As music festivals are beginning to make their long-awaited return, you may find yourself wanting to get in on the action. With great music, lots of jumping and dancing, and all-around good vibes, how can you not? But with an estimated 32 million people going to at least one U.S. music festival each year, now’s the opportunity to make festivals fun and sustainable.
From bringing your own reusable bottle to thrifting your festival fits, there are plenty of ways you can better the planet while fully taking part in the festival experience. Oftentimes, these sustainable swaps make your life easier, too—not to mention benefit your bank account.
So, what are you waiting for? Here’s what to know before booking your next event.
5 Ways to Make Music Festivals More Sustainable
1. Use a More Sustainable Mode of Transportation
As you prepare to leave for your music festival, look into a more eco-friendly mode of transportation. If you’re planning on going with a group of friends, try carpooling instead of meeting up there. Or, check to see if any public transportation is available that will get you there without having to deal with (or pay for!) parking.
2. Bring Your Reusables
With all the dancing you’ll inevitably be doing, you’re going to need some water to stay hydrated. Instead of purchasing water at the festival, which often comes in a single-use plastic bottle, bring your own reusable bottle. And if you’re checking out the food vendors, you could also bring along some reusable utensils from home. That way, there’s no need to use the disposable plastic ones they give out.
Some music festivals are making it easier to be sustainable, too. Take Lollapalooza, for example. This year, PATH is its official water refill partner. Attendees can use the custom reusable PATH x Lollapalooza bottle to stay hydrated instead of going through multiple single-use plastic options.
3. Get Creative with Your Festival Outfits
Getting tickets to a new festival might make you want to buy an entirely new outfit. Instead of impulse buying something you may only wear once, get creative with the pieces you already have in your closet. There’s likely an endless amount of items you can mix and match to create cute new fits.
If there are parts of your festival outfit that you’re missing, you could also hit up a local thrift store or thrift for clothing online. There’s a good chance you’ll find exactly what you need secondhand.
4. Don’t Leave Your Tent Behind
According to the Association of Independent Festivals, thousands of pounds of waste are generated each year from people leaving their tents behind. If you’re planning on bringing a tent with you to your music festival, remember to pack it up and bring it back home when it’s over. Even if it’s broken and in need of some repairs. Abandoned tents only have one next stop: the landfill.
5. Seek Out Meatless Options
If there are meatless dishes available from vendors at the music festivals you attend, give them a try. According to Blue Zones, even eating one plant-based meal a day can make an impact, cutting your carbon and water footprint. You could even split options with friends, with some of you grabbing plant-based goodies and others getting typical festival go-tos.
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