GreenShoot Pacific have been engaged by Rhythm and Alps to help reduce the unacceptable amount of tents and camping gear that is now too commonly abandoned by festival goers here in New Zealand and abroad.
They have teamed up with Love Your Tent which is an international campaign created by Eco Action Partnership and A Greener Festival to educate and encourage festival attendees to simply pack up their camping gear, take it home and re-use it.
CEO, Kieran Spillane explains “We wanted to lessen the impact on the Wanaka environment and show we are commited to a sustainable pathway.”
At the heart of the problem according to GreenShoot Director Amanda Wright is the availability of very cheap, bad quality camping gear that is so readily accessible through the big retail outlets.
“When a 3 man tent is available for between $20-$40, there is no perceived value in what is their temporary home for the 2-3 days of the festival. They party hard and then think that they have the right to walk away and leave the mess for festival organisers to clean up.”
Unfortunately most of the abandoned camping gear can’t be recycled and ends up in landfill which is costly to the environment and festival organisers.
Wright and her colleague Dave Watson believe the best way forward is to educate and inspire festival attendees through a number of common sense actions and incentives. Positive messaging through social media both pre and during the festival is important, along with face-to-face engagement with campers onsite to love their tents and take them home all contribute to a tipping point where good behaviour becomes the social norm.
“I am confident that over the next 1-2 Rhythm and Alps festivals that there will be a notable difference in the amount of camping waste generated and that the festival will be one of the greenest in New Zealand. The sustainable journey takes time and commitment and the engagement of GreenShoot Pacific this year is already a big step in the right direction.