We can all agree that camping out at music festivals can be a fantastic way to spend a few days, but we’ve probably all felt those pangs of guilt as we’ve piled back into the car on the final day only to look around at an apocalypse of rubbish that’ll take days to clear. Well the Caloundra music Festival in Queensland are showing the World how to host an environmentally responsible Music Festival.

Since 2013, Caloundra Music Festival have been doing their bit to lessen the environmental impact of their event as much as possible, introducing a series of smart initiatives aimed at avoiding those huge piles of rubbish, protecting the nearby beach and waterways – and even avoiding that third-day festival stink.

Step one for the organisers is elimination of all disposable water bottles. The past two festivals have stopped roughly 60,000 plastic bottles from making their way to landfills, ending up in waterways, or creating greenhouse pollution.

In a very reasonable solution, Caloundra fest simply ask festival goers to bring their own water bottles, and their team of dedicated, likeminded volunteers will ensure you get the chilled, filtered, fresh water you deserve from tanks that are scattered all over the site. 

We can probably all admit that we’ve gotten a little lazy and purposefully ignorant of the environmental impact we’re having on a daily basis – and the amount of money we spend on overpriced bottles of Mount Franklin.

Along with the ban on disposable water bottles, vendor stalls will only use biodegradable cornstarch, paper, or cloth carry bags instead of plastic. Similarly, cutlery, plates and straws will also go biodegradable – no glass will be used and only environmentally friendly detergents and cleaners as well. 

Food vendors have ensured that all produce will remain local and fresh, sourced from nearby precincts such as Sunshine Boulevard, Soul Food and Beachside Court. Not stopping with food and drinks, reclaimed, reused and recycled materials have even been employed for everything from bunting and flags to the stage setup and signage, while disused shipping containers will be put to use for their merchandise and ticketing booths, coffee shops, and site offices.

Punters can get involved in the clean initiatives, too. Teaming up with the Queensland-based compost technology company OSCA, Caloundra are bringing in an automated system that will turn landfill and organic waste into odourless compost. The process is said to use minimal energy to process the waste, producing high-quality, safe and usable compost within two weeks.

With this sort of technology being so readily accessible, it seems like a no brainer that most, if not all, festivals should look into these sorts of environmentally sustainable solutions. Not only does it halve waste disposal costs by half and limit onsite pests, it also gets rid of those infamous festival odours.

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