Sustainable tips when attending summer events and festivals

Annika Collins 

June 25, 2024

Summer has come, which means it’s festival season! From the rolling hills of Glastonbury to the coastal charm of Boardmasters, these events offer unforgettable experiences. However, they can unfortunately also leave a significant impact on the environment. We should all learn to enjoy these gatherings sustainably by making sensible choices.

The recycle-more team is here to help! We have pulled together some practical tips and advice to ensure your festival season is eco-friendly and just as much fun.

Festival camping 

  • Go for quality: Invest in a durable, good quality tent that can withstand multiple festival seasons
  • Choose second hand: Check platforms like eBay, Freecycle, or local charity shops for pre-loved tents
  • Avoid single-use tents: Many festivals are cracking down on abandoned tents. Take yours home and reuse it, or pass it on or sell it if you decide camping isn’t for you
  • Camp considerately: Pack up all your belongings and rubbish, leaving the grounds as you found them

Green travel

  • Trains and buses: Use public transport options where you can, to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Car share: If you must drive, share the journey, as well as the cost with friends or fellow festival goers
  • Bike friendly festivals: Some festivals, like Shambala, encourage cycling with secure bike parks and available cycling routes

Sustainable eating and drinking 

  • Bring your own: Pack a reusable water bottle, cutlery, and food containers to avoid single-use plastics and littering
  • Reusable cups: Many festivals now have reusable cup systems for drinks. But you can still bring your own to cut down on unnecessary waste
  • Farmers’ markets: Some festivals feature local produce stalls. Buying locally reduces food miles and supports sustainable farming practices

Recycling and reducing waste

  • Recycling points: Familiarise yourself with the festival’s recycling points and ensure you separate and dispose of your waste correctly
  • Compostable waste: Use compost bins for food scraps and biodegradable items
  • Packaging: Choose products with minimal or recyclable packaging

Clothing and equipment

  • Second hand: Want the festival look? Thrift shops and vintage stores are gold mines for unique festival outfits
  • Sustainable brands: Support brands that prioritise ethical manufacturing and sustainable materials
  • Repair kits: A small sewing kit can help you fix minor clothing tears or tent mishaps, reducing the need for replacements
  • Planning: Plan what you need to take. This will help reduce the need to take too much and will make packing up easier. It will also avoid having to buy items you already have at home


With a bit of planning you can enjoy festival season while significantly reducing your environmental impact. Please remember to take everything home with you leaving no trace you were there. Be mindful that animals and wildlife will use the land once you are back home, and waste will have a negative impact if left!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Annika Collins, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.