Food & Water

Resources

– Good Food for Festivals Guide (PDF); produced by our friends at Sustain.

– Good Food Guide for Festival & Street Food Caterers (PDF); produced by our friends at Sustain.

– ‘Food, Food, Glorious Food’ (PDF); we will become what we eat. An article by Hannah Claxton.

– ‘The Basics’ (PDF); a simple guide to water sustainability by Stew Denny.

– Thoughts on Grey Water (PDF); an essay by David Wick from Spiral Sun Solar Showers.

– Environmental Legislation (PDF); a factsheet produced by our own Ben Challis.
www.wateraid.org – EXTERNAL LINK: WaterAid Website

www.belu.org – EXTERNAL LINK: Belu have a passion for pure water! Their bottled water (sourced in Wales) is contained in compostable bottles (made from corn) and 100% of the company’s profits go towards clean water projects in Mali & India.

Water is Life

Festivals, particularly those lasting for a number of days can use considerable amounts of water. This may be through showers, drinking taps and wash basins, as well as water provided for catering etc. The environmental effects of festivals with regard to water could be in the form of unnecessary wasted water, poor disposal of waste water, and potential pollution of water courses.

Festival organisers might consider:

  • Encourage festival goers to minimise water wastage. Use taps which turn of automatically when not in use, e.g. pump powered taps.
  • Ensure traders use only eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Provide waste water containers so that contaminated water is not poured on the floor.
  • Consider water conditioning to minimise detergent requirements and have a positive impact through the water that it used on site. Check out Dileka.
  • Source bottled water from ethical sources – and preferably local sources. Check out FRANK WATER.
  • Consider water recycling to reduce the draw from mains supplies. There are now modular systems available to hire for temporary events which can turn waste water in to non potable water during the event. There are onsite permanent systems adopted by many festivals such as reed bed and other natural processes.

Food for Thought

Food is a vital consideration for nearly all festivals or events. However, if the implementation is not properly considered, providing food for audience, staff and performers can be a hefty contributor towards the environmental impact of an event. From cutlery to containers, composting to waste management, the organisation of how food is provided is a key factor in greening events.

Consider the following when planning the catering

  • Always use local food and drink suppliers – the more local the better!
  • Insist on seasonable food
  • Insist on food from sustainable sources
  • Offer vegetarian and vegan food
  • Ask you suppliers to work together to minimise food miles
  • Avoid excess packaging on food, or any packaging at all
  • Make sure you separate food waste for composting
  • Encourage (or insist) on food grown and reared using environmentally positive practices.
  • Tell the audience what you are doing!

From an internet survey of 649 festival visitors the following was found with regards to attitudes to water wastage at events:

  • Water wastage seems to be the least concerning impact to festival visitors with 36% agreeing or strongly agreeing.

  • When asked whether all festival organisers should implement environmentally friendly practices 2% of the comments made by festival goers related to conservation of water.

“We take measures to prevent pollution of any water courses.”

Nick Ladd ‘Glade Festival’

Nigel Griffiths (Senior lecturer at BCUC, deliverer of Environmental Awareness courses for local businesses, and judge for the European Blue Flag Award for beaches) refers to the rising costs of energy, water and waste disposal as a factor that means all businesses need to conserve such resources for good business practice as well as the environmental factors.