Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect is a behavior policy all ravers are expected to adopt the minute they set foot in the festival venue. Treating others with kindness is part of the reason why raves are so popular and loved, but the gesture should be spread to the environment just as much as it is to the other festival-goers.
Staying green at raves doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You may feel overwhelmed or confused on where to start, but don’t fret—there are easy ways to begin your habit of respecting the space you’re raving in. Here are four simple ways you can stay eco-friendly at festivals:
Start your festival adventure off on the right foot before even arriving at the venue. Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest environmental issues that are affiliated with music festivals. According to the Association of Independent Festivals, "more than 66% of people travel to their festival of choice by car, with more people than ever traveling in a car of two or fewer people."
If you choose to take your own car to the venue, strongly consider carpooling with other attendees. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but now you have a car full of ravers pitching in for gas money, sharing the excitement on the way to the show, and jamming out to your favorite songs along the way. If you have the option, use public transportation, rideshare, or shuttle services as your mode of transportation. Not only would you be greatly helping the environment, but think about how much faster you’ll get to the venue without traffic!
Glitter is now engrained in rave fashion culture, and probably permanently ingrained in every part of your life as it sticks with you. If you’re one of the many ravers that finds glitter popping up in your car, bathroom, bed, and somehow in your hair, you should know first hand at how durable it is. These little sparkling flakes may make your outfit pop and face shine, but it is still a microplastic and very damaging to the environment. Glitter is commonly eaten by fish, plankton, and birds—which then ends up in the food you eat.
If getting rid of glitter is where you draw the line, good news! Biodegradable glitter is the perfect accessory to add the finishing touches on any festival fit. This beauty product will fully biodegrade in both wastewater and marine water environments, in the presence of heat, water, oxygen, and microorganisms. Check out the different shades of biodegradable glitter iHeartRaves has to offer!
Wouldn’t it be great to re-wear those gem pasties or third eye jewels that you were complimented on all night? A great way of saving the planet and your paycheck is reusing face and body jewels. Just bring in a small bag or the packaging the jewels came with to save them if you tend the take them off before getting back to your home or hotel. A lot of these jewels can easily be worn a second or third time by applying eyelash glue to add a little extra stick.
You know that feeling of walking away from the last set of the night, when you’re over the moon satisfied of the incredible experience you just had dancing to your favorite artists and meeting new friends, only to be disappointed by seeing the heaps of garbage being kicked around as everyone shuffles out of the venue? Instead of just feeling guilt, take action and pick up a few pieces of trash to throw away on your way out. Lost Lands 2019 held the Safari Trash Party, an incredible way to clean up the trash littering festival grounds at the end of the night. Ravers were given trash bags and if they filled theirs to the top they won special Excision bandanas and pins. While this large scale clean up might not be present at every festival, the mentality can be adopted and incorporated in very simple ways.
Just about every festival now has just as many recycle bins as regular trash bins. It’s not hard to choose to throw your can or bottle in the correct bin, but quite a few people aren’t informed on what can be considered recyclable. You can recycle plastics cups and bottles, paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, and (if the festival you’re at has them) glass bottles.
A good way to limit trash from piling up on the ground is to incorporate regular clean up during your entire festival experience. Whenever you leave a stage or resting spot, pick up two pieces of trash off the ground and throw them away in their appropriate bins.
Reduce and Reuse
A great way to limit the amount of trash you create is to not create any at all! If you have the option to bring in a hydration pack or refillable water bottle into the event, it can help keep trash off the ground and money in your pocket. Need a hydration pack for your next event? iHeartRaves has your covered with their assortment of fashionable packs.
Do you find yourself revisiting the drink booths throughout the day? Instead of adding more plastic cups to your trash count, keep the same container to bring back up to the bartender for your next beverage. It’s a great simple way to stay environmentally conscious while not limiting your partying plans.
These simple tips can easily be adopted into your festival experience and start to make a huge difference to helping maintain the environment we love to rave in. It’s more important now than ever to help save our earth and do our part to recover from the environmental crisis we’re currently in. Burning Man does not have to be the only event with a “Leave No Trace” policy. We can all do our part to show love to music, each other, and the planet.
Do you have any additional tips on how to be more eco-friendly at festivals? Let us know in the comments!