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The festival edit

I’ve recently got back from Valley Fest, at the beautiful Chew Valley Lake. And it was muddy! I mean it’s not the only thing I’ll remember, there was the brilliant music, cooking up breakfast while chatting with friends, drinking a little bit too much, definitely eating too much and having a boogie with my family. But it is the mud that will stick in my mind for longer!

It got me thinking about an eco-friendly guide to festivals and sharing some of my top tips.

It helps that lots of festivals are going green. This means we had to take our own reusable mugs if we wanted a coffee in the morning as the vendors were not serving into disposable ones. You had to rent your reusable cup for your bar drinks and it would get exchanged for a clean one each time you went to the bar. And all of the food stalls used paper containers and wooden cutlery.

Thinking about the UK’s ever so slightly changeable weather it’s important to get some good basics down so that you’re prepared. We went from sunny skies and sliders, to torrential downpours and wading through slimy, slippery mud. My top two to tackle the weather are:

  • Wellies: always a winner but essential for festivals when the ground gets churned up. So what about being more sustainable and ethical with our welly choices? The first thing would be to wear the pair you have until they can go on no longer! Then when/if you need a new pair, look for some that use sustainably sourced natural rubber and have ethical credentials behind them. Moral Fibres have a good blog that goes into more detail and some give some recommendations

  • Waterproof coat: Again essential but do you go easy to pack layer or warm and cosy but bulky? Well I have to say I took both! When it was showery/torrential/but warmish during the day I had my light-weight waterproof layer and for the cooler evenings my latest Vinted find… a gorgeous Manau Anu changing robe. Again the key here is make them last, repair where possible and maybe when you’re replacing them look to buy second hand

And then there is the camping side of things. It’s so easy to pack too little or too much and I never seem to get the balance right. But for me comfort is key. I’m far more of a fair weather camper who needs a good night's sleep, so here goes for my top three tips:

  • Sleeping: for me this is key, you can tackle the mud, stay up late and deal with the kids when they’re hungry if you’ve had a good sleep. That means I don’t always think eco when it comes to my camp bed. But one thing you could do is to ask friends and family to see if you can borrow a good inflatable mattress. Mine is a thick self-inflating one by Outwell which is brilliant. Or maybe you have a friend who loves yoga and could borrow their yoga mat to add an extra layer between you and the floor. And to add the cherry on top, grab the memory foam topper from your bed and stuff it in the car… it honestly makes all the difference

  • A good cuppa: you can’t beat a cuppa when you wake up. Whether it be tea or coffee, a little camping stove is one of my essentials. I love the early morning dew, sitting in a camping chair and huddling round the stove with family and/or friends waiting for that whistle. So how can we make it a little bit more sustainable? If you don’t have ice blocks for your coolbox, freeze the milk (and any breakfast meats - sausages/bacon) before you go and they’ll keep everything cold and fresh for a while. Loose leaf tea is a great option for easy green disposal and using that reusable insulated mug I mentioned earlier so it stays toasty for longer meaning you won’t have to boil another kettle when your little one suddenly needs the loo!!

  • Cleaning up: a dustpan and brush. Not very interesting I know BUT if you manage to pack down when your tent is dry it is the easiest thing to give your tent a good brush down, inside, outside and underneath, meaning it is clean and tidy and won’t need unpacking again to tidy up when you get home

And what about the best of the rest? Here’s a few more handy hints to make your camping or festival experience that little bit more sustainable:

  • Insulated water bottle: if the suns out this will help keep your drink cool all day

  • Recycling: help out your campsite by separating your recycling as you go

  • Leave no trace: make sure you take everything you came with home with you

  • Mud-free: when you get home make sure you clean up anything that got muddy - think tents, groundsheets, wellies - it will help them to last longer

So there we have it, some tips for your next camping or festival trip. Good luck with the weather and most importantly have a great time!!

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