Festival-goers often leave mounds of rubbish behind.
By SHELBY BROOKS
With Groovin’ the Moo hitting Bendigo tomorrow, it’s time for festival-goers to start thinking about how they can go green and still have a wild time.
Australians love going to music festivals, but after the show is over, all you can see is the carpet of bottles, cans, glitter and other rubbish they left behind.
Music festivals’ negative impact on the environment is old news, but there are plenty of things patrons can do to lessen their environmental footprint.
Amie Green, co-director of A Greener Festival, a not-for-profit organisation that helps festivals reduce their environmental impact, said there there were three changes festival-goers could make to be more eco-friendly.
“Music festivals tend to be a place of hedonism where single-use, cheaply made disposable items rule,” Ms Green said.
“When people are out of their comfort zones – their homes – we have a greater ability to introduce new norms and invite change.”
1. Save money and go public
Ms Green said patrons getting to and from the event accounted for nearly 70 per cent of a festival’s total emissions.
“By far the largest emitter of carbon for a festival is the way that the patrons visit it,” Ms Green said.
“One of the biggest things they could do to reduce their environmental impact is to take public transport or allocated coaches to the event.”
The benefit of public transport is no designated driver, a relaxed ride and no long queue to leave the event.
Groovin’ the Moo has buses and trains to Bendigo from Federation Square and Southern Cross Station.
2. Splurge a little, it’s worth it
“The No.2 thing patrons could do to reduce their impact would be to invest in good quality camping equipment that they can use year on year,” Ms Green said.
She said cheap gazebos and folding camping chairs were often broken and left behind at festivals and the raw materials were hard to reuse.
“We see literally thousands of those discarded after each event,” she said.
More expensive camping gear tends to be more durable and comfortable, and will not end up in landfill as quickly as cheaper gear.
3. Be realistic about your diet
A festival diet tends to consists of beer, chips and some more beer.
Ms Green recommended being honest with yourself about what kind of food you might actually eat at the festival.
“The third biggest impact is food waste,” Ms Green said.
She said rotten fruit and vegetables and unopened tinned goods made a huge contribution to landfill waste at festivals.
“Very often we see a lot of food coming out of the campsites that is uneaten.”
The problem with food waste is not just that it ends up in landfill, the production and transportation of food requires a lot of energy, all which goes to waste if that food is not consumed.
Money for cans
This year as part of their Greening the Moo initiative, GTM have introduced a recycling scheme. For every can you pick up and bring to the bar you get $1 cash and you can return up to four cans at time.
With festival drink prices hitting students harder than the rest, this could be just the trick to saving a bit of cash over the weekend.