Higher order and hedonistic needs may be the reason people buy tickets to go to festivals but as anyone who has been to a festival (particularly in poor UK weather) knows it is the lower order needs that occupy a lot of your thinking while you are there.
For example satisfying hunger / thirst and safety needs (a good pitch, protecting belongings, protection from the weather), and using the dreaded festival loos!
At the end of any day at a festival the physical evidence of the importance of tackling the green aspects of the more basic common needs and behaviour of what is essentially a very large group of people is all too evident. Bins are full and there is a large quantity of food and drink packaging on the ground.
Festival organisers know that sending out a coherent green message before, during and after the event that will support and encourage a green culture among all attendees is vital. Practical and public ways that this has been achieved e.g. at Glastonbury include using monitored sustainability targets and policies, clear waste targets and incentives for traders, large numbers of multi-recycling bins, public campaigns to respect the site and take waste home, visible solar power use, biodiesel use in vehicles, and bringing people to the site by bus to name but a few.
For most outdoor events however in 2014 one failsafe method of meeting a festival’s green target is to ensure that traders use biodegradable and compostable packaging and utensils for the food that they sell.
John Haken of UK based specialist biodegradable and compostable food packaging suppliers WF Denny is one person who has experienced the rise in demand for these products, especially for use at festivals.
“The kind of green ideas that festivals have been putting into practice and championing over many years are actually now widely welcomed and adopted in among the wider public and in the business world. Demand for biodegradable food packaging has grown generally but festivals and outdoor events are places that it especially comes into its own, and it makes a real contribution to the reduction of the environmental impact of festivals”.
John identifies some of the products that are particularly sought after by food traders at these events.
“Biodegradable food containers, food trays and sleeves for hot drink cups are very popular now. We’re getting plenty of interest already ahead of the 2014 festival season for these and other biodegradable and recyclable products like drinks cups with fitted recyclable sip thru lids, wooden cutlery and skewers, hinge lidded boxes, noodle pails, soup containers and ready meal boxes. We all benefit from these products being widely used both at festivals and in society generally.”