The summer season is fast approaching and the dance floors are patiently awaiting the impending stomps. As we begin to get our festival rig sorted, lets take a little time to think about tangible ways that we can ALL decrease the impact we leave at our favourite places, and the surrounding eco-system.
1. Ditch the Baby- Wipes
I know, I know. Three days deep and getting dirrty, baby wipes are a super convenient way to get yourself feeling so fresh and so clean clean.
Unfortunately, these single-use bad boys are slowly killing the planet by blocking our waterways, ending up in our rivers and just hanging around being another piece of trash for decades (or longer). Plus I heard sometimes dolphins accidentally eat them, and nobody wants that.
So what can we use as a replacement?
Let me re-introduce you to an old friend:
The humble face cloth.
Re-usable, non-toxic, comes in pretty colours, and a pack of 6 will cost you like two bucks.
It's a no-brainer really.
2. Glow Sticks? More like Glow Sucks.
Whoever thought that a crappy plastic tube filled with broken glass and poisonous liquid was a good invention was obviously focused on the bottom line not the planet. They look cool and make pretty lights sure, but they are also just a bit shit, and we all know it. They never last as long as they should, the clasps break and you lose them straightaway and the most obvious point, especially in this context, is that they are EXTREMELY TOXIC! They take over 1000 years in a landfill to leave this planet. That means that every single glowstick you have ever seen and that has ever existed is still kicking it around somewhere, being a nuisance and leaking hazardous crap into the veins of our planet.
Just don't buy them!
If glowing is your thing, then there are other ways you can achieve it! Ways that last longer, are better quality and look waaay cooler. I’m talking glow in the dark paint, LED flow toys, EL wire whatever! I don’t care! Just leave the glow sticks on the shelves.
(The same goes for single-use LED lights. They are just as stupid.)
3. Portable Ashtrays and Biodegradable Filters
Smoking sucks. We all know it, but a bunch of us don't care and look cool as hell while we ignore your health warnings. Filling our own lungs with toxic chemicals is one thing, but dropping the leftover acetate and plastic filters onto the ground is a totally different story.
One way to combat this in the short term is bring a portable ashtray. Empty tins of mints work well, plus you can eat the mints to get rid of that delicious ashtray breath!
As for the long term, you can buy bio-degradable filters that break down a gillizion times faster than regular ones. They are a little hard to come across in Aotearoa, but probably worth the hunt (I heard Cosmic has them).
But remember; just because they are biodegradable doesn't mean you can just drop them on the ground. Same goes for those smokes we roll with cardboard coils. You know the ones.
Put them in your ash trays.
No butts about it.
4. C'mon guys – Be waterwise!
There is nothing better than jumping in a refreshingly *cough – freezing* cold river and feeling the dancefloor grime just wash down the stream. Most of the time that's how we stay so damn fresh looking all season right?
So what about what we put into the river?
That chic' oily film that makes pretty rainbows on the waters surface as it slithers its way out of sight may look real trippy but its not cool man. The soaps and dishwashing liquids that are readily available are super harmful to our already struggling river systems. They already have to deal with dairy farms, monocultures and general waste, the last thing they need is conscious communities screwing it up too.
Im not saying that we all need to go 100% feral and become one with the dancefloor (although... when you put it that way...), I'm just saying that we need to find some alternatives.
Have you ever used coffee grinds to exfoliate with? Natural, non-toxic, smells delicious. They are also good for washing our dishes; add a splash of vodka and Boom! Sterilised.
Although, that's not everyone’s cup of tea, and you can get SOME soaps that are not harmful to the eco-system.
Do some research. The fishies will thank you.
5. Fork the system!
Eating is good. It nourishes us while we party, and even though it's hard sometimes, we all need to do it. You know who doesn't need any more to eat? Ol' Lady Landfill. She is gotten all bloated with our consumerism and needs to go on a god-damn diet. So let's stop feeding her those silly little white forks, single use coffee cups and those tacky plastic plates. We don't need to use them, and she don't need to eat them. I mean we probably already have mugs, cutlery and plates lying around under our beds, so just chuck em in your bag when your packing to party and look at that! It's a win-win. Just remember to bring them to the food vendors and we are all good.
6. Keep em separate
Did you know that as well as being ugly, rubbish is a bully too?! Beer cans have the tendency to gang up on glass bottles. And plastic wrappers and other trash? They are the worst. We have tried time and time again to put them together, but it just gets nasty. It is our job to act as mediators to stop this gang war and keep opposing sides apart. By putting glass in one bag, cans in another and the rest in one more we can end the violence and bring peace to our fair land-fill
So there you go. It's not rocket science right?
It's really easy to make small tangible changes that minimise our impact on our environment. This is just a launching pad to get us all thinking in the same direction. There are hundreds more ways we can make small adjustments to the way we are partying that will mean that we can continue to stomp in pristine environment's for many years to come.
Author: Mondo Von doom