Things we do to reduce our impact on the environment

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Picture by Natalie Marshall

WE’RE RECYCLING LIKE MAD. Last year, half of all waste generated by the festival was recycled. With your help, we’re hoping that this could go up to 60% this year. All cans, glass, paper, electrical and electronic equipment, wood and organic waste are separated and recycled as locally as possible. Many thanks to our fabulous Recycling Crew for making this possible.

There are teams of volunteers that contribute hugely to the sustainability of the festival. There are 1,300 recycling volunteers, 1,200 work for a ticket and the other volunteer for their nominated charity like WaterAid, Kiota and Bhopal Medical Appeal. The money that they earn gets donated to the charity they are working for. Without them we wouldn’t be able to achieve the recycling rate that we reach.

It costs the Festival £780,000 to dispose of all the rubbish left at the festival. That’s £780,000 less to Water Aid, Greenpeace or Oxfam – the main recipients of any profits made by Glastonbury. With £780,000, Water Aid can enable 52,000 people to access to safe water, improve hygiene and sanitation.

WE’RE TAKING ENERGY DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN TO THE STAGE. We’ve introduced solar power and green technology to the Theatre & Circus and Shangri-la areas. All of the cafes, stalls and stages above the old railway line in the Green Fields are powered by the sun or wind; there are no diesel generators. Even the showers are solar powered. 

WE’RE INSTALLING EVEN MORE SOLAR PANELS. We are really excited to be installing the largest privately owned solar PV array in the UK. The 1,500 square metres of solar panels will sit on top of the cattle shed that is home to the 350 Worthy Farm cows. On a clear, sunny day, the panels are expected to generate around 200kW of power – around the same amount of power used annually by 40 homes. Any power that isn’t used on the farm will be exported to the National Grid. Work will begin to install the panels on August 1, as long as planning permission is granted and surveys confirm that the barn roof is strong enough to hold the panels.

WE’RE USING GREEN TRACTORS. Before, during and after the Festival, organisers use a fleet of British-built New Holland tractors, all capable of running on 100% biodiesel refined from used cooking oil sourced in the UK, to maintain the site.

The tractors use the latest engine technology to allow them to run on 100% biodiesel if required, radically reducing the carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful exhaust gases. New Holland is the first manufacturer to design and develop a fully functional, zero emissions tractor powered by hydrogen – one of the world’s most available resources. For more info, click here to visit New Holland’s website.

WE’RE INTRODUCING GREENER MATERIALS AND GOING FAIRTRADE. No plastic bags! All our festival programmes come in 100% organic unbleached cotton bags, printed with vegetable dyes. Our official Glastonbury Festival T-shirts are printed using water-based (non-pvc) inks and dying is also carried out using vegetable dyes.

Our cleaners will be using eco-friendly Ecover cleaning products to keep our toilets clean. We are also encouraging all the traders to use Ecover products in their kitchens. Conventional detergents and cleaning agents use raw materials from petroleum. Petroleum is a non-renewable source and the extraction, processing and use of petroleum imposes an unacceptable burden on the environment. We want to use products that are made from renewable resources deriving from vegetables and minerals.

All tea, coffee, sugar and hot chocolate sold on-site are Fairtrade. And we actively encourage stallholders to increase their stock of Fairtrade products each year.

WE ONLY ALLOW COMPOSTABLE OR RE-USEABLE PLATES AND CUTLERY. All cutlery used by market stalls must be made from FSC-assured wood, not plastic. And cups and plates are made of cardboard which is a compostable material, or porcelain.

WE’RE REDUCING ROAD DELIVERY We’ve built two reservoirs and have an onsite wholesale market so food and water delivery will be hugely reduced. In 2009 we built a reservoir that holds a million litres of water. And this year we are building another one. All of the festival water will come from the mains so we will not need to truck in water from any other sources. The water is heavily monitored and quality tested twice a day. The stone that has been dug out from the reservoir has been used to increase the bus turning pad and widen the one of the main festival roads

Reducing the Festival’s CO2 emissions is a continuing priority and having invested money into the local sewage plants, the Festival’s sewage waste can now be processed within an 8-mile radius of the site. Previously, waste had to be hauled to Avonmouth, which is 40 miles away. But by working closely with Wessex Water we’ve reached a far more preferable and sustainable solution. 

WE LOVE TREES. Since 2000, we’ve planted over 10,000 native trees and hedge plants in the local environment. We’ve just planted an orchard of special variety apple and pear trees near the farmhouse. Glastonbury works hard to protect vulnerable habitats like badger sets, ponds, streams, hedges and ditches, by creating nature reserves and non-public zones. We’re committed to maintaining the high level of bio-diversity that was found on the festival site by the independent bio-diversity audit carried out by Liz Biron of Somerset Environmental Records Centre in 2003.

All the wood used by the festival is locally sourced and wherever possible, FSC-assured, ensuring it is sustainable sourced. At the end of the festival all wooden structures are dismantled and the wood is chipped and used around the farm.

WE SUPPORT GREEN ORGIANISATIONS We remain the world’s biggest single regular donor to Greenpeace. The Festival offers a fertile ground for recruiting Greenpeace members and for promoting environmental campaigns.

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