2014 Waste Report

Rainbow works hard each year to minimise our impact on the land and offset our environmental footprint. After a very successful 2013 which saw a massive 44% reduction in waste going to landfill we were eager to see if we could further improve in 2014 despite our increased numbers.< For those that don’t remember in 2013 we produced and average of 2.9kgs of landfill waste and 1.3kgs of recyclable and reusable materials per person. So how did we do in 2014? Not so great is the answer. In 2014 we produced an average of 3.9kgs of landfill waste per person and 1.3kgs of recyclable materials with 0.3kgs of organics. That’s a whole extra 1kg of waste per person on average. We believe a lot of this increase is due to poorly planning camp set ups. Inferior quality camping equipment being discarded at the end of the festival accounts for most of this increase. Not only does having to replenish your camping equipment constantly hurt your bank account it hurts the environment too.

We recommend:

  1. Purchasing good quality tents that have character and durability. Think canvas and replaceable parts (such as poles) rather than cheaply constructed ‘bargain’ tents.
  2. Appoint yourself Chief Recycling Guru and be responsible for your entire camps waste. Bring bins or bags to set up a recycling station to separate general waste, aluminium cans and other recycling.
  3. Visit the campground Recycling Bays daily to drop off your waste. These are located next to the toilet blocks and Helper Huts and have designated areas for different types of recycling.
  4. Setting up your tent properly. High winds are a common feature of the weekend so peg it down securely to avoid ripping.
  5. When creating a communal shade area become a ‘tarpologist’. Angle sides of your shade down to protect from that early morning sun and deflect wind. Cheap gazebos incorrectly packed up litter the campsites during clean up days.
  6. Large items such as couches, carpets and mattresses account for a lot of the waste abandoned after the weekend. Bring items that you love enough to take home again or use next year. If you can pack it in, pack it out.
  7. Encourage your neighbours and Rainbow newbies to ‘Leave No Waste’. Let them know that part of coming to Rainbow means being a custodian of the land and leaving it as your found it.
  8. Plan your meals! Food waste is hard to reuse after it’s collected from campsites. Eat what you bring or drop compostable food at the Recycling Bays. Host a leftover supper club on the last night or gift leftover packaged foods to neighbours rather than throwing it away.
  9. Bring a large water container and a trolley. Make a daily pilgrimage to the taps at the toilet blocks to refill and avoid dehydration. Keep your water cooler by wrapping in a wet towel. This lowers the water temperature by a few degrees…or add ice.

To give you a better understanding of how Rainbow approaches waste and sustainability and how you can contribute to a cleaner greener festival we produced a short film. Please watch it and commit to helping Rainbow 2015 be the most conscious gathering yet!