Single Use Plastic
Sarah Hanson from Wild Futures & Ben Hall from Quick Panda Productions (Great Estate Festival, Secret Gin Garden) do not use single use plastic on site. Quick Panda have a policy stopping traders using single use plastics and Wild Futures do not use single use plastic in their café or shop. Wild Futures actively encourage people to use reusable bottles and have water stations for visitors to refill their water bottles.
Re-usable cups are found across a range of events from Falmouth Shanty Festival to Bangers & Mash Up to the Kneehigh Asylum. These cups reduce single use plastic waste and have the secondary benefit of being a great souvenir for people to to take home and even bring to other events to use.
Easy access to recycling stations is a great way to ensure your visitors recycle and encourages them to make sustainable choices. Ben Hall recommends creating specific recycling stations for this purpose: “if you don’t have specific points to recycle, and try to use bins across the site to do this, they inevitably become contaminated. By creating actual recycling areas, customers will use this for their correct purpose and a lot more waste can be recycled.”
Quick Panda Productions also hand out recycling bags to all of their campers so that they can keep on top of their rubbish during the event. This way the camping fields are left clean and a large percentage of waste is recycled.
On top of encouraging customer recycling, organisers can look at their own recycling policy. In some cases it is cheaper to recycle than to pay for it to be collected in the general waste. Making both financial and sustainable sense!
Pat Smith from Bosinver Farm Cottages & Final Straw Cornwall encourages all her guests to travel by public transport to her cottages. She also recommends installing EV chargers on site as more people start to use electric cars.
As 61% of attendees usually travel to festivals by car, car sharing is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your event or attraction. Platforms like liftshare.com and the Pasty Network are easy to use. Many festivals now charge a fee for vehicles to park to encourage car sharing or public transport use. Events such as Boardmasters, The Wyldes and Porthleven Food Festival have a shuttle bus to and from the event to reduce car usage.
Energy Revolution is a charity that balances emissions with sustainable energy initiatives. Using their software attendees can work out their travel emissions and make a donation to offset them through Energy Revolution’s investment in green projects. Their software can be embedded onto the event website to enable ticket buyers to work out their emissions at point of ticket purchase.
Serving food made from local produce is a great way to reduce food miles. Wild Futures go one step further and only serve vegetarian & vegan meals. This not only gives visitors a chance to sample foods they may not normally eat, but also helps the environment and encourages visitors to live more sustainably.
Pat Smith advocates buying from local producers and businesses wherever possible. Whether it’s an amazing light fitting in a cottage living room or the frozen meal ordered for arrival, Bosinver source the very best local products from local companies, artists and craftspeople or ethical suppliers.
Communicating with your visitors is a great way to involve them in the conversation around sustainability. At Wild Futures they include signage in: eating areas explaining why they are a vegan/vegetarian organisation; in the gardens to promote wildlife gardening; and general information throughout the site about making green conscious decisions.
At Bosinver, Pat Smith includes information in each of the cottage folders to start the conversation with her guests. This includes some easy personal actions to: avoid single use plastic packaging, cycle or walk for short journeys, compost, use less harmful cleaning, not waste energy (she recommends limiting central heating to 18C and wearing a jumper in colder months!), grow your own vegetables, waste less food and support local suppliers and growers.
Using renewable energy technologies wherever possible will have a dramatic effect on reducing your event or attraction’s carbon footprint. At Trebah Garden newly installed ground source heat pumps heat the visitor centre complementing the solar panels that were installed in 2016. Energy can be brought from suppliers with a green tariff, and how about using energy efficient appliances and LED light bulbs throughout your venue.
Families & Play
Encouraging children and families to enjoy the environment is a great way to increase awareness around green initiatives. Wild Futures run workshops for children to make things such as bird feeders using recycled materials.
At Bosinver Farm Cottages they value nature and family time outdoors. Their Wild Kids Forest School and nature trails encourage children and families to get outside and experience the natural world.
For more information check out the following organisations
With thanks to our contributors
Pat Smith, Bosinver Farm Cottages
Pat Smith, owner of Bosinver Farm Cottages co-founded Final Straw Cornwall to sign up hundreds of hospitality businesses to no longer serve plastic straws and raise awareness of single use plastics. She is involved in many Environmental Community groups, is an active beach cleaner and often invites guests to join in with her on one of her beach clean days.
Ben Hall, Quick Panda Productions
Ben Hall is the Director of Quick Panda Productions. They produce events in Cornwall including The Great Estate Festival, Secret Gin Garden and Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival. The company is based in Newquay.
Sarah Hanson, Wild Futures
Sarah Hanson is the PR & Fundraising Officer for Wild Futures. Wild Futures is a UK primate welfare and conservation charity based in Looe. They rescue, campaign, educate and provide sanctuary to primates in need.
Guy Watson, Trebah Garden
Guy Watson is the Amphitheatre and Events Coordinator at Trebah Garden, a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop. Trebah offers visitors a year round experience with adventure play areas, children’s trails and special events.