10 super simple ways to have a plastic free festival

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This summer's festivals are well underway and you're raring to go. But how can you make your festival weekender plastic free? 

We've got 10 super simple swaps and ideas so your weekend partying doesn't leave a trail of plastic destruction.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 23 July 2018


More than 60 festivals in the UK have signed up to being plastic free by 2021, but we as individual festival goers have as big a part to play in reducing the single use plastic we get through over a weekend. 

There's never been an easier time to ditch the single use, with tons of plastic free alternatives widely available.

We've worked with Friends of the Earth to put together your quick guide to having an awesome plastic free festival.

10 ways to have a plastic free festival

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 with 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.

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.

Ditch the single use cup 

The morning caffeine kick is an essential part of a festival but don't add to the billions of throwaway cups we get through each year. Avoid single use coffee cups by bringing a reusable cup along with you for the dawn coffee run. This is our favourite one.

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 buns, or just add a bit to your face, this biodegradable alternative is a better choice. We're loving Boho Dust, a fab eco glitter brand.

Festival Of Thrift Pebble Magazine2

Sustainable focused Festival of Thrift is all about going plastic free

Festival of Thrift

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. We love this one from Patagonia that packs down super small.

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. 

Our favourite plastic free water bottles are here.

Pack a bamboo toothbrush

There are a number of bamboo - and therefore biodegradable options - from Mable to subscription based We Are Bristle in the UK. Look for ones which have nylon or BPA free bristles.

Sadly, we can’t get away from plastic bristles but you can do your bit to stop plastic toothbrushes ending up in the sea - which is where 80% of them end up - and most people use 300 in their lifetime - that’s 3.6 billion sold globally every year.

Use your own cutlery

Avoid having to use disposable plastic cutlery by investing in your own simple cutlery kit - there are some beautiful wooden or bamboo ones available, in little cloth pouches - which weigh next to nothing.

Stash them in the bottom of your bag, along with a pair of wooden chopsticks and you’ll be good to go.

Swap your lipbalm

Say hello to the magical Green Fairy lip balm from MOA. This eco-friendly, ethical skincare brand uses Absinthe and yarrow extract as the key ingredients for this duo hand and lip balm. Organic, vegan-friendly and soothing, it comes in a recyclable steel pot (and won't give you a hangover).

Choose a natural deodorant

Yes we know those tents can get pretty smelly after a couple of days - as can you in the heat and no one wants that. Invest in a natural deodorant - like this award-winning one from Awake Organics - which works just as hard and will keep you just as fresh, but it comes in a glass jar and you won't want to ditch it come Monday morning.

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

Come find other people who care about going plastic free

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