Gaia's Guardians - protecting the Whitelake River and its biodiversity
Guardians of the 2014 Glastonbury Festival's Environmental Sensitivity
Pollution from pee, litter and cigarette butts is the environmental side of Glastonbury festival. Most of you are green at heart, and would be horrified to know how thoughtless festival behaviour can leave long-lasting complex effects.
Gaia’s Guardians are just one group that will help you keep the festival clean and green. There are thousands of volunteers, protecting the soil and earth, the wildlife, keeping the festival clean and making it greener each year.
Gaia’s Guardians’ choir, Shakti Sings, will sing to you to ask you politely and charmingly to “love the farm and do no harm”.
Please abide by the Glastonbury Festival Rules!
- Pee only in the toilets.
- Use bins and compost waste.
- Put all cigarette butts in the bin, or use a Butt Bin, on sale from Gaia’s Guardians.
- Take your tent and all your belongings home with you.
And most of all – “Love the farm, do no harm.”
Together we need to halt three main problems: large scale urination, litter and discarded cigarette butts.
Peeing on the ground causes toxic pollution of the water table. The ground water runs into the central Whitelake River and down the valley for miles around. Wildlife and fish are affected if 200,000 revellers pee everywhere. The Environment Agency tests the water regularly, and has the power to close down the site if too many people have urinated and polluted the site. You can be arrested if you urinate in public and any staff caught peeing on the ground could be sacked on the spot. There are thousands of toilets on site, and we urge you to use them. Environmental health students check the toilets twice a day and cleaners and other staff are on hand, 24/7, to help keep them functional.
Please use the bins and compost your waste. This festival produces a huge amount of waste and we do our best to collect, recycle and compost everything. Volunteer litter-pickers get up at 4am to clean up each day. Please help by doing your bit. You can grab waste and recycling bags at the steward points to each camp site and there are thousands of bins.
Smokers often don’t realise it but each cigarette can contaminate 8 litres of ground water when it’s dropped on the soil. A butt takes up to 14 years to degrade. Litter pickers have to collect every butt when the festival is over to make sure the cows don’t eat them and they are not turned into the soil. This can take months. The Gaia Guardians tell revellers to keep their butts for the bins - they are toxic and should be handled carefully.
Sing with us! The Shakti Sings Choir is part of the Gaia’s Guardians team and will be on hand to help you to remember how special and sacred the earth and river is around the whole site. Sing with us and enjoy yourself! Touch the Earth and connect. Find out more about us on www.shaktisings.org.
Join the Gaia’s Guardians. We are volunteers that aim to protect rivers and the earth. Our aim is to help make citizens into conscious stewards of the earth, either through song, persuasion, creativity or sacred interaction. At a festival, or in your home town, become a Gaia Guardian. Visit our Gaia's Guardians Glastonbury website at gaiasguardiansglastonbury.org.