Household > Recycling Rocks - The Green Festival Guide

Recycling Rocks - The Green Festival Guide

Eco Festivals

There are many eco festivals around, most towns and cities have some sort of small local eco festival. Eco festivals generally are about raising awareness on environmental issues, selling eco products, and promoting recycling. It also includes festivals who are attempting to be more environmentally friendly. 

Green Gathering 2012
2-5 August 2012
A family, camping event, for approximately 5,000 people.
4 days camping in a beautiful location on a traditional farming estate in West Berkshire.
Top entertainment powered by renewable energy, inspirational and informative workshops and speakers.
Ethical markets, organic catering, speakers & films, music & cabaret, healing and holistic therapies, esoteric alternatives, creative & energetic children’s area.
Play and learn together, relax and have fun!!

Croissant Neuf Summer Party 
10-12 August 2012
In 2009 and 2010, the Croissant Neuf Summer Party won the title of Greenest festival in the land at the UK Festival awards and in 2011, once again they were honoured - this time by winning a People and Environment Achievement award sponsored by Green Magazine and the Cooperative. This prestigious prize means that the festival is, without doubt, the greenest, cleanest and most sustainably innovative on the scene! This year they have been awarded the Green Parent Award.

The Croissant Neuf Summer Party is an intimate solar powered weekend of brilliant music, cabaret, food and family fun hosted by the legendary Croissant Neuf. This lovely new festival offers something for the whole family.

Croissant Neuf aim to make their festival the greenest by taking many actions including everything from LED lighting to planting 3 trees for every car which enters the festival.

To cut down on waste and keep their carbon footprint low, Croissant Neuf Summer Party issues all tickets electronically through WeGotTickets.

8-11 June 2012
Recycling really does rock at Download festival!
Download aim to be greener each year and run many initiatives such as money back for cups returned for recycling, a free can of beer for each bag of empty cans for recycling and prize draws for VIP upgrades for people travelling in full cars. Liftshare Schemes are also recommended.


Download working with Every Can Counts in 2012

Every Can Counts is a programme that encourages us all to recycle our drinks cans used outside the home.  

Following the success of last year, Download are working with Every Can Counts for a second year to get more cans recycled onsite. Over 3 tonnes of cans were collected for recycling at Download last year!

Last year included rewards for recycling cans, goals for prizes and even the chance to win a pair of tickets for Download 2012.  

Carbon Offsetting at Download
Download are encouraging attendees to help the environment by investing in environmental projects in schools around Donnington Park. An option to add 50p to ticket orders was available and this will go to a project thought up by one of the schools local to the festival.

Last year the money raised was used to build a garden area at Castle Donington Community College, along with providing environmental teaching resources.

The BBC previously did a feature on the eco efforts of Download, which included pedal bike-powered mobile charging stations, recycling stations, green toilets and a lift share scheme to name but a few. 

Back in 2013
Love the Farm, Leave No Trace.
The aim of organiser and farm owner Michael Eavis is to encourage festival goers to create a greener Glastonbury, travelling by public transport, aiming to get 40,000 people travelling to Glastonbury by coach and train – nearly a third of all Festival goers. Great new initiatives on recycling and more efficient ways of powering the festival activities have also being brought in.
The Green police were once again out in force at the Glastonbury Festival with their message: Use the toilets provided, Use the bins provided, and Use the Cigarette 'BUTT BINS'. Prompting festival goers to keep the festival clean and save the environment.
In the lead up and during the festival, organisers use a fleet of New Holland tractors, all capable of running on 100% biodiesel refined from used cooking oil sourced in the UK. These are also used during the festival to keep the site clean.
Glastonbury also have a Green Policy set up.

Shambala Festival 
23-27 August 2012
Award-winning festival.
Shambala recycle almost all waste, have invested in compost loos, use solar, wind & biodiesel, and carefully select traders and suppliers.
Anyone who buys tickets must sign up to a declaration to get involved, reduce rubbish, look after each other, buy local and help reduce their carbon footprint.
This year, there is a £10 Recycling Deposit per booking. At the festival, attendees exchange a green bag of recycling (and rubbish in a black bag) for either £10 cash back, or a festival pack with T-Shirt, CD, poster, calendar and more! See more about why Shambala are doing this here
In previous years, each attendee was be handed two bags to separate their recyclables from their non-recyclables. Shambala staff also provided information on recycling and waste management tips.
Vendors must use only biodegradable packaging made from corn starch, which will then be composted at local plants. Battery collections will also be available and this year everything Shambala makes, such as décor, sculptures and furniture will be kept and stored for the following year.
Last year Network Recycling UK helped Shambala to maintain their ‘Most Sustainable’ status.
Shambala have been encouraging folk to cycle to the event for many years, last year Shambala offered a free ticket to anyone who led a ride of 10 people or more to the event. Support packs were provided.
Shambala use biodiesel, wind & solar for 98% of site power! 

The Big Tent Festival 
21-22 July 2012
Scotland’s biggest eco-festival.
The Big Tent Festival returns from sabbatical in 2012, bigger, better and even greener.
Improvements this year will include installing compost toilets and solar showers, as well as looking at a range of other ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the festival.

Tent Pegs
A few years ago Glastonbury featured the first biodegradable tent pegs. The tent pegs were the creation of Michael Eavis (Event Organiser and farmer of Glastonbury) and Millets outdoor store. The tent pegs have been made up to replace the usual metal pegs, which were found to have a negative affect on the environment, when left in fields they ended up being chopped up by machinery – leaving sharp pieces of metal in the fields on which animals graze. The biodegradable pegs are made from natural materials derived from wheat and potatoes. The pegs can be left in the ground; they break down by microbes in soil and will have disintegrated within a few weeks.



Sky Blue Leisure

Ethical Superstore

Why not hire a tent from MyHab - they hire out cardboard tents which are made mostly from ultra-tough recycled plastic and water-proof cardboard - ensuring your green credentials remain intact while you and your kit stay safe and dry.

If you take your own tent and you no longer want it, or it is worn out, either take it back home to re-use or put in a textile recycling bank, or donate through the festival. Most festivals now donate left over tents to charities to house people in Africa. Tents which are left and thrown away end up going to landfill, causing further damage to the environment.

Global Hand support The Big Tent Recycle. The Big Tent Recycle is a campaign to encourage festival-goers to donate their tents and other camping items to charity.

The same applies with unwanted wellies. During previous years at Glastonbury, Frip Ethique, a unique partnership between ECT Recycling and Oxfam worked together to recycle left over equipment, along with wellies. The wellies are sorted then sent to Africa.

Please take litter home with you or use the recycling banks at the festivals.

Travel and Transport
Try to get to the festival by public transport, such as trains. Check National Rail to see details on journeys, times and prices.

If you must travel by car, try car sharing.

Car Sharing

The aim of Freewheelers is to reduce pollution by reducing car usage. By linking drivers and passengers to share the cost of travel it also saves you money. 

Liftshare also run the same type of scheme.


Eco Kits are available, providing all those little necessities to help you through the festival. 

Ecotopia have their version of what is needed to survive those summer festivals. 

Some other useful information can be found on our camping factsheet.

Extra Information 

A-Z of the perfect eco festival 

The Guardian online have some interesting articles on recent year’s festivals and the environmental efforts they made.

Hello Glastonbury! Are you ready to rock and recycle? 
Is it green to go to Glastonbury?

When the music's over...

Summer music festivals - a green guide

A Greener Festival is a website containing news, and information on every aspect of the impact different elements of festivals have on the environment. 

Be Green and HAVE FUN!!

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