Eco-friendly Camping Tips

Festivals are a big strain on the environment. Huge amounts of waste are created by events every weekend in the UK, sending hundreds of tons of extra waste in to landfill or off for incineration. But eco-friendly camping is not that hard.

For many families who live eco-conscious lives at home, the good efforts go straight out of the window when camping. There seems to be a disposable version of almost everything these days, and our throw away society is all too apparent when you see the piles of camping equipment and rubbish discarded on a Monday morning after a festival.

Recycling rates at most family friendly festivals have become better over the last few years due to increased pressure from guests, plus the escalating costs of waste disposal. Unfortunately, waste management and the environmental impact of events is still one of the biggest problems independent festivals face today.

We’ve found a few festivals on our travels who make no pledge to their environmental impact but others who are making huge steps. Our eco-friendly festival recommendations will be published soon, but until then here’s a few tips and products to make camping ever so slightly more eco-friendly.

Camping Equipment

Buy well, buy once. It’s temping to buy cheap camping equipment from the supermarket or high street, but we guarantee, it won’t last you more than two festival seasons. If budget are an issue then consider a good quality second hand equipment rather than something that will break on it’s first use. Do your research, read reviews, and invest in items that will last. You’ll be go grateful for a waterproof tent and a good quality air matt if it’s cold a wet. It’s surprising what you can find second hand. Camping seems to be something some people try once and never again!

Our favourite family festivals now use reusable cups at the bars

Eating and Drinking

We all know plastic is a major problem for the environment and our oceans are suffocating from all the throw away straws, toothbrushes, cutlery and other tiny pieces of floating rubbish.

Many food vendors have made the switch to reusable cup schemes, cardboard plates and cutlery, but you can help even more if you take your own.

eco friendly camping cupIt may seem like a bit of a pain to carry your own cup around a festival, but you’ll be helping reduce the 7 million disposable coffee cups thrown away daily in the UK alone.

I’ve got a nifty little camping cup made of Bamboo that cost less than a fiver from Outwell that I keep in my bag. It’s light weight and even has a lid to stop the kids kicking over my drink, AGAIN!

If you do your own cooking, try freezing some of your food rather than buying plastic ice packs. A pack of frozen sausages or even a pint of milk will help keep the rest of your food cold and fresh for a while.

It’s tempting to buy lots of over packaged single servings of things but it’s amazing what homemade goodies you can freeze and camp with.

REFUSE THE STRAW! 3.5 million straws are given out in the UK every day. They are the ultimate in human wastefulness; used for just a few minutes, then thrown away. Just say NO.

Dining Sets

These cool  Green Tones eco-friendly tableware sets are made from bamboo and rice husks. They come in some really groovy colours and are light weight and biodegradable.



Yes, well some of us just don’t bother, but for those that do, stick to your eco-friendly products from home.

Please don’t feel tempted to buy unnecessary extra plastic bottles. A bar or soap did an amazing job of keeping families clean before the millions of options on sale now. Or if you do take liquid soap, make sure it’s biodegradable.

Pack light and save space with an eco-friendly Bamboo camping towel.

Make your own portable wash kit

You can buy soluble paper sheets, soak them in hand soap/shower gel/shampoo/etc. to create a portable washing kit.

We love this nifty camping idea if you are a parent with time on your hands. Know any of those? 😉


Even if you are one of our festival families who can skip the shower for the full weekend, your teeth will need a work over. Bamboo toothbrushes are not a new thing. Still so many people still opt for the plastic version.

The eco-friendly toothbrush can now be bought for just a few pence more but the cost for the environment is dramatic. Check out this family pack of bamboo toothbrushes from Amazon for just £12.99.

Go Green

We’d love you to add your eco-friendly camping experiences and advice below. Let us know which festivals you think are doing the best job in terms of sustainability too.

Let’s all go green at festivals together!

Sarah @afieldsomewhere