- Develop a sustainable mission/vision
- Post your sustainability mission in plain sight for visitors to read, as well as post it on the website. The policy should express its aims to minimize environmental impacts, contribute to the local economy, be equitable and treat staff fairly.
- Provide festival goers a sustainability code of conduct
- Have signage throughout your facility that educates staff and festival goers about how they can reduce, reuse and recycle (i.e. turning off lights, composting, recycling, etc.)
- Use an email database of contacts to reduce paper mailing of promotions, packages, newsletters, etc.
- Develop a formal environmental policy and make it easily accessible to staff and visitors
- Place compost and recycling bins at convenient and visible location
- Encourage attendees/exhibitors to dispose of their waste properly
- Encourage organizers to use alternative modes of transportation (bike walk cycle etc.) to set examples for others
- Have your sustainability policy available on your website
- Encourage guests to provide feedback on sustainability initiatives
- Implement a payback scheme where visitors can donate to local initiatives or add a surcharge where applicable for environmental conservation (ensure customers know what it is for and the process is transparent)
- Actively promote other local businesses that are taking efforts to be more sustainable
- Include environmental messaging in all marketing
- Train employees and volunteers about sustainable practices, such as water and energy conservation
- Ask guests to provide feedback on sustainability initiatives
- Provide detailed information to guests on the sustainability initiatives
- List mission or sustainable policy dedication on all promotional materials, brochures, website, etc.
- Ensure information about other sustainable tourism options in the area are made available to visitors in visible areas on site and on the organization website
- Provide guests with a carbon calculation of their activities related to your business
- Apply for sustainability awards and communicate awards to guests
- Offer contests for guests to come up with sustainability ideas for your facility
- Generate a regular public sustainability report that communicates on the progress of your program and communicate to staff
Research conducted by a Greener Festival found that 43.1% of fans said that they had changed their behavior as a result of green initiatives or ideas they had discovered at festivals.
Best Practise Case Studies
Educational Activities and Prizes
Celebrate Barrie, Canada
Celebrate Barrie, a community festival located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, used activities and prizes in 2015 to promote environmental initiatives. There were frisbees made out of recycled plastic, dog leashes made out of old water bottles, lunch boxes created from recycled materials, stickers with compost and recycling information, and more! This was a great way to to teach both adults and children about environmental initiatives going on in the community.
Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Canada
In addition to removing debris (and sometimes people!) from the sensitive riparian habitat at Jericho Beach Park, the Nature Committee also educates Festival goers on the importance of eco-systems and marine protected areas.
Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Canada
Public education is also a large part of Canada’s Largest Ribfest’s plan. The festival makes it a priority to inform the public about what is suitable to place in the Green Bin – wooden utensils, food leftovers, corn-starch cups (even though they look like plastic!) As part of the public education program, the festival will proactively inform people about the environmental initiatives of Canada’s Largest Ribfest through the website, digital newsletters, signage at the park during the festival, and with the help of our media partners to assist in promoting this very important initiative.
Coachella, United States
Coachella has multiple education activities for festival goers. One example is The Oasis Water Bar, which combines hydration and education. There were a number of waters on tap including purified wastewater, rainwater, desalinated ocean water, and more. Festival attendees drank shots of H2O, and bartending scientists told them the water stories and future potential of different types.
Coachella, United States
All site maps and set times have been switched to wooden signs. This concept was provided to Coachella by Prints on Wood. With over 100 solar panels on the roof of pow, this is one of the most efficient wood printing solutions available, and plant one tree for every order placed.
Volunteer Promotional Stall
Cambridge Folk Festival, UK
Cambridge Folk Festival partners with Cambridge Friends of the Earth, who provide a team of volunteers who run a promotional stall to educate attendees on the benefits of recycling and to promote a variety of other environmental issues.
Vancouver Music Festival, Canada
Our Community Village is an active education area showcasing numerous organizations that make environmental advocacy their priority; plans for the Little Folks Village in 2013 include providing our young Festival-goers with opportunities to learn about positive environmental practices including: water conservation and use, composting, and recycling.