Latitude Goes Green

I had the pleasure of spending the past weekend at the Latitude Festival, on the beautiful Henham Park Estate, in Southwold, Suffolk. It was a superb festival, to say the least, and the sun shone all weekend, so the wellies stayed firmly in the rucksack, which was nice after the muddy mess that was Glastonbury.

What really made me smile this weekend was that the festival has made a huge effort to reduce its impact on the environment by introducing a number of new measures, some of which are just genius. The biggest change was in the way the bars worked. Obviously festival goers are a thirsty bunch, and go through a fair few pints of beer / cider / lager / whatever. One of the biggest problems with this is that it is normally served in single-use plastic glasses which end up strewn around the site making a mess and causing problems for the litter-pickers. By introducing a re-usable, more durable plastic glass, for which they asked a £2 deposit, the organisers ensured that the beautiful parkland was not blighted by this most common of problems, and that less plastic ended up in landfill. Why it hasn’t been done before, I don’t know.

The other big change was the introduction of a three bin system for waste. Festival-goers were asked to split there waste into ‘Recyclable’, ‘Compostable, and ‘Neither’, a system which was well adhered to, and by the end of the weekend the ‘Neither’ bins were by far the most empty. Another scheme to bring back next year then.

Transport was also looked at, and recognising the fact that public transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get to the festival, a day-ticket holder campsite was introduced, which allowed those who weren’t camping all weekend to camp for one night, and use public transport to get home the next day, as evening buses around Southwold aren’t all that regular.

All in all, Latitude seems very keen to promote green issues, and the steps taken this year will no doubt be adopted by other Mean Fiddler festivals in the future, and I look forward to them being the norm, rather than the exception.

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