The Summer of 2017: How Festivals in British Columbia Minimised their Environmental Impact

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WelTec senior lecturer, Joany Grima, based in New Zealand, has completed a study investigating waste minimisation, and other “green” practices, at festivals in British Columbia (BC).

Data informing the study was collected at 13 festivals in BC during the summer of 2017, while Joany was hosted by Camosun College as a visiting faculty member. The festivals took place predominately on Vancouver Island. The study builds on similar research undertaken by WelTec lecturers undertaking research on the environmental impact of festivals in New Zealand.

“Festivals have the capacity to generate large volumes of waste”, says Joany, “which festival organisers can positively influence the management and minimisation of.”

The study commends the efforts of festival organisers such as Vancouver Island Music Fest, Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, and Sunshine Music Festival, to minimise their environmental impact, and highlights 13 measures being used to reduce the environmental impacts of the festivals.

The most common waste minimisation measures implemented were recycling stations, free water refills, the promotion of waste minimisation and “green” initiatives; public transport, bike parking, and environment themed programming.

Findings of the study suggest festival organisers address challenges around the re-purposing of single use packaging by going beyond recycling.

Internationally, there is a growing emphasis on reducing, reusing and rethinking, rather than recycling, which festivals could consider incorporating into their operations.

Background Information

The full study can be found online here.

Joany Grima’s research profile can be found here.

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