Some simple ways to reduce waste, reuse items and recycle at festivals to help keep our planet clean and green, and still have a jolly good time at Rhythm & Alps!

It’s no uncommon fact that festivals are rife with waste and it can often be overwhelming considering where to start when it comes to sustainability and conscious consumption. This doesn’t have to be the case. We all have a part to play in keeping our waste at minimum and how we can leave it looking the same it did when we arrived. Spoiler alert – it’s all about the prep!

What are you wearing?

One of the best things about a festival is the chance to wear quirky, colourful and bold outfits. Nothing says ‘partying in Wānaka’ like a bit of shimmer and groove! Second-hand shops are the perfect way to keep things circular; Wānaka Wastebusters is an absolute go-to shop in town, a one-stop-shop for all things funky and fun. Locally-owned and run, ‘Wasties’ is a treasure chest for the conscious festival-goer.

Local waste centre.

It’s always tempting to pair your ‘new’ outfit with glitter, but did you know the sparkles are made from tiny pieces of plastic? This year it’s all about using face-paint instead! The best part about Wastebusters?! At the end of it all, simply drop your stuff back to them and they’ll be more than excited to give it a new life with someone else! If you haven’t quite completed your outfit, continue the journey through the racks in Upper Clutha Hospice Shop and Salvation Army Family Store.

People in a crowd dancing

Committing to the camp

If you’re choosing to camp, keep in mind that buying quality equipment is a better option in the long run. It’s both a commitment and an investment! It can be all too tempting to buy a cheap tent, but the reality of that is a broken tent after day one and a pile of plastic left over. Plus it means that you’ll be all set for R&A next year and any other festivals or camping missions in-between! There are plenty of awesome sports and outdoors stores in Wānaka that can help you find all your camping needs. After that, buying second-hand or off Facebook Marketplace is a great fall-back for anything else missing!

Tents lined up at Rhythm & Alps

Getting to the Festival

Now we’re all ready and psyched, it’s time to get to R&A! Ride-sharing and public transport are the ideal sustainable solutions for getting around. If you’re wanting to drive, make sure you carpool with your mates and fill up those seats. Be sure to check out the transport page on R&A’s site for transport instructions. If you’re planning on having a big night and don’t want to fuss with driving, Wānaka’s very own Yello Cabs provide a return bus service directly from the town centre.

Man driving camper van

Say no to single-use plastics

Make your best friend your reusable water bottle and keep one on you at all times to refill throughout the event. Multiple water stations are dispersed throughout the festival which makes it free and easy to top up your h20!

Say no to single-use plastic when buying food and drink and use the correct bins for your waste. A cool way to be a more sustainable party-goer is in drink choice; Part Time Rangers are available at all the bars, with 10% of profits going towards animal conservation! Make a special effort to hang onto your cup and receive a discount on your next drink when you return it! Cheers to that.

And when it comes to packing down camp and heading home make sure everything that came with you, also leaves with you. Anything you don’t plan on reusing can be dropped off at Wastebusters and store the rest until next year! Let’s encourage friends to do the same.

Barista pouring coffee into reusable cup

Let’s recap

Together we can honour the Tiaki Promise#LoveWanaka, and #SUCFreeSummer movements!

Here’s everything discussed in a more condensed list that you can refer to before hitting the road!

  • Shop second-hand
  • Ditch the glitter and don’t litter!
  • Invest in quality camping equipment
  • BYO water bottles
  • Carpool or take the bus
  • Return items that are no longer needed to Wastebusters
  • And don’t forget… Have a great time at Rhythm & Alps and Happy New Year!
Performers at a music festival

This year all Rhythm & Alps festival ticket holders can support environmental action in Wānaka by adding a donation to Love Wānaka at the point of purchase or via in-festival donation opportunities.