Going Green with Festival in a Box
FIAB tips for creating greener parties
Whilst in lockdown, we’ve been spending more time in the garden and roaming our bucolic Bath and Wiltshire countryside as part of our daily exercise. It has been a comfort and joy to see the vivid greens of Spring come to life, and the abundance of nature around.
It’s also uplifting to read that the effects of lockdown are having a positive effect on the planet, with pollution levels at their lowest in decades and cleaner air in our cities. This brings us hope that we can learn from this and collectively work towards a greener future.
At Festival in a Box, we’ve always been passionate and committed to putting on events that minimise damage to our beautiful planet, and we often get asked by our clients how we can help them to host greener events.
We’re also itching to get back in the field, and put on brilliant parties and events, as we love what we do. But whilst we’re waiting, we thought we’d share some of our tips and thoughts for the environmentally conscious.
Keeping travel miles low and using local suppliers has many benefits including supporting the community, minimising transport costs and also has a positive effect on keeping the carbon footprint low at any event. It is proven that road travel is a huge contributing factor in pollution levels, so if we can keep them down then let’s do it.
With all of our clients, we will sit down and go through their wish list for all the lovely elements that make up a great party. Our mood boards may include; Giant tipis, beautiful canvas marquees, décor, glamping, toilets and showers, stages, sound systems, food and bars.
We will always keep local suppliers in mind and look at where we are sourcing all of the elements. We have an extensive list of suppliers across the country to choose from, so you can have peace of mind that we will match the right supplier to the area we’re working in.
There is no point in carrying coals to Newcastle!
Food & Drink
At all of our events we take pride in sourcing and providing the best quality in food and bar suppliers. Not just because we have voracious appetites for delicious, wholesome and artisan treats, but also because we strongly believe that these elements are what makes a great party stand out.
By going to our network of excellent bar and food suppliers, we already know they have the same values as we do when it comes to sustainability.
When looking at food and bar
- Talk to caterers and bar companies, about their general policies on how they source and supply. Again, it goes back to local is best. There is great fun to be had looking and sampling local artisan food and craft drink suppliers.
- Have a look at your serve and glassware options. Going for earthenware, china and glass is a greener option than any disposable product. At events where glassware is likely to get damaged then polycarbonate is safer – for instance where the event takes place mainly outdoors and late into the night.
- Where disposable serveware is used, then using natural materials that have been sustainably sourced is the way to go. No plastic plates or polystyrene boxes please! These guys at https://www.biopak.com/uk and https://www.thewholeleafco.com/ Show some of the options available.
Waste and how it’s disposed of is a hot topic as it varies across the country, with a lot of reliance on the local infrastructure in place. Where possible, we try to keep waste low by re-using materials such as site decoration and the general hardware required to make a Festival in a Box.
A contributing factor will be the choice in serveware, but inevitably there will be a fair bit of waste at the end of any party. We will contact the local registered waste contractors and arrange for additional bins to be delivered, and have separate bins for recycling. We’ll talk to the catering and bar teams about separating their waste. This means we can divert as much from landfill, and able to sort the glass, cardboard and other recyclable materials.
For the larger events, we have great teams of litter pickers and waste managers who are passionate about recycling!
We have lots of experience with our larger festivals and how to reduce energy consumption at events, and therefore keep diesel use down.
When we look at a new event, one of the first things we will identify is whether a venue has it’s own electricity supply and assess it’s suitability. In an ideal world, we can plug into existing power supplies which negate the requirement to bring in temporary generators. This will be the greener option, particularly if the venue is on an existing greener tariff.
However, most venues or homes won’t have enough electricity and so then we look at bringing in the temporary supply. There are many greener options coming onto the market such as hybrid and solar generators, and with our help, we can look at what fits your event.
Always a topic of conversation at festivals, and we obviously want you to have the best experience at your event!
There are many luxury toilet trailers to choose from, but often they use strong chemicals. Some of the greener options include;
- Existing mains loos, if available will always be the greener option – no transport costs, no chemicals, no waste needs to be removed.
- Vacuum loos – use small amounts of water to flush, just like ‘in-flight’ toilets. The waste needs to be taken away, but there are no chemicals involved.
- Compost Loos – Not for everyone, but these are becoming much more popular at larger festivals as they offer a greener alternative to conventional portable toilets. There are no chemicals involved, and all the waste will be taken away at the end of the event.