The image of the average Download rocker may not tie in with the other stereotype of the green hippy, but cast such notions aside as we hard rockers will be showing a distinctly soft side this year for the environment.
The Download Festival organisers are pushing ahead schemes to make the three day festival as environmentally friendly as possible and festival goers will have some exciting opportunities to put Eco friendly projects into practice.
To start, visitors are being asked to consider how they get to Donington in the first place. In a bid to reduce traffic congestion and pollution the organisers are strongly backing a liftshare scheme which apart from helping to save the planet can certainly make a positive impact on your pocket!
A number of visitors have signed up to car sharing schemes via Lift Share and so far the people registered will collectively save over 81 tonnes of carbon dioxide output.
Many people will be making use of public transport. Bus services and shuttle buses are being laid on, with details updated at the Download website.
Once at the site there are going to be ample opportunities to recycle. Ten campsite hubs are being set up where visitors can recycle plastic, cardboard, bottles and cans.
Gas canisters and battery exchanges will also be in place to ensure their safe disposal. And everyone knows rubbish can be a big problem at such get togethers.
Well look at rubbish differently this time! Visitors can get a ‘Download Dirtbag’ from the hubs, bring back a full bag of rubbish for disposal and you’ll be entered into a draw for VIP passes to Download 2008. Well they always say where there's muck there's brass!
The other big waste of the weekend, well we all know the stories of the legend that is festival toilets. This year the charmingly named comfy crappers will be composting human waste. Let’s leave that there. Literally.
Of course the modern festival rocker can’t survive without some mod cons, notably the mobile phone but like their owners, they get drained over the weekend.
Well now you can get your phone back to full capacity with pedal power. Hop on a stationary bike and power your phone with a bit of leg work at the Pedal-ability stand.
And if the idea of harnessing energy engulfs you, take time to check out the Eco workshops and learn how to harness solar and wind power, and the secret power of the lemon (intriguing).
Leading by example the festival staff will be living on site and using bikes to travel around the grounds, bio-diesel will power the generators and lighting will use energy efficient bulbs.
And as the fun comes to an end, there is one last gesture you can make. Many people don’t want the hassle of taking their tent home or they trash them – don’t! ‘Give Me Shelter’ at the campsite hubs will take unwanted tents, sleeping bags and wellies off your hands and put them to very good use.
Items are used in disaster zones such as natural disasters or in refugee centres to provide emergency shelter or they may be used to give under privileged children a much needed break at summer camps.
So if you are coming to Download and want to make sure the only footprint you leave is in the moshpit…
- Think about your travel arrangements. Could you lift share or use public transports?
- Use the campsite hubs to recycle and put all other rubbish in the skips provided or fill a Download Dirtbag
- Heading into the village to buy supplies? Treat yourself to a very fashionable shopping bag on wheels – it’ll save on plastic bags and your arms as you walk back to the site (it’s uphill you know!)
- Dispose of batteries and gas canisters at the exchanges
- Recharge your phone using the pedal-ability bikes or bring a solar/clockwork powered charger
- Use the toilets. Really. Free flowing urine seeping into Donington Park isn’t actually Eco friendly!
- Noise at Download is good but keep it there! Off site, respect the festival’s neighbours.
- Respect the sites grounds and surrounding areas
- Don’t bring a load of tat in the first place – you’ll only have to carry it anyway!
- Don’t start unnecessary fires!
- Don’t ditch or trash your tent – if you don’t want it donate it to ‘Give Me Shelter’