Zero Waste Festivals

How to be zero waste at a festival 

I'm not a big festival go-er personally I prefer the small local festivals where it's a smaller community with local food and local bands. The Tandem Festival was just this. 

Being zero waste at a festival is slightly more challenging than camping. You need to take into account food, drink and clothes. Like most ZW solutions it's all in the planning. 

Essential list: 

Lunch box 

Spoon, folk and knife 


Draw string bag 

Sleeping bag 



Snacks e.g flapjack 

Food (see below for more) 

Water bottle (preferable metal double lined) 

Cup (metal if possible) 


ZW toilet paper 

Clothes (with lots of layers) 


Make up remover cloth 


Out of all of this list the lunch box was easily my favourite item, most mornings I love a big bowl of porridge! It gets me going for the day. Luckily at this festival they had a food trucks, one sold a lovely big bowl of porridge. They were selling them in either plastics tubs (yucky!) or cardboard tubs for a bigger option. With my handy lunch box I could just ask them to put the porridge in it and wash it out after, bobs your uncle! 

Making ZW snacks can be a lifesaver because it stops 'hangryness' for this festival I made flapjacks, brought nuts, dried fruit and fruit. It's often a struggle to bring ZW snacks that last the whole 4 days, but flapjack can do just that plus it's a great slow releasing energy booster. 

Because I was travelling to the festival by train being light weight was essential and carrying lots of ZW essentials can weight you down, that's why I chose not to take any ready made meals with me they would weigh me down and also take up a lot of rucksack space. This mean I spent more at the festival but with a lunch box to put food in it didn't make any negative impact on the environment. 

Water bottles are great at festivals! Especially with a karabina, that way you can clip it to you the whole day and it's easily accessible. I opted for a double lined metal bottle because then in the morning you can have tea or coffee from the same bottle.

A cup is great for alcohol, it's re-fillable and if you choose a metal one very it's light and easy to clean. 

They even used hay bales for toilets!

They even used hay bales for toilets!

Soap is a must if your staying for more than one night, I know lots of people at festivals often don't shower and use baby wipes. But think of what all those wasted baby wipes will be doing to our poor planet. I opted for soap it's great to wash not only yourself but also clothes just in case! Plus the shampoo soap from Lush washes everything, its light weight and compact. Using my bottle I often used that to shower (as the queue was so big) with the soap I didn't have a need for baby wipes. 

The Tandem festival was great at recycling and toilet waste, but a lot of festivals struggle with this aspect. I recommend bringing at least one roll of compostable toilet paper (Who gives a crap) that way at least you know your paper will degrade quicker. 

Charlotte discovered this make up remover cloth, it gets rid of make up without an moisturiser. It's pure genius apparently the fibers in the cloth are so small they remove make up, you just need a dab of water to wash it off. 

Finally I know festivals are all about letting loose and going a bit wild! Me and Charlotte have yet to discover ZW condoms but often these are a must so for now I recommend Durex but we will keep looking for them. 

Happy camping! 

Health and Fitness Photographer