Being the woman behind the man in the band, we are attending a lot of gigs and this year the band headed to a couple of summer festivals including to Aotearoa's summer classic Rythmn and Vines. With no access to our normal low waste amenities we were a little out of our comfort zones but here's 5 things we did to reduce our footprint during the festival season!
1. Pack a light, eco-savvy but security friendly toiletrie bag
My favourite items to pack for this (and any) trip away are our Dust & Glow waterless products. They are small, light and work so well - and when hiking to the campsite its definitely good to know you aren't burden by products that are 80% or more water!
Did we have to make some sacrifices for the sake of not getting anything confiscated on check in? Yes. Is that ok? Ofcourse! We are all about doing the best we can, and ofcourse if that means we need to leave our safety razors at home for a couple of weeks then we are a-ok with that - at the end of the day the security checks are for our safety too! Did we feel guilty for buying and bringing a disposable razor? I would be lying if I said I didn't, but I haven't quite reached the 'free spirit' level needed to go without shaving... maybe one day.
2. Driving a Mevo for 120% emissions offset
I was introduced to Mevo when I worked in the same office building as them back in 2020. After using them for over a year I am a women obsessed, so when it came time to head north, music gear and camping gear in tow, it was a no brainer to take a Mevo.
Mevo is a car sharing service, run completely through an app on your phone. In Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton (where they are currently based) cars are parked up by previous users, and then you can start a new trip picking any car you choose in-app and once your done you can just park it up and walk away. Your phone is the car key meaning no trips to an office to collect a key and I have always been able to find a car within a couple of blocks of my house which makes it super easy to start a trip!
Not only is it better for the planet, but its been great for my peace of mind and my wallet too. Your probably now thinking, how can a car company be good for the planet, but thats exactly why Mevo's exist. Not only is it estimated that one mevo car replaces 10 private cards (which means less cars need to exist and less traffic) but Mevo also offsets each trip by 120% through Ekos!
A better option for Mother Earth is a great reason to try car sharing alone, but I've found its had other benefits too. When you own a car, you have a lot of responsibilities; insurance, maitenance and if you live in Wellington you need a parking permit too. You also need to own a car that is suitable for all your needs, which means you can often end up with a car thats far too big for most of the time. As a small business owner, the partner of a man in a band, and a best friend to gals who live over an hour away, my car needs change with almost every car trip. If I owned a car I would need something big and powerful, which would only serve me 25% of the time. With car sharing I can pick a car based on my needs and I am only paying for it when I need it!
Thinking about giving Mevo a try? If you use the promo code THEMINIMAL when signing up to Mevo you will get a $50 credit!
We love to partner with amazing brands helping us live more sustainable lives, so after a year of using Mevo and being confident in their services, we are excited to be an affliate partner. What does this mean? It means if you use the code above we will also get a credit, which helps us to attend more markets!
3. Conscious clothing choices
Festival fashion is often equated to fast fashion and for the most part thats true. But did I want to be wearing my every day corporate clothes to a festival? No... Did I own any clothes suitable for a festival season? Not really... So on the hunt I went.
I remember when I first moved in with my partner and I really didn't want the cheap, fast consumption tea towels even though thats all I could afford and my sister told me 'If you can't find or afford to buy the most ethical, environmentally version, just make sure you are still treating the cheap tea towels as the most special item in the world because just changing that mindset can help make sure it truely lasts" and 6 years on those tea towels are still going strong! This message has really helped my mindset heading into purchases like this where I know I have to make some comprimises. So with this in mind I went on the hunt for clothing with these three key criteria it had to fit:
- Will I feel confident in it?
- Can I rewear it?
- Do I have the skills to mend it to extend its life?
Although not all the outfits were the most in-your-face festival fashion, through fun make up, hairstyles and accessories I got so many compliments, and since being home I have already reworn almost all of the items as part of my new and improved summer wardrobe. Having a plan of what I would wear and when also meant that I didn't purchases clothing that I wouldn't end up wearing and kept my bags from overflowing!
4. Say no to single use plastic
Granted this one was easy at Rhythm and Vines! They are making an effort not only to eliminate single use plastic at their food and drink vendors, but also looking to offer camping alternatives to limit the use of single use tents (tents people purchase for the festival with the intention to leave behind). Having last attended the festival 9 years ago it was really great to see the changes being made to combat waste and it definitely made it alot easier to stay hydrated with free water stations, cold water in aluminium cans and these reusbale cups (which you could have a lanyard for you didn't lose your empty cup!) Elsewhere the goal for us is always to look for canned drinks - which luckily for us is becoming easier and easier as festivals make changes to reduce their plastic waste.