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Science
COSTING THE EARTH
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Thursday 21:00-21:30
Costing the Earth tells stories which touch all our lives, looking at man's effect on the environment and at how the environment reacts. It questions accepted truths, challenges the people in charge and reports on progress towards improving the world we live in.
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Listen to August 21
PRESENTER
MIRIAM O'REILLY
Miriam O'Reilly
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Thursday August 21 2008
Are festivals really cleaning up their act?

SUMMER OF MUD

In the first of the new series of Costing The Earth, guest presenter Tom Robinson packs his tent, waterproofs and wellies and heads out for a summer of mud on the music festival circuit.

With around 5 million people attending festivals this summer, Costing The Earth investigates whether the punters, organisers and musicians consider the environment when they’re enjoying the entertainment.

The summer festival calendar is now packed: from the established mega-festivals such as Glastonbury, to the small-scale Truck festival in Oxfordshire. There’s a festival every weekend from Mid may until the end of September

This weekend is no exception with 200,000 people expected to attend the Reading and Leeds festivals. Festival organisers, Festival Republic are gearing up for the big clean up following the events and Tom meets Meegan Jones, the company's sustainability officer as she prepares her team for the huge task of restoring the festival sites to their former glory.

Ben Challis is co-founder of A Greener Festival, an organisation set up to advise and encourage festival organisers and festival goers to think about the environment when planning and attending summer events. Each year they give awards for the best festivals on the circuit.

Renewable energy-powered stages, biodegradable tent pegs and car-share schemes are a few of the growing attempts to reduce the impact of summer festivals on their surroundings. But is enough being done?
Many festivals now promote a "leave no trace" policy. Costing The Earth investigates whether the party-goers actually adhere to it.

And with the Reading and Leeds festivals about to start in just a few hours time, do measures currently in place go far enough to protect the environment?

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