Green Festival Initiatives

A collection of some of the best green ideas we've seen.

Our main objective at A Greener Festival is to share good ideas and encourage festival organisers to put these into practice.

Below we have included some of the best green initiatives that we have seen at festivals from around the world.

The Good Food for Festivals Guide

Festivals and other events offer a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the best of fresh, delicious and sustainable food.

We understand that while many festivals are keen to improve their ethical credentials, tackling the food being served can be daunting – hence this Good Food for Festivals Guide, published by Sustain in partnership with A Greener Festival. The guide provides practical advice to festival organisers on how to implement positive changes. While the examples in the following pages are drawn primarily from UK festivals, the topics and recommendations are relevant to the wider event and international festival community.

By adopting the simple, affordable and effective actions outlined in this guide, many of which are already being taken by some forward-thinking festival organisers, your event can play a part in improving the health and well-being of visitors, the livelihoods of farmers and producers, the welfare of farm animals, the conservation of precious wildlife and fish stocks, and the long-term sustainability of our food system.

“An ever-growing number of festivals in the United Kingdom and around the world have been at the forefront of promoting sustainability, whether by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, minimising waste, reducing their event’s environmental impact or championing positive behaviour such as recycling. With often large numbers of people using shared catering, festivals provide an interesting and enjoyable space to engage with the audience and promote food sustainability. A Greener Festival has identified food sustainability as a priority for 2012 and we are actively looking for better and healthier food at festivals, and to support sustainable farming. This clear and relevant set of guidelines is a real and important step forward and will be a massive help to festival organisers and others involved with live events.”
Ben Challis, Co-founder, A Greener Festival

“Eating, drinking and throwing things away are some of the most in-your-face impacts at festivals.  Choosing to provide local, seasonal, chemical-free, healthy and sustainably-producedfood is something all considerate event organisers and caterers should take on.  Likewise the huge volumes of waste created from all that eating and drinking can be diverted from landfill if the right serveware is chosen, and  – so importantly – if onsite waste operations and bin segregation is set up to match the local waste processing facilities used.  This guide shines a spotlight on these important issues and gives a great up-to-date look at the things you need to think about when planning catering and related waste management.  One of my best achievements has been diverting 92% of waste away from landfill at Latitude Festival by doing just what is recommended in this guide.  It can be done and the punters love you for it!”
Meegan Jones, Author of Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide, and Director of Green Shoot Pacific.

“At last a guide that raises the bar for everyone involved in outdoor catering.  A wealth of well-researched, practical information which if implemented will revolutionise both the quality and appeal of food at festivals.  Let’s all work together to spread the word to traders everywhere on how they can stand out as the tasty option.  You’ve given them the tools to do the job…let’s hope they use them.”
Bob Wilson, Greenpeace Events Co-ordinator

The organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have taken a pioneering approach by committing to serve sustainable food for the 14 million meals served at the Games. In their London 2012 Food Vision, the organisers of the Games set out their commitment to serve British and seasonal food, healthy options, animal products from higher-welfare systems such as RSPCA Freedom Food, verifiably sustainable fish, and Fairtrade products, and radically to reduce packaging and food waste. They also aspire to use food from environmentally-friendly farming methods, such as LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) and organic.

Inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision, event organisers such as the Greater London Authority and Thames Festival have already committed to adopt these same food and catering standards in their work. Building on the response to the London 2012 Food Vision, the Food Legacy programme has been established to encourage other caterers and event organisers to join in.


For more information, contact Kelly Parsons at Sustain on + 44 (0) 20 7837 1228 or

The Good Food for Festivals Guide, and the Good Food Guide for Festival and Street-food Caterers have been jointly produced by two Sustain projects – ‘Ethical Eats’ and ‘Food Legacy, inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision’ – in partnership with A Greener Festival. The guides provide practical advice to festival organisers, and mobile caterers, on how to implement positive changes to their food and drink. The guides are free to download at:

Love Your Tent

Love your tent is a campaign created by Eco-Action Partnership in association with A Greener Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival.

The campaign is designed to bond people with their portable homes and encourage them to reuse instead of discarding them. Left behind tents causes a huge problem for many festivals each year – not to mention the environmental impact.

Sign up to Love Your Tent on Facebook here:

See for more information.

A film produced by A Greener Festival about the Love Your Tent campaign:

Bestival / Camp Bestival: Green Initiatives

Bestival and Camp Bestival are curated by Rob da Bank with eco-initiatives managed by Environmental Manager, Kate Jackman.

Here are some initiatives that Bestival & Camp Bestival are running:

– Summary of Green Initiatives at Bestival
One page PDF with outlining the key initiatives being employed by Bestival & Camp Bestival to reduce their carbon footprint.
– Free Tea For All (and other ways to keep Bestival green & tidy)
A free cup of tea for bringing the rubbish around your tent to a recycling pen and a list of other ways that Bestival & Camp Bestival encourage their audience to be green.
– Tomorrow’s World Field
Read more about the Science Tent, the Farmers Market and the chill out deck chairs provided by The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
– Campsite Hubs 2012
Rob da Bank’s introduction to the chalet hubs present in each camp-site.

V Festival: Making Every Can Count

Last summer out of home drinks can recycling programme Every Can Counts took significant steps towards developing a model for recycling drink cans used at outdoor events. Working with cleaning and waste management contractors at high footfall events such as Red Bull’s Flugtag and ten major music festivals, including Isle of Wight and Download, around 1 million drinks cans were saved for recycling.  This equates to nearly 15 tonnes of aluminium and steel diverted from landfill.

The relationship with festival organisers is a perfect fit; music festivals have high can consumption, with cans brought in by campers and sold onsite too. Festival organisers are keen to reduce their environmental footprint and raise the profile of the event’s green credentials; Every Can Counts provides a platform from which to do so.

This video shows Every Can Counts at work at V Festival in Telford. Every Can Counts joined forces with contractors Ryans Event Cleaning  and Panda Waste to collect, sort and process the cans onsite. Ryans and Panda set up recycling points across the site and picked up cans. Every Can Counts were responsible for communicating the recycling message, providing highly visible and interactive promotions ahead of and during the event to encourage festival-goers to do the right thing with their empty cans. Cans recovered in the waste stream were sorted onsite, with equipment provided by Novelis Recycling.

Around 130,000 cans, which equates to over two tonnes of aluminium and steel, were collected at V. A great achievement considering every can is infinitely recyclable without loss of quality and each can recycled substantially reduces the environmental footprint of the next one made.

For more information on Every Can Counts’ work with festivals visit:

Glastonbury: Green Traveller

As one of the world’s largest outdoor gatherings, Glastonbury Festival is totally committed to reducing carbon emissions – and to raising awareness of what can be done to help combat climate change.

As part of that message, the Festival wants to reward people for choosing to come to Somerset by public transport or by bicycle. So, this year, for the first time, we have put together a Glastonbury Festival Green Traveller package which we hope will provide an extra incentive for you and your friends to “go Green”.

Over 50 per cent of Glastonbury Festival’s CO2 total emissions come from how “you” the Festival goer make your way to the site. We understand that public transport can be expensive and we are working on trying to keep the prices fair.

Ticket holders who arrive at the Festival by public transport or bicycle will be given a Green Traveller lanyard, offering:

- Vouchers for discounts on main meals
– Solar showers, solely provided for Green Travellers
– Access to compost toilets
– Discount on a Festival T-shirt

And yes, we know that getting on a train or bus isn’t necessarily as easy as jumping in a car parked outside your house. But once you have decided to head for your bike, the bus stop or the train station, we’ll do our best to make Festival life a little bit easier for you – from the moment you’re dropped right by the gate!

Glastonbury have put together a list of FAQs for those interested in the initiative.

Q I’m coming by coach, when will I get the lanyard?
A You will get the lanyard when you arrive at the Festival coach park.

Q I’m arriving by train, when will I get the lanyard?
A Again, you will get the lanyard when you arrive at the Festival coach park, on the shuttle bus from the station.

Q Does the Green Traveller initiative include electric cars and electric bikes?
A Green Traveller includes all people who take public transport and cycle to the Festival, unfortunately it doesn’t include electric cars, but it does include electric bikes!

Q We’re coming by car share, are we included?
A No, sorry, you are not included if you coming by car share because it isn’t quite public transport.

Q If I come by local bus services, will I get the lanyard?
A No, you need to arrive at the Festival coach station, because that is the only way we can monitor people arriving by public transport.

Q If I arrive at the Festival on foot, will I get the lanyard?
A No, because there is no way of us being able to monitor it.

Q Do you have to arrive at a certain gate if coming by bike?
A Yes, please head to Yellow Gate for the cycle lockup.

Q Will the lanyards be handed out all weekend?
A No, they will stop being handed out at 10pm on Friday

Q Will I get the lanyard if I come on the shuttle buses from Glastonbury town?
A Yes, you will get a lanyard if you come on the Glastonbury shuttle bus, up until 10pm on Friday.

Q Where will the solar showers be? How many are there?
A The 12 solar showers are near Pedestrian Gate A next to the cyclist camping field, which is where the compost toilets for Green Travellers will also be. Green Travellers will also have a Happy Hour in the Greenpeace Field showers between 4-5pm each day.

Q What sort of discount on food is on offer, and how does it work?
A A book of 6 perforated vouchers will be given to each Green Traveller, there are 4 x 50p vouchers off a main meal over £6 (you can use one per meal). There are 90 stalls that are participating across the Festival site. We have tried to arrange it so that Festival goers are never too far away from one. The participating food stalls will listed in the programme, and the stalls will display a green flag above the stall.

Q How does the merchandise discount work?
A One of the perforated vouchers will give £1.00 off a Festival T-shirt.

Glastonbury: Love the Farm, Leave No Trace

A Glastonbury initiative:

Glastonbury Festival was founded in 1970, long before people began to become concerned about climate change. Yet even then all the milk and the cider and the straw came from the farm. We were “green” then, and we are just as green now.

These days, of course, everyone has woken up to the fact that we really have to do something about protecting the environment and reducing our impact on it.  But, as a Festival, we’ve been highlighting new – and sometimes unpopular – ideas about the issue for as long as I can remember. Different ways of looking at and doing things, which we always hoped people would take notice of.

Glastonbury Festival has always been the first to host “alternative” solutions to environmental concerns, and over time, we’ve watched as those “alternatives” have become mainstream.

In fact, to me, one of the greatest benefits of Glastonbury Festival has been in giving people the chance to “open their eyes” and see something better, even if it is only for one weekend in the year.

We hope that we can continue to lead the way by making Glastonbury as green and as sustainable as we are able to, given the restrictions of the site, and also by spreading the word to Festival goers about what will really make a difference to the environment.

And, as always, the work begins at home here at Worthy Farm.

My family have farmed this land for generations – since the 1860s when they walked here with their cows from Dorset to set up at Park Farm – and looking after the fields and the hedges and the livestock has always been our number one concern.
Our big campaign now is ‘Love The Farm… Leave No Trace’ because, for me, that’s what life here is all about.

We have to work as hard as we can on the practical things: today, we are releasing a whole list of environmental issues that we are addressing on site, from encouraging people to travel by public transport right through to great new initiatives on recycling and more efficient ways of powering the festival activities.

Our aim is to get 40,000 people travelling to Glastonbury by coach and train this year – nearly a third of all Festival goers. If we can get people to think about how they are using their cars for the rest of the year too we’ll have taken another step forward.

Today, just as much as in 1970, we have to work hard on our message.  Glastonbury Festival is a Midsummer celebration of life and joy, but we must not lose sight of our undertaking to achieve the best possible balance of nature and resources.

Michael Eavis