How be sustainable at a music festival

June 18, 2018

A year ago today I was coming back home from one of the most incredible weekends of my life. I spent 5 days in a field in Delaware at Firefly Music Festival. It was entirely out of my perceived comfort zone, but I loved everything about it, from seeing 30+ artists to showering out of a watering can. Looking back though I created a lot of personal waste that was unnecessary. I had never been to a music festival before, and I wasn’t conscious of all the trash I was going to create. And trust me, music festivals generate A LOT of waste. I don’t think that means you should miss out on an incredible experience though. Instead, the music festival mentality needs to change, and it should start with the festival goers. By making conscious decisions to reduce your waste and impact at festivals, you will create a snowball effect like any other change out there. I decided to compile a list of things I wish I did last year to be more sustainable at my music festival experience for anyone considering going to a music festival but trying to do so responsibly.

Bring a water bottle

Ok, I did this one! And I was so happy I did, staying hydrated helped me last very long hot days in the fields. I brought my water bottle EVERYWHERE, it is a must, and so many festivals have water refill stations which save you money.

Bring zero waste snacks

Being lazy is not an excuse, but it’s all I got for why I didn’t make myself any snacks. If I had the chance to do it again, I would bring some homemade granola bars or baked goods. I lived on cereal, Scooby-Doo gummy snacks and chips. Not only do I wish I reduced my waste but would it have killed me to eat a little healthier??

Bring a solar paneled phone charger

Hey, we did this one! This was not my idea, but I am so happy someone else was planning. We would lay this bad boy out in the sun during the day it could charge a couple of phones at once. It was an absolute lifesaver instead of having to hang out around the charging station for a few hours.

Bring biodegradable cutlery

I am going, to be honest right now and say there was no way I was going to wash dishes at Firefly. My only option would have been to use the water refill station sinks, and that didn’t seem realistic. BUT  I wish I thought a little harder to find a better alternative. There are so many biodegradable cups, plates, and silverware out on the market now that are a much better option than single-use plastic.

Offset my carbon emissions

The reality is any festival you go to isn’t terrific for the environment. But, you can help the earth out a little bit by offsetting your carbon emissions (not sure what this means? I wrote a blog post about it that you could find here). What’s great about Firefly is that as you are buying your ticket, it gives you the option, for an additional price, to offset your carbon emissions. As a broke and stubborn college student I refused one more penny, but now that I know a little bit more of the shit show I am contributing to this Earth I wish I did my part and helped reduce the problem. They also offer a lot of other sustainability initiatives that I appreciated.

There are a lot of music festivals that are trying to be more eco-conscious and sustainable right now. I think the steps the festivals are making are significant and essential for setting up standards for the concert goers to follow. We need to create a community that strives to take care of the earth at these festivals.


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