Over the last few years we’ve got rid of allllmost all our single-use plastic (we’re still coming for you, cable ties) and managed to halve our festival fuel consumption. Each year we measure our impact against the high standards set by the good people at A Greener Festival, and what we learn then feeds into improvements for the next festival.
Want to learn more about what we’re doing this year and how you can help us? Read on…
Eat. Sleep. Refill. Repeat.
The future is all about refilling and re-using, so from 2020 we’ll have two prices for hot drinks in our café: the price for the drink and then an additional charge if you need a disposable cup. There will be a handy cup wash station next to the Tank café to make using your own cup nice and easy too.
A water bottle and re-useable coffee cup are essential kit for Greenbelt, so make sure you bring yours. We are single-use plastic bottle free, but there are lots of free drinking water refill stations.
Pay a £2 deposit for your Green Cup when you buy your first drink in the Jesus Arms or Blue Nun. Then you can use that same cup all weekend for refills, or swap it for a clean one with your next drink. Whichever you decide, when you give back your cup you’ll get your £2 deposit back.
This is the big one. It’s also arguably the most difficult, given the state of our public transport system. It won’t happen overnight either, but almost three quarters of the festival footprint comes from everyone travelling to and from it, so getting out of our cars is crucial.
For those taking the train, the site is only a few miles from Kettering train Station and we run a shuttle bus service all across the weekend from station to site. And for those intrepid explorers arriving by bike, there will be places to lock your bicycles up.
If you’re driving see if you can give fellow Greenbelters a lift. Go Car Share is a simple way to get a lift to the festival if you haven’t got a car, or team up with people in your area to reduce the amount of vehicles you bring to the festival.
In 2019 we asked you to offset your travel. A third of you did and you balanced an amazing 209,853 miles – the equivalent to a whopping 61,004 kg of CO2. We’d love to see that at least double for 2020. You can work out your festival footprint here and offset it easily through Ecolibrium.
Be (non-plastic) fantastic
We have a list of plastics still to replace and we’re working on it. We’ve already achieved a lot. Last year we even replaced the plastic in our wristbands with compostable, beautiful ones made from bamboo.
There’s no plastic in any of the food and drinks packaging or cutlery provided by our caterers, and our bars have re-useable cups. Plastic bottles are gone, and we have eco-glitter to bring the sparkle, made from cellulose.
Where once we used plastic tape to mark out areas of the site, now we use coloured ropes. Signs that were single-use are now made of metal and designed to last. Tea bags, that quintessentially English thing, come from Clipper and Tea Pigs and are plastic-free.
Recycle the lot
At Greenbelt our vision is to recycle 100% of all our waste. We’re not there yet but we’re on the way. All the cups, plates, containers and cutlery onsite are compostable — so you can put them, and any uneaten food or drinks, straight into our new food waste bins.
All the recycling bins are clearly labelled with what they’re for. Make sure you put your waste in the correct bins. Please sort your campsite waste, too (using bags from the utility points).
There are large pens throughout the campsite for you to leave rubbish and recycling. You can also get colour coded bags to sort your own recycling and waste. We’re also giving everyone food waste bags in 2020 for you to use and return before you leave.
We even use recycled tents. Our main pre-erected tent contractor is Camplight, who reclaim and recondition the best tents left behind by festival goers and then give them another life by renting them out again.
Give your grub away
Waste not want not. Rather than taking home tins of beans you haven’t used, why not donate your spare long-life food to the nearby Kettering food bank? You can drop donations off at the campsite office from Monday lunchtime until 11am on Tuesday. In 2019 Greenbelters donated a whopping 1.4m tonnes of food. Thank you so much.
Leave no trace
Please leave the site as you find it. Take all your rubbish and belongings with you. We’re proud of how pristine Greenbelters leave the site (the owners of Boughton love it too). We think we might be the tidiest festival on the planet. Please help us keep it that way.
How we measure up
We’re delighted to have won the Community Action Award at the International AGF Awards 2020, in addition to our Highly Commended award from A Greener Festival in 2019. Our hard work is paying off but there’s still plenty to do though, and that’s why we’re proud supporters of Festival Vision 2025.
In 2016 we signed the Festival Vision 2025 pledge to cut our carbon footprint in half by the middle of this decade. We also pledged to reduce our diesel consumption by 50% and achieve recycling rates of over 50%. We hit the diesel reduction target in 2019, and supercharging our recycling rate is our next big focus.