Between The Trees is committed to having an environmentally responsible event and we are working closely with our partners to plan and implement a festival/event which will reflect green event best practices.
Being Green is a core principle of Between the Trees festival.
We are a member of the POWERFUL THINKING, the Sustainable festivals’ group and have pledged to improve how we operate each year.
“Powerful thinking supports smarter practice and innovation in energy management for outdoor events and music industry”. (“Sustainable energy for festivals – Powerful Thinking”)
Vision 2025 is the report recommendations we are working towards.
We embed Circular Economy principles wherever possible.
“Leave it better” rather than “Leave No Trace” is our motto.
Our T&Cs have embedded many of these practical policies, and form part of the contract of a ticket sale.
The term “eco-friendly” is a very “cut and dry” term that means the product doesn’t harm the planet. We are an eco-friendly event.
Sustainability, however, represents a broad aspect of activities and issues that, when their needs are met, doesn’t impact future generations, this has become enshrined in law in Wales within “The Well Being of Future Generations Act 2015” and forms the basis for the decisions and policies we have created.
Sustainable Steps we have taken to Go Green:
- TRAVEL: We encourage active travel and offer a cycling group arrival bus for gear and escorted ride to the site from Bridgend train station. If crew or festival goers, cycle to the festival we have a free, safe storage for bikes and free bike maintenance sessions. We ask crew and festival attendees to car share where possible.
This year’s theme is Journeys, Migration and Pilgrimage. How we travel is important.
- REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE: Where possible, we use minimal resources for maximum impact. We hire almost all the resources we need; the event infrastructure, we reuse décor and use ephemeral, plentiful resources like wood, ivy, leaves to decorate the site. We hire or reuse bunting and flags. We have purchased event chairs and tables, signage, haybale socks, flags, cushions and rugs, which we clean, store and re-use each year.
- RECYCLE and DONATE: We buy 50 local strawbales each year for seating, these are donated to the local horse-riding schools and the Plant nursery near the site, for mulch and as a growing medium.
- EDUCATION and CONSERVATION: We are next to a nature reserve, and we are highly conscious that we have a responsibility to the biome as well as all the living things in the woods. We hold walks to show attendees where the wildlife pockets are. We feature debates and lectures about environmental issues.eg “How the presence of otters indicate the health of a river “We have speakers and debates that are devoted to this issue, The festival aims to connect people to nature and part of this means that we show them how caring for the microscopic, biome of the forest has impact upon how and where we dispose of our waste and sharing the planet with the rest of nature; be it trees, fungi or the animal kingdom.
- ELIMINATING PLASTIC Waste from All Venues. Staff lanyards and festival wristbands are made of wood and organic thread. They are laser printed at CMU FABLAB with our logo. We believe we have pioneered the use of wood in this way.
- All traders are requested to have all “natural” stands resources and minimise the use of plastics. Provide compostable, rather than recyclable or biodegradable.
- E-CIGARETTES: Banning single use vapes, we have a talk this year about the vapes collected from the beach at Merthyr Mawr. These are on display and a relatively new littering issue which is becoming increasingly problematic.
- WATER: Free, numerous drinking water standpipes throughout the site. Showers and handwashing taps are fitted with timers, to eliminate wasting water.
- LIMIT FOOD WASTE: Medium and Small portions are on offer at the food traders. Food waste is collected and composted.
- ENERGY/FUEL: Transporting and storing food for consumption uses a great deal of energy. Food is seasonal and purchased locally. Traders are individuals or couples, small businesses and many are very local. e.g.
“Farmers Pantry and Rosedew Farm stand tall in our commitment to sustainable agriculture and climate-friendly food production. From farm to table, join us in supporting local farmers providing sustainable, ethical and traceable produce”.
Power comes from a combination of mains electricity; generators are only used at night or in the event of a power cut. We have significantly reduced our reliance on fossil fuels.
- SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES at the BAR, Microbreweries and CEIC principles. We have lots of local craft beers and ciders on offer. All are brewed in nearby Welsh breweries, meaning that the carbon footprint of transportation is dramatically reduced.
- CEIC/ local traders: Many of the food traders are local or Welsh and those who are from further afield, purchase their ingredients from local farms, keeping the carbon footprint low. All are small businesses supporting families in Bridgend, RCT, Monmouthshire and Carmarthenshire.
- OFFER PLANT BASED ALTERNATIVES. We believe that were there are great quality options it is far more likely that people will try a plant-based meal. Even one plant-based meal over the festival weekend has an impact! We offer vegan and Vegetarian food traders, and the Omni food traders use locally sourced ingredients. We have a Vegan ice maker at the event, with handmade, delicious fresh ingredients. Our crew catering is plant-based, however, there is a choice where people prefer dairy, we have that available, as well as providing fresh locally sourced eggs which are boiled for breakfast, if requested.
- MINIMISE camping WASTE: We are extremely fortunate in that we have informed and engaged festival goers over the previous 7 years so that we no longer need dispose of camping equipment, tents or sleeping bags.
- An INNOVATIVE approach to managing post event WASTE. We ask attendees to take their rubbish home with them and 99% of them do, this has become so successful that we pack down the entire site within 8 hours. Low impact means that we tread lightly to preserve and protect this special environment.
- REUSE: to bring their own cups, plates and cutlery and bring your own bottles to refill. We have 4 covered outdoor wash up stations to save on the provision of disposable plate and cups. This minimises disposable single use cups and plates.
- MERCHANDISE: BTT merchandise has been carefully selected to reflect our eco policies. T-shirts are Earth Positive, made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled plastic water bottles. They are the only t-shirts that are endorsed by Greenpeace. We have multi-use cups for sale which cuts down on single use-plastic which are high quality and last for very many years.
- BINS AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: Upon arrival at the box office attendees are provided with several plastic bags:
Clear bags are for recycling: paper, cardboard, plastic, cans and glass.
Black bags are for non-recyclable waste e.g., everything else
We ask attendees to separate all recyclables from non-recyclable waste and to share common bags with neighbours. The attendees leave their clear and black bags separately at the rubbish holding points located throughout the site. If more bags are needed, they can be collected from the Box office or Merch stand. We make our fabulous Green Team happy by making thoughtful choices about waste. Human beings sort recycling. It’s far better to take rubbish home to be dealt with and saves money used on bins which would otherwise provide payment for musicians, speakers and production instead.
£50 to empty a bin or £50 for a short set by a new musician?
Central areas and the BIN STORE have plenty of waste bins and recycling bins (wheelie bins). There are photos to help people put the waste in the correct bin, and The Green team are there to assist and educate.
Although we are doing many things to be sustainable and eco-friendly, we strive to improve what we do and update our provision every year. We are open to innovative ideas and work with our stakeholders, including power suppliers, to reduce our carbon footprint to reduce the environmental impact of the event.