You would have to be living under a very large rock not to know we are in a state of global environmental emergency, unless of course you voted for, or perhaps even are Donald Trump!? Although we’ve already exceeded 140 characters, or 280, or whatever it is now, so we’re beyond the level of his comprehension, and all those who thought he was a legitimate choice for President. If you did however put pen to paper and tick the red box and happen to be reading this, we’d recommend a different event, perhaps an NRA rally?
As a content creator in the festival industry one usually has to make efforts to disassociate with a particular political standpoint, and I suppose in a way this still is, as he’s not a politician, rather a Tango faced fuck wit with a penchant for global destruction and I imagine, a really, really tiny penis.
Anyway, I digress. The point of this article is not to draw any more attention to the circus surrounding “The Leader of the Free World”, but to look at our efforts as a festival to operate sustainably, reduce our carbon footprint, offset the carbon we do produce, recycle 100% of our refuse and inspire our guests to make the same positive steps out in the big, wide, and currently extremely polluted World.
At the moment the hot topic is plastic, as it should be. The average UK household throws away over a tonne of plastic a year, and the average person throws away their own body weight in plastic every 7 weeks! Each household uses an average of 480 plastic bottles alone, but only recycles 270 of them, meaning around 44% are not processed, and of the 35 million bottles the UK uses each day, nearly 16 million of them don’t get recycled.
That is just the UK, a first world country with the benefit of education and awareness, although seemingly lazy and complacent with it. The figures from the US are staggering too, and globally between 8-12 million metric tons of plastic make it in the oceans each year, which scientists say is the equivalent of five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the World!
Just last week I was the guy at the supermarket checkout here in Canada where we are living at the moment, lecturing the check out attendant on the devastating effects of plastic and the passive concern, or lack of concern I should say, when she asked me why I didn’t want any bags for my shopping having forgotten my Bag-For-Life, again. She said just one person not using a bag wouldn’t make a difference, which naturally lead me to launch into a tirade about collective consciousness, whilst I tied up the arms and hood of my jacket and carefully placed my avocados, quinoa and Kombucha inside (loose, boxed and glass bottled).
At Noisily we are aiming to have a single use plastic free festival by 2019, and this year we will are making huge steps to making that a reality.
To start with we won’t be selling bottled water, and all our traders have been contracted to use only biodegradable service ware which must compost without the use of any external energy sources or processes, such as anaerobic digestion of pyrolysis. We have also introduced a litter bond with all food traders to encourage them to tidy up their areas and ensure all waste is bagged in the appropriate coloured sacks, so our litter picking team can distinguish efficiently what waste needs to go where.
All our showers and wash stations on site will be equipped with 100% organic soaps and shower gels, whilst we aim to recycle 100% of our refuse, up from 99.6% last year after someone chucked an old bicycle into the food compost skip, grrr!
We are hoping to reduce our carbon footprint through our relationship wit Go Car Share, who marry people together who are looking for rides to the event with those who are driving. Whilst our £10 Carbon Tax will be in effect for the third year in a row, enforced on all cars that have 2 or fewer people inside, with the intention of encouraging people to drive up together where possible.
All proceeds from this tax go toward planting trees across Noseley Estate, which in years to come will help soaking up any carbon we have produced long after the festival closes its gates for the last time, although we hope this won’t be any time too soon!
The woods we call home are a place of stunning natural beauty, and we think that goes a long way toward inspiring the respect our guests show each year, and why the festival site is spotless each morning and within hours of everyone leaving on Monday. Getting back to nature is essential in our growth as humans, and as many of us unintentionally detach from the fact we are all part of this big, beating organism called Earth, it is more important now than ever before to recognise our power as individuals, to affect positive change.
See you in the woods, and remember, keep it green!
– Charles, Noisily Co-Founder