We are deep in the trenches of festival season and everyone on my feed is armored with fanny packs, lace bralettes and glitter. Lots of glitter.
But that glitter you love so much? It contains microplastics that end up polluting our water. And it is not just that. The World Economic Forum says that by 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than fish. Festivals are a major contributor to this plastic problem, as thousands of people gathered in one outdoor stomping ground inevitably lead to a lot of waste. Thankfully, Live Nation, an entertainment giant, has promised to eliminate the sale of single-use plastics from their events and venues by 2021. In the United Kingdom, over 60 indie festivals have also vowed to eliminate single-use plastic by 2021 as part of the Association of Independent Festivals’ Drastic On Plastic campaign.
But as consumers, what more can we do to help? We can use our purchasing dollars to force brands to change their ways. A brand is sustainable when it takes the long-term impact their products leave behind on the environment into account. When shopping, we should take into account whether or not a brand sources clean ingredients, uses recyclable packaging, and treats those in their supply chain fairly.
While that sounds difficult to navigate, we have so many options to choose from so you can practice sustainability, even in the midst of a mosh pit. Keep scrolling for an updated shopping list that seamlessly swaps your harmful festival must-haves for their eco-friendly counterparts.
Glitter is traditionally made of plastic, and when washed away, litters our oceans and ends up in the bellies of marine life — turns out everyone’s favorite craft material is nearly impossible to recycle and takes years to decompose. Thanks to Glitter Eco Lovers you no longer have to sacrifice the shimmery beauty look you have been dreaming of. This glitter is made from a biodegradable cellulose film that is broken down over time by microbes once it touches the earth. Shine on my friends (responsibly).
Since we began producing plastics in the early 1950s, humans have managed to create 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. Tragically, only nine percent of that has been recycled. Do not add to that amount by purchasing plastic water bottles at the festival. Bring a reusable water bottle with you! Bonus: This collapsible one by Que fits perfectly in your fanny pack.
Imagine going to a festival unprotected against the harsh sun. *Shudders* This formula infuses biodegradable glitter with broad-spectrum SPF 30+ UVA/UVB protection. It is also cruelty-free, PABA-, phthalate- and paraben-free, making for a safe sunscreen that also creates a sun-kissed glow. The product is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, creating a barrier against you and the inevitable festival sweat.
Wet wipes are a dream for those of us stuck using port-a-potties at festivals. But a lot of brands use plastic to create their wipes and make them stronger. These plastics never get fully broken down, rather they end up in our oceans. In a 2015 study, over one-fourth of the fish sampled from fish markets in California contained man-made plastic fibrous debris in their guts. Thankfully Goodwipes created these biodegradable, compostable and hypoallergenic wipes to elevate your experience at no environmental cost.
No shower, no problem — thanks to dry shampoo. However, most dry shampoos come in aerosol cans that raise ozone levels by emitting volatile organic compounds and help contribute to climate change. This Klorane dry shampoo relies on a fully recyclable twist top package to clean our hair and eliminate odors.
You would be a fool to think you could get through the festival without melting into a pool of sweat. But we will still try our hardest to make it through the day as pleasant-smelling as possible. This vegan deodorant uses arrow root powder to absorb excess moisture, and grapefruit oil works to fight bacteria. As an added bonus, it comes in a biodegradable paper tube!
While I cherish the euphoria experienced at a festival, there is nothing I love more than the post-festival shower. If you are looking to cut back on single-use plastics, I recommend a shampoo bar. One shampoo bar is said to provide the same amount of uses as three bottles of liquid shampoo. This Ethique bar contains Samoan coconut oil and coconut butter to smooth frizzy hair. Oh, and do not forget their conditioner bar!