Vol. 1 – The Impact of Camping Waste Left Behind
So – how can non-mindful camping negatively impact the environment?
Overuse of natural sites is a significant cause of long-term damage over time – but just because we’re only at Twisted for 5 days doesn’t mean we don’t have to be mindful! The largest threat we pose to the beautiful lush landscape that plays host to us is through all the little potential pollutants we bring in, which can be overlooked and left behind when we go.
We all know that plastic takes an incredibly long time to break down naturally (all the plastic that has ever been made still exists somewhere in our world today!) and plastic in particular holds the biggest potential to sneak away from us. Over the course of the event we take extra care to pick up every little piece we find, and attendees can help us out by doing so too as they travel the site – especially in and around your campsite, both during the event and when it comes time to leave :-)
Plastic waste poses a risk not just to marine and freshwater life, but also to the incredible range of native insects and animals that call Golden Bay home. Species native to the region include some incredible birds such as Weka, Kaka, Tui and bellbirds, as well as a whole host of other native insects, amphibians, and mammals. You can check out a comprehensive list of the amazing range of native critters found in the area on the Tasman Region website here: http://www.tasman.govt.nz/document/serve/Biodiversity%20Overview%20final%20lo-res.pdf?path=/EDMS/Public/Other/Environment/EnvironmentalMonitoring/LandMonitoring/Biodiversity/000000177368
As our event site is largely untouched by humans for most of the year, a whole range of these temporary and permanent natural inhabitants are exposed to this environment, and any waste we leave behind.
The most effective way we have of making sure that we don’t leave anything behind which could cause harm to our native critters is to not bring any waste in with us. This includes any camping supplies or food that come wrapped in plastic packaging.
It doesn’t take long to unwrap your food and camping supplies from any disposable plastic wrapping or packaging at home before you leave – and that way there’s no plastic waste to worry about keeping track of once you’re out in the wild. Remember, Tupperware and reusable bags are great for keeping your food fresh, and are way less likely to escape away from you into the environment!
Another waste creation culprit while spending time outdoors is any single-use item – things like wet-wipes, and plastic disposable plates, cups and cutlery. These guys all threaten the potential for escape into the environment too! Instead of relying on these convenient wee nasties, the mindful camper could think about bringing their own reuseable alternatives.
A facecloth is an awesome alternative to wet-wipes to keep yourself fresh – just dunk it in water, and get busy wiping! This is such an awesome way to keep your waste-creation potential down – no fear of 50+ random bits of chemical soaked cloth escaping away into our environment.
And reusable cutlery, plates and bowls – most of us are onto this one already. No bigger event turnoff than a swamp of plastic floating about the communal areas and campground! Twisted Frequency’s food vendors all prefer to serve their goodies straight into your own reusable plates and bowls – this is an awesome way not to create unnecessary waste, and to still get to experience all the amazing food on offer!
Of course, if you do forget your own plate, our vendors only use completely compostable food packaging – so once you’re done with your amazing home-cooked meal, the packaging can go straight into one of the compost bins we provide on-site.
These are all awesome ways to stop environmental contamination before it even has the chance to start – but realistically, while we all try our best to make sure we’re bringing in as little potential waste as possible, none of us are perfect! There will inevitably be those little things we overlook, and for those little scraps of rubbish we accidentally bring in with us, it’s super important to be mindful and make sure they end up in the right place. Check out our Waste Management Plan on the FESTIVAL INFO page (or a handy explainer here) for more information on how Twisted Frequency handles our festival waste :-)
Twisted Frequency is committed to being an industry leader and setting an example for other festivals in Aotearoa by reducing our impact on the environment at every level. However this will take time, and we need your help to make it happen! It’s worth mentioning that finding and securing land to run outdoor events like Twisted on is really difficult, so it makes a huge difference in the eyes of local councils and landowners if we all pay that extra attention to keeping it green. This way we can continue to prove our commitment to the environment, and keep bringing you the amazing events we all love.
So hey, gosh – there are a few reasons (and ways) to try and keep camping waste to a minimum right there! We all have plenty of love and respect for this amazing land we’ve been given permission to use, and the easiest way we can minimise the potential for waste escape while camping is make sure we’re only taking in stuff that we’ll definitely be able to bring back out again. Stay tuned for the next article in the series, all our Twisted (and other general mindful) campers!