Festival Summer 2019: How to go green on a festival - Southside Edition
As you may have seen on my social media, my previous blogposts or my travelblog A call to the Dreamers - I paired up with some pretty amazing festivals this summer and will be reporting from awesome places all over europe! If you want to know all the festivals I will be reporting from, check my overview post and you can find a short description of every festival on there. An enormous guide about each festival will be featured on A call to the Dreamers, while on here you will find posts abouts how enviromental friendly a festival is, a post purely dedicated to the people I was able to shoot on site and if possible a concert review post!
The first festival this season that helped me making this possible was Southside Festival in southern Germany.
As mentioned in the title, this is the first part of the `How to go green on a festival` series, where you can find out what you can do to minimalize your waste produce, what is done to minimalize the Impact on our enviroment by the organisation and how good the vegan/vegetarian options are!
I remember how a few years ago at the end of a festival it used to look like a battlefield. I wasn`t better, people left their tents, beer cans, basically everything on the floor and left without taking anything with them. During the last two years, the concious thinking seems to have reached the campgrounds and especially at Southside, I saw so many people helping each other putting away their cans, sharing trash bags and even though some people still just leave it all behind, many more take their tent with them. In Germany, every can or bottle has a deposit on it which you can get back if you bring it to a recycling station and on this festival they had one placed next to the big Aldi store so everyone could bring back their cans during the festival itself and there was no need to take them back home!
If you`re a vegetarian, you can eat at every single stall on the Southside festival! Many places on the infield who offer veggie food are marked, but if you look at the menu or ask the staff, most food stalls offer atleast one veggie dish. I have never seen such a big range of vegan food which is absolutely awesome.
Waste reducing strategies on the infield
I was seriously impressed with all the effort they made to reduce waste, use enviromental friendly methods and generally animated people to take care of what they use, especially in comparsion to other german festivals. For example, all the cutlery that is handed out on site is compostable! This is a huge step to reduce the amoung of plastic on a festival, I really don`t want to know how much plastic cutlery is handed out on events like this. The only place where you couldn`t get these compostable ones was McFlurry, which I discussed with a few others who thought the same about that fact - it is plain stupid for McDonalds to be the only one still using massive plastic spoon when everyone else was able to find a better way. All the cups have a deposit too, so you can either hand it back for money or donate it to an organisation called Viva con Agua, which is another awesome project. This system makes it really easy to do something good, you can just give it to one of their employees that are everywhere and done. Another thing that caught my eye was a sign on some food stalls that said that they use vegetables that are safed from being wasted because of minor beauty issues, kinda like professional containering, which obviously is pretty freaking awesome!
Last but not least, one of my absolute favorite discoveries! I have seen the Foodsharing sign at Rock im Park but didn`t pay attention, oh boy what did I miss! Behind these tents stands an organisation with the same Name, Foodsharing. Basically, you can bring all the Food you don`t want anymore, won`t eat or just want to donate to them, pick up something else for a trade or just go and get something without having to give something. All the things they still have at the end of the festival will be donated to a local organisation that gives it back to the community. They also have a tent on the crew camping area where they go and collect all the left overs from the Food stalls in the middle of the night when everything is closed down, bring it back to the camping area and offer it to everyone who worked at the festival in anyway! How much better can it get? They always had so many different dishes and sadly they still had to throw away way too much, but the idea and concept are absolutely phenomenal. So if you ever see them somewhere, step by, give or take, have a chat with the lovely volunteers and support their cause.
I was so impressed by the thoughts the organisation has put into making Southside as green as possible. Of course there are always some point that could be better, but they are one of the best at the moment. As an honored mentioning I want to call out all the great NGOs that presented themselves in front of the entry gate, if you ever walk past them, why not take a look and maybe get some new inputs, you got nothing to loose.
A big thank you to Southside Festival for giving me the chance to talk about this very important topic, keep going!
Until the next How to go green edition with hopefully similar efforts =)