Nu’s Simple Guide to Living Your Best Sustainable Festival Life
Which for the hippie inside all of us roughly translates to festival season. We’re arguably the luckiest generation of festival goers so far with so much choice of music, theatre, poetry and comedy acts available to see in so many pockets of the world. Unfortunately, with fun, popular things like festivals this brings damage to the environment through pollution and waste and also brings about stress and money being put into finding clothes and accessories which may only be worn once. Fortunately for you, you’ve got us to give you a few simple tips to reduce these problems without affecting your festival Queeeen aesthetic.
We all know glitter is the most important accessory at festivals and arguably most social occasions. However, as most glitter is made of plastic (worst realisation of 2018) it is damaging to the environment and can harm wildlife. There is of course always an alternative and there are biodegradable glitters being produced (best realisation of 2018). Ecoglitterfun.com, ecostardust.com and wildglitter.com all sell environmentally friendly glitter perfect for festivals!
The one issue I’ve found is that they do tend to be more expensive than what we’re used to for a smaller amount of glitter. So, as fun as it is, I’ve had to stop my tendency of applying glitter to everyone’s face/body I come in contact with as if I’m the festival’s most sought after MUA and restrict it solely to people I am passionate about.
Still, would definitely recommend giving it a go, blow it on your face, paint it through your eyebrows and lips, dip it on your nails and I promise you’ll feel all the better for it.
Love Island has taught us, hydration is hot.
When camping in a small tent for a few days water is definitely going to be one of your best friends. Most festivals and campsites do have drinking water fountains widely accessible so there’s no need for the litres of plastic water bottles littering your campsite.
Bring your own reusable water bottle (the amazing different types available deserve their own post), fill up a cheeky hipflask or using a foldable bottle. My favourite idea is definitely the foldable bottle. They're pretty inexpensive and can be squashed into a bumbag, what else would you want? Water bottle slings are definitely up there too like this Stela 9 one but can be hard to find if you’re not finding yourself in a different continent.
A similar theme is that of reusable cutlery and of course.... straws. The plastic straw debate has been heating up recently as critics of the ban have argued that many people rely on plastic straws and the alternatives may also be harmful to the environment.
At the end of the day it’s a long weekend and if you don’t want your glitter lipstick to smudge and want to cut down on your single-use plastic I would recommend reusable straws. Paper ones aren’t fab once wet (although they do look cool) and glass ones can break easily, so stainless steel or metal ones may be your best bet for a festival. Check out this foldable straw! Don’t make the mistake I did and miss the colour selection part of checking out therefore accidentally buying 3 grey ones or if you do sure stick some ecoglitter on and carry on.
To add to the eco-friendly collection building up in your bumbag, I would recommend bringing some reusable cutlery too. At the last festival I went to, I may or may not have had 4 Boojums (amazing Mexican food for the unfortunate people who are yet to experience it) in 3 days, so I am very much of the opinion that one of the best parts of a festival is the range of food trucks available.
The downside is the hard-to-use horrible plastic forks that come with some of these food trucks. Bringing your own could significantly improve your binge. Even if you bring reusable plastic cutlery it’s better for the environment than the single-use plastics and is light and easy to carry around.
Even if you don’t think you’re creative enough to make your own clothes or accessories or aren’t as lucky as me to have a talented friend who can craft flower headbands (if you’re reading this I promise I will pay you back one day) upcycling your own clothes in to festival-ready creations can be very simple!
Whether you’re throwing some studs onto an old bumbag, ironing on badges or clipping material on to the back of an old denim jacket (again thank you to another talented friend for showing me this trick) I promise upcycling is very doable even for the uncoordinated among us. A big part of festival style is being out there and wearing the bizarre, unique things that you feel comfortable in so the weirder the better.
I can never over-emphasise the effectiveness of searching for second-hand items! Trawling around charity shops can seem tiring and a bit hit and miss but honestly, the best colourful jackets and patterned shirts have been found in these shops and if you spend some time in there you’re guaranteed to find something affordable and different.
If you’re as blessed as me to have parents born in the 50s their wardrobe will also be a treasure chest of festival potentials. From fringed suede jackets to beaded tops to versatile scarves there will definitely be something you can use... so get searching!
Lastly, of course, The Nu wardrobe is available and filled with unique festival ready clothes you can easily borrow! Check out what other Nu members are sharing and show some outfits a good time. If you have some pieces that have been sitting in the back of your wardrobe, why not share them too?
All of these options bring something unique to your festival look at a minimal cost to your bank balance and the environment, and of course tell a story, which is what’s it’s all about really.
There’s still over a month of summer festivals to go so get planning and embrace the free-spirited sustainable hippie inside you that you’ve always wanted to be, good luck!
If you would like any more information or further details on any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact: [email protected]