Eco-friendly campingEthical Travel News & Features
The festival and holiday season is here and lots of us will be dusting off our tents and heading for a green adventure in the great outdoors.
Nothing beats getting back to Nature and out into the fresh air, but it seems that not all campers or festival-goers are as green as they could be.
5 Shades of Green – Visit Good Energy’s Green Valley to leave Valley Fest 2015 a greener version of yourself
Good Energy has teamed up with organic festival Valley Fest (28-30 August), which will take place on organic land in the heart of the Chew Valley this August Bank holiday.
If people switch to Good Energy quoting ‘ValleyFest15’ before 5pm on Friday 21 August, they’ll get £50 off a ticket for this year’s Valley Fest and £50 off next year’s ticket, too – once their energy supply has gone live.
Until Friday, Good Energy is also giving people the chance to win the ultimate ‘glamping’ experience – worth up to £860! The prize includes four tickets to Valley Fest and a luxury 5m bell tent for the weekend of the festival. Click here or call 0800 254 0000 for more.
Waste and washing
Did you know that it costs Glastonbury Festival around £780,000 per year to dispose of all the waste that’s left behind?
According to research carried out by green energy company Good Energy, over a quarter (26%) of those surveyed said that they would consider leaving behind a tent after going camping or at a festival.
The renewable electricity company also found that a sizeable 64% confessed they would think about using the great outdoors for a call of Nature, while 40% would also contemplate sharing a shower with a partner, friend or even a stranger to save on water.
‘It’s surprising just how much rubbish people leave behind when camping or at a festival. Even some of the ‘greenest’ campers leave behind a bigger footprint than from their own walking boots or wellies.
‘Whether you’re a camping professional or a bit of a novice, we’ve put together a simple list of handy eco-friendly camping tips that’ll help make your trip this year as green as the scenery around you.’
Kate Turner, Good Energy’s Efficiency Advisor
Good Energy’s tips
Think about your journey
Before arriving at your chosen destination, one of the greenest steps you can take is to think carefully about your journey and how you are travelling there.
According to festival charity Energy Revolution, travel makes up around 70% of a festival’s carbon footprint; while driving might seem like the easy option, a much better alternative is to travel by public transport.
As well as burning a lot less fuel and helping to protect the environment, it’ll also save you time and the hassle of traffic and parking.
If driving is an absolute must, try to share transport with others to make the most out of any carload. If you need a lift or you’ve got some empty seats, check out GoCarShare.com which helps travellers share journeys all over the UK. Create a request, enter your details and off you go!
Buy eco-friendly or second hand
If you’re not an avid camper or regular festival-goer, don’t feel like you have to buy lots of new camping equipment. A much greener option is to look for backpacks, tents and other essentials at second-hand stores and charity shops – or see what you can find on useful recycling websites such as Freecycle, Freegle, PreLoved and Gumtree.
If you’re happier sleeping under the stars, companies like Green Outdoor are perfect places for buying sustainable camping equipment. From tents made from recycled plastic bottles to sleeping bags made out of environmentally friendly material, there are lots of green options available.
Put the gadgets down
Unplug and go greener by leaving all your electronic devices at home – particularly ones that use batteries or that need to charge in the car. For essential kit, get hold of a small solar powered charger.
Solar lanterns and solar jars are good substitutes for gas or electric lamps. Torches, radios and phone chargers now also come in small lightweight wind-up versions, too.
Reuse dishes and cutlery
It might be tempting to use disposable plates, cups and cutlery at every mealtime when you’re camping or at a festival. However, not only do disposables cost a lot more than taking reusable items, in the long run they’re also more harmful to the environment, too.
If you don’t fancy taking your china or silverware on holiday, a variety of other greener products is available. Lightweight titanium plates, reusable water bottles, foldable tupperware and compact cutlery are on sale at most outdoor shops, take up virtually no space and can be reused time and time again.
Take your rubbish with you
By keeping a bin bag in your tent you can keep the field tidy for the next round of visitors, it’ll also make getting rid much easier, too.
Ditch the bottled water
It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated when out walking the country lanes or at a hectic festival. Rather than bringing mountains of bottled water with you, get an eco-friendly flask and refill it on site instead.
By using water from the taps provided, you can also help save water when showering and washing the dishes, too. However always remember to use organic soaps and shampoo and to tip waste water onto dry ground to prevent contaminating any surrounding streams or rivers.
Click here for more information about switching to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity.