To kick festival season off on the right foot and to celebrate Earth Day (This Sunday, April 22nd), I wanted to offer some tips and trick on creating positive habits as you prepare to party. Rather than making near-sided choices that are harmful to the environment, I want you all to party your pants off knowing that you are taking steps to preserve and protect the earth.
There is nothing more glamorous at festivals than strutting your stuff in your brand new festie attire, doused in glitter and feathers - but let's face it: all that glamor isn't so friendly to mother earth. But fear not! There are still ways you can shine like a diamond at festivals this year with a little more eco-consciousness.
Traditional glitter can be one of the most wasteful and harmful beauty habits. When the glitter falls of it becomes waste material that takes years to degrade. Its possible that some of the stray glitter could be consumed by local wildlife.
Luckily, there are a few companies that have created eco-friendly glitter products. Made from cellulose and plant-based pigments this is a vegan and safe alternative to regular glitter. These sustainably sourced ingredients come in every color of the rainbow and varying grain sizes so you can get as creative as you want with your sparkle! Try the biodegradable glitter Eco Stardust on ASOS or Ecosparkles on Etsy.
We live in such a disposable world - with seasonal fashions and cheaply made clothes its easy to fall into the routine of buying clothing that meets your budget but may not last. Especially with festival attire - it's fun to have options, and expressing yourself through fashion is often one of the standards of most festival scenes.
When choosing outfits, although tempting, it is important to avoid cheaply made apparel. Quality over quantity is key here.
If you don't want to take a stab at making your own clothing, it is a great option to source all of your creative attire from homemade designers and small shops that offer higher quality stitches and fabrics. You will be supporting small businesses while also investing in a piece you will have for years.
There is no shame in thrifting - donate your old clothes and collect special pieces as you find them. It may not serve the instant gratification that online retail provides, but you can find some rare pieces that won't rob the bank.
Some of my personal favorites:
LOM - Colorful Luxury Festival and Party Fashion - A Female designer and female owned company that focuses on colorful motifs using her world travel as inspiration behind her fashion line. All of these products are handmade and each year she designs a new set of limited edition apparel. LOM uses a lot of cute tassels and pom pom which make a great eco-friendly alternative to sequins and feathers.
SHUBA Designs - Eco-friendly fur coats - These faux fur coats are perfect for bundling up at night, and all of the designs are reversible.
Coquetry Clothing - A woman owned and operated clothing company dedicated to making colorful and creative festival wear for a reasonable price. These products are all handmade and designed in house - with multiple fits making it accessible to all body types.
It's no surprise that one of the largest contributor to climate change is carbon dioxide emissions (aka human sources such as burning oil, coal, gas, and deforestation). One way we can combat how much CO2 emissions we produce is by carpooling. If you're going to a festival with friends - link up beforehand and ride in together. This will make getting in and out of the festival much easier and you won't have to buy TWO car passes - it's a win all around!
Avoid Vampire Power
Unplug your devices! When you leave your devices turned on they are still taking up power to run. Seek out alternatives like solar power chargers and solar powered lights for your camp. There are countless options for dashboard solar power making it easy for anyone to use for whatever items you need to plug in. Plus who can say no to a free charge from the sun?
Avoid Paper Towels - Go Linen/Hemp for alternative towels at your camp. They are soft, durable and come in both hand towel and full bath towel sizes. If you are really into that one time use cloth I recommend going with bamboo based face wipes! These are a plant based and sustainable alternative to regular face/baby wipes.
Pack it in Pack it Out
Probably the most important rule of all. Make plans to carry out your trash. Taking care of your waste items will leave your lounge space clean and comfortable. Bring three separate containers for Compost, Recycle, and Landfill waste - that way when you leave the festival you can easily drop off your waste with the festival organization (most festivals offer service to help sort and haul waste off site so you don't have to carry it in your vehicle). This will preserve the land we party on so that we can come back for many years without the fear of damaging the local ecology. I recommend getting collapsible waste bins for ease of travel.
To save money on catered festival food, preparing your meals is the way to go. This will limit the amount of disposable packaging you consume as well!
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat more vegetables and less meat. Animal farming is one of the largest factors contributing to global warming. Not only is it wasteful in how many resources are consumed or destroyed in the process, but gas emission from cows and from the factories producing meat products are harmful to the environment. By limiting the amount of animal products you consume, you are considerably reducing your negative impact on the environment. This may be a more long term lifestyle change for you to make, but a festival is a great place to start this kind of dietary change. In the high heat of the summer, it's critical for your body to be well nourished. A plant based diet is going to be excellent in keeping your energy up and your mind present.
Bring your own Cup
Plastic bottles and cans are a pretty big waste and don't look that cute in photos when you're carrying it around all day. Hydration backpacks are great for water, but having a cute cup for beverages is essential! Stainless steel bottles like Hydroflasks are perfect for hot or cold beverages. They are easy to clean and can be customized to match your style.
Once you start incorporating these tricks into your lifestyle it will become easier and easier to live a green life! You don't need to make the switch overnight, but the more you change the smaller the footprint. As a gift to mother earth and in celebration of Earth Day I encourage you to make positive changes in your life for both yourself and the world around you! Treat yourself - We deserve it!