free. I never could though, so these are the multi-tasking clean make-up solutions that will keep you looking naturally gorgeous at your festival. Apart form the concealer, I have reviewed all of these as part of my long-standing unpaid partnership with Love Lula.
Madara CC Cream is the perfect tint, giving moisture, coverage and SPF15 protection in one. It comes in two shades and I used it every day without fail, even when I’m not camping. Ready my full review of Madara CC Cream SPF15 to find out why. You could layer this up over any uneven skin tone, or use a creamy concealer. My favourite is Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer, which you can read all about here. If you have oily skin, I recommend Emani HD Bamboo Setting Powder, which comes with a mirror and sponge applicator. It is slightly tinted, so it gives more coverage than a translucent powder, and gives a lovely velvety matte finish.
CHEEKS & FACE
This luxe palette from clean beauty pioneers RMS is ideal for festivals, and holidays as it’s little compartments house multi-use formulas for eyes, lips and cheeks. You can even use the darker shade for contouring (if you can be bothered at a festival!) Find out out how I use the RMS Beauty Signature Set in my review here.
If you’re going to a festival in the UK, there’s a high probability that it will rain. So a water-resistant mascara is a must. Eco-friendly waterproof mascaras are few and far between, but PBH Ethical Beauty have an absolutely fabulous one. It gives great length and volume and although not 100% waterproof, it does stand up to the odd shower really well in my experience. Plus, their company ethics are brilliant. Read all about PHB Ethical Beauty All In One Natural Mascara here. You can get bamboo cotton buds now, instead of plastic or paper ones.
You can’t really have a festival without glitter. But did you know that most glitter is made of plastic and will take hundreds of years to degrade (if at all)? Luckily there is now eco-friendly glitter, and it’s pretty darn gorgeous. Check out the gorgeous little tins of plastic-free Pure Glitter that Eco Stardust sent me – I received the shades JellyFish and Cascade. This new plastic-free, biodegradable glitter is also aluminium free and plant-based. It’s proven to biodegrade in the natural environment in 4 weeks. It sticks on to the skin really well with the balm from the RMS palette, and with sun cream.
Have an Eco-Friendly Period
Getting your period at a festival is just plain bad luck. But it is possible to have a (more) comfortable and eco-friendly period thanks to these period pants Modibodi sent me to review.
“Modibodi™ uses high quality natural fabrics and breathable tech-savvy blends (Bamboo, Merino Perform Wool and Microfibre) with the latest in antimicrobial fibres for a soft, silky fit.”Modibodi
- The top layer quickly wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells
- The middle layer safely absorbs fluid and locks it away (2.5-20mls)
- The bottom layer is extra waterproof protection
You’ll need to rinse the pants out after use, until the water runs clear. Then you can wash them in the washing machine when you get home. You’ll need a few pairs, but even if you rely on tampons or pads for some of the time, using these pants will cut down on your waste.
These pants are surprisingly comfortable and much less bulky than wearing normal pants and a traditional sanitary pad. It’s also lovely not to have the wings poking out! They feel quite silky and are true to size.
Eco-Friendly Camping Essentials
Using a high quality, durable canvas tent is a much more eco-friendly option than a cheap plasticy tent. Using a high quality canvas tent, like this one from Soul Pad, is one way to combat the horrific levels of waste seen at festivals every year.
Thousands of perfectly good tents are left at festivals, These canvas bell tents not only look gorgeous, but when looked after, will last for years and years, and can even be patched up if needed. There’s no way you’d leave one of these beauties behind after a festival, is there?
Adding a string of solar-powered vintage-style festoon lights is a lovely way to pretty up your tent, and help you to find it when you come back to the camping area after a long day watching music.
Mine were gifted to me from Lights 4 Fun, and you can buy a set of 15 Bulb Solar Festoon lights for £23.99. Ours are up in the garden now, and they have a stake you can put the solar panel into, which rotates so you can position it for the sun.
Eco-Friendly Drinking at a Festival
Hopefully by now you already have a reuseable water bottle and cup, but if not, now is a great time to invest! I love my Keep Cup which is made from recycled plastic and is so sturdy and light you can chuck it in your bag and forget about it until you need it. This insulated bamboo and steel cup from Global Wake Cup (gifted for review) is my other favourite. It keeps drinks piping hot for absolutely ages, which is ideal for a festival as you can eek out your cuppa without having to keep going to the toilet. You can read more about Global Wake Cup’s No Single Use Plastic Challenge here. If you like both tea and coffee, I recommend taking two, so you can just rinse them out and avoid having that awful coffee-flavoured tea situation. These will all minimise the cup and bottle waste to make for a more eco-friendly festival.
A reuseable water bottle is also an essential for a more eco-friendly festival experience. This Brita Fill & Go Active Water Filter Bottle (gifted for review) has a natural Brita filter fitted in the top (yet it’s still dishwasher safe). So you can fill your bottle with confidence from the festival taps, knowing it will taste lovely. The handy strap means you can attach it to your bag, too.
What to Wear at an Eco-Friendly Festival
British weather means that packing for festivals can mean only one thing: wellies. And sandals! You’d better pack both, to cover every eventuality. My Salt-Water Sandals are ideal for any weather, as they are waterproof, and incredibly comfortable. They aren’t exactly eco-friendly, but they definitely fall under the slow fashion bracket. I’ve had these for three years and they still looks and feel almost brand new. Pop over to find out why these made-to-last sandals are the best. If you’re looking for ethical and eco-friendly trainers, I highly recommend Vejas. They are made from recycled and ethically sourced materials, using ethical methods. You can buy Veja sneakers at Office.
Taking a high quality, waterproof backpack is a good idea, as you don’t want soggy stuff. My Fjallraven Kanken backpack is perfect for festivals, and it even comes with its own pad to sit on. I’ve had mine for a while now and it’s still looking great, despite me using it every day. Though pale pink may not have been the best option. It comes in a recycled version now, in a more limited colour palette.
And don’t forget your sunglasses. Mine have bamboo arms, so are slightly more eco-friendly than most. But if/when they break, I’m going to try some sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets from Waterhaul – they look great and are made in Cornwall.
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We're stoked to see @samuellewis1 running a low-tide #ghostgear clean in his recycled Fitzroy glasses, removing the snagged netting on this Indonesian reef today! You can unfortunately see the evidence of the reef damage these #ghostnets cause in this picture. Excellent work! 🙌 📷 by @alexfyffe94 #ghostnets #oceanplastic #marinedebris #beachclean #take3forthesea #recycled #upcycle #marineplastics #oceanconservation #plasticsucks #oceanactivist #reefclean #wslpure #tidakplastik
Wear Clothes That Don’t Wreak the Environment
You’ll need a mix of clothes for all weathers, and I recommend a fast drying T-shirt made of eco-friendly Tencel, designed and hand made by With Narrative. Tencel is largely made from beech-wood pulp and is fully biodegradable.
You’ll need layers, to pop in your bag during the day and put on when the sun goes down. I recommend bamboo leggings and a vest top, as bamboo is an eco-friendly alternative to cotton. Bamboo fibres are super-soft, and I love this Bamboo Cami (£13.95 in Black, White or Nude, sizes XS-L) and these Full Length Bamboo Leggings (£21.95 in Black, sizes XS-XL both gifted).
Why Not Borrow Kids Festival Essentials?
You can’t get more eco-friendly than borrowing things. If you have little ones, consider borrowing a wooden wagon to cart your kids around in? We borrowed this one from friends when we went to Latitude Festival a few years ago and it was ideal. They loved it and it also kept them dry when it started to rain.
I hope you’ve found my guide to having a more eco-friendly festival useful, why not Pin it for later?