Summer of loving the planet: Friends of the Earth’s guide to plastic-free festivals

Hundreds of thousands of us will be heading to festivals this summer. Many festivals have been making commitments to cut down on plastic pollution, but going plastic-free while camping out in a field far from home can be a challenge.
  23 Jul 2018    |      3 min

Friends of the Earth’s team of hardened festival goers has pulled together a guide on swapping single-use plastic waste for some easy eco-friendly festival bliss.

  1. Plastic-free wet wipe shower. Try ditching throw-away wet wipes for a simple flannel and water. You can even make your own wipes by soaking squares of fabric (an old t-shirt will do) in boiling water, aloe vera, witch hazel, castille soap and essential oil. These will last the whole weekend in a sealable lunchbox and can be washed and reused.
  2. DIY dry shampoo. You can use simple cocoa powder instead of dry shampoo –it makes a good cuppa and your hair looks great. If you're blonde you can use arrowroot.
  3. Eco-friendly sparkle. This summer, instead of plastic glitter, swap to eco glitter, made from plant cellulose and a small amount of aluminium. Whether you're brave enough to try 2018's festival trend the glitter bum, or just add a bit to your face, this biodegradable alternative is a better choice.
  4. Ditch the single use cup. A morning caffeine kick is an essential part of a festival. Avoid single use coffee cups by bringing a reusable cup along with you for the coffee cart. You could save yourself some money too by gathering your friends around the camping stove and making your own pot of coffee or tea.
  5. Avoid the plastic poncho. Battling the rain is all part of the festival experience (if the heatwave ever ends, anyway). Rather than a flimsy, plastic poncho get yourself a proper waterproof cagoule or pack-a-mac that will be ready to serve you in rainstorms for years to come.
  6. Bring a bottle. Staying hydrated at a festival is hugely important. The convenience of a plastic bottle can be tempting but you can avoid a huge amount of plastic pollution by bringing a reusable bottle along to fill up at the water points. Site staff may ask you to empty a bottle before bringing it on site.

Friends of the Earth has been sending its plastic-free team to festivals this summer, appearing at Lovebox and Citadel to hand out bamboo toothbrushes and eco-friendly glitter. The next stop is Wilderness Festival (2-5 August).