For the past four years we’ve been working on our ‘Looking After the Woods’ initiative, not only to care for the land we are privileged to call home, but to present ways in which we can all change our lifestyles in order to help slow and potentially reverse climate change in the immediate future.
It’s an unprecedented task, and so often as humans we can resign ourselves to the ‘drop in the ocean’ mentality and fear of failure. Yet there is hope, and even though we’re a humble festival tucked away in a small nook at the heart of the English countryside, we hope we can play our part in the system change that is so sorely needed.
“Large streams from little fountains flow, tall trees from little acorns grow.” – English Proverb
The 2019 Noisily Festival Sustainability Review
What we did:
Upheld Our Single Use Plastic Policy:
- Crew – All crew had to bring their own refillable water bottles, cups, plates and cutlery.
- Public – No plastic bottles behind the bars, sold refillable ones and had reusable cups on the bar if needed.
- Bars were not allowed to serve anything that came from plastic bottles, resulting in 400KG increase in glass use, which is infinitely recyclable.
- Traders all used Vegware or comparable biodegradable products.
- Market stall traders were not allowed to use plastic bags.
- The production office used almost no laminating pouches, cataloging all we had from previous years and reusing them.
- The production offices avoided buying plastic stationery, opting for wooden items like clipboards, both sustainable and recyclable.
Environmentally Unfriendly / Harmful Chemicals:
- The festival team used only 100% Paraben and SLS free washing up liquid, kitchen cleaner and personal care products such as shampoo and soap in all areas of site including the showers. Traders were asked to do the same, and were inspected on site before opening the arena.
- Compost toilets were chemical and water free.
- Art Department made sure their paints were environmentally friendly.
- The Production team ordered recycled paper and items where available.
- All human waste was used as compost for improving soil conditions.
- A litter bond was enforced on food traders, encouraging them to leave post event with their pitch spotless.
- Traders were only allowed to use Vegware or equal standard compostable serviceware, and where possible order it through our supplier GreenMan Packaging. https://www.greenmanpackaging.com)
Reduce Travel Related Carbon:
- We partnered with Go Car Share again to encourage festival guests to share their journeys with each other, making new friends, and reducing carbon emissions all in one.
- Crew ride sharing.
- Encouraged the use of trains and taxi sharing to get to the festival.
- Tracked crew mileage on our crew system, Eventree, with the intention of using this data to compare to future years and reduce / rideshare where possible, setting realistic goals in the process.
- Enforced a mandatory £10 carbon tax at the festival gate for the third year running, for any cars arriving with 2 or fewer people inside. Designed to encourage car sharing, and to raise funds to maintain the site and natural environment of Coney Woods, Noseley Estate and a portion to donate to the charity ‘Stand for Trees’.
This year was the third Noisily where we worked with Waste Cycle, the East Midlands’ leading resource management and recycling company, who have a “zero waste to landfill” commitment which they are working towards with extreme efficiency.
In 2019 we recycled 96.8% of all waste on site, almost identical to the figure from 2018, and with an increase of several hundred guests on site.
Plans for 2021
Beyond ensuring we strive towards our target to recycle 100% of the waste generated at the event, we realise how important it is to reduce the amount of waste we are having to recycle in the first place, and most importantly change people’s behavioural patterns and the way we live and exist in our day to day lives.
Our site wide theme this year is ‘We Are Nature’ and much of the programming in our Mind Body Soul area in 2021 will be centred around the preservation of our environment.
How people travel to the festival is one of the largest contributors of carbon that stems from organising events like Noisily, so this year for the first time we are working with nationwide coach services to transport festival goers from key cities across the UK. For those of you who are making the journey to Market Harborough by train, we have organised local shuttle busses too.
Finally, this year our carbon tax is jumping from £10 to £20, and following in the footsteps of some of the greenest events out there, applies to ALL VEHICLES driving to the festival. The funds will go towards infrastructure firstly, and then towards charity ‘Stand for Trees’.
More details on all the above can be found on our Travel page here.
Stay tuned for more sustainability news in the coming months, alongside our festival
The Noisily Team xxx