Eco-friendly festival shopping

Happy Campers


Packing up your rucksack for a weekend of mud and music? Kirstin Innes writes you an eco-friendly festival shopping list

Never mind Kasabian at Connect or Shaky at Glasto, the real headliner at this year’s festivals is the environment, stupid. The ecological impact of 80,000-odd people producing a huge amount of concentrated waste is immense but festivals are offsetting the carbon emissions produced by flying in acts and setting up big stages. T in the Park, which in 2006 became the first official CarbonNeutral festival, is this year taking steps to diminish emissions. Here’s how festival-goers themselves can help:

Scrubbing up

Soap, shampoo and shower gel probably aren’t top of your festival shopping list, you mucky pups. However, T in the Park are asking any hygiene-conscious campers out there to bring only phosphate-free toiletries this year. Phosphates are a hot topic for environmental activists: if they get into a local water supply (such as the Loch Leven Conservation Area where T in the Park takes place), they can upset the balance of the whole area, killing wildlife and causing water stagnation.

Companies who produce phosphate-free toiletries include Lush and Faith in Nature, who also do a range of facial wipes. Something you definitely ought to pack is your own supply of toilet paper: just make sure it’s biodegradable, eh?

If it wisnae for yer wellies . . .

. . . where would you be? Laid up with a bad case of trench foot we suspect. The humble rubber boot has risen up to status symbol these days and as with all fashion items, has a short shelf life. Either ease your conscience by buying Dorothy Perkins’ Plant More Trees wellies, where £5 of the pricetag goes to the Woodland Trust who then plant a tree in the UK, or recycle: pack your old wellies off to Dunlop and they’ll mash ‘em up to make new ones. (Send to: Old Wellies, Dunlop Footwear Ltd, Hazeldene Road, Liverpool, L9 2BA)

Carry on (cardboard) camping

Concerned about the number of cheaply-bought, then abandoned tents ending up in landfill sites every year, young entrepreneur James Dunlop (he’s 24, you know) came up with MyHab. It’s essentially a cardboard tent, but incredibly durable, climate conditioned, water and drunkard-proof. It’s pre-erected for you in the cordoned off MyVillage area, the choicest bit of the campsite which boasts private hot showers and toilets, individual lockers and fitted bedding which is all later recycled by the company. Oh, and it costs £240 for a two-person ‘tent’.

The idea has attracted a fair bit of sneering, and is taken as further evidence of the yuppification of music festivals, but somebody’s certainly been buying into it. MyVillage at T in the Park has sold out, and veterans of The Great Connect Mudbath of ‘07 will be particularly tempted.


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