One of the biggest challenges we face is the amount of waste left in the campsites - we’ve all seen the disaster-zone style photos of campsites looking like landfill sites covered in broken plastic airbeds, half eaten food in plastic wrappers and cheap flooded tents that have only been used once...
Unfortunately, landfill or incineration is where most of this will go - tents are multi-material so practically impossible to recycle.
In our 'Your City, Your Say' survey - 12% of those who left their tent said it was because they thought it would go to charity. Unfortunately leaving your tent is not a charitable manoeuvre.
We do have charities and salvage teams on site but they simply do not have the manpower to collect, clean, sort and use all the tents that are left. Additionally, a lot of the cheap tents that are brought to site in the first place are not made to last so are not much use to the charities anyway!
The money we spend on the clear up could be re-invested in better sustainable initiatives to help everyone to lower their impact even more!
How can you make a difference?
There are heaps of things you can do to make it easier for you to leave no trace, here are a few ideas...
✔ Only bring what you really, really, really need. If you pack light it will not only be easier on Monday but you’ll also get through the searches at the gates quicker! Check out our Boomtown packing list for guidance.
✔ Invest in your tent - don’t bring a rubbish tent that won’t last, not only is it unlikely to keep you warm or dry in bad weather, but many of the super cheap ones don’t even last the weekend. Tents are not supposed to be single-use items :( If you don’t want to fork out on a good one, think about borrowing one or getting one-second hand.
✔ Share resources! Lighten the load and share tents and equipment with your pals - teamwork makes the dream work.
✔ OR cut the hassle and choose to book pre-pitched accommodation so that you don’t have to bring or take home a tent at all. We have loads of different options to suit all budgets.
✔ Tidy up as you go along! General rubbish and recycling bags are available at the campsite hubs so grab some as soon as you arrive and keep your campsite clean for a speedy exit on Monday.
If you already knew all of this and your campsite is a shining example of leaving no trace, then we salute you!!
What we need now is your help as a campaigner...
✔ Help us to debunk the myth that leaving your tent is a charitable move and spread the word about how they can't be recycled. Encourage your friends to invest in better tents or think about borrowing one for the festival. Share our posts on the subject and shout about it as much as you can! Make sure to encourage your campmates to pack them up on Monday or even give them a hand...
This is our main focus for this year and it will take all of us working together to create positive change!
What we’re doing...
✔ Developing the eco bond scheme to make it easier for everyone to recycle their campsite waste (more info coming soon!)
✔ Recruiting a very large green team who will be available to educate, help and motivate to make our environment a more pleasant place to enjoy
✔ Improving the campsite hub visibility for information and help
✔ Continuing to work with Eco Rangers, Every Can Counts and BUTTRFLY to increase environmental awareness
✔ Plus lots more still to be announced...