Our Festival, Our Planet
At Vantastival we care passionately about the sustainability of our activities, about climate change and about the future.
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has had a significant impact on the environment globally. There has been an increase in plastic waste as face masks and gloves are discarded, and many of us who try to be environmentally conscious and responsible in our purchases are buying more hand wash and sanitizer, chemical cleaning products and wrapped food items for hygiene reasons. However, Covid 19 has simultaneously resulted in a decrease in the overall pollution rate, especially air pollution, due to the shutdown of factories, a drop in coal and oil industrial activities, reduced air travel, and a massive reduction in road traffic globally. This has resulted in huge declines in pollution over major cities in particular. Unfortunately, there is a danger that any environmental benefits of a global lock-down will be short-lived, and once normal business resumes CO2 and NO2 emissions will rise once again. We hope that there will be some long-lasting benefits, as people confined to their homes have taken to growing their own food, buying fewer unnecessary items, taking care of themselves and each other, and spending time reflecting on life and appreciating those things that are really important. Let’s grab this opportunity to improve our ways of living long into the future.
Each year at Vantastival we try to incorporate new and improved strategies to help fight against the amount of impact and waste that we as a festival and you as our patrons create during the weekend. Our footprint is currently up there with the best of the best but we need to do more. Our world is rapidly changing and we need to change with it.
Recycling can only do so much, we need to change the way we interact with this incredible world of ours in order to preserve what we have and recover what has already been affected by our modern day conveniences.
It’s going to take work but the pay-off will not only provide a more hospitable environment for our own futures, but also a greener, more sustainable and biodiverse world for the many generations of all humans and creatures to come.
The Vantastival team want to make this festival as environmentally sound as possible. We care passionately about the sustainability of our activities; about climate change and its potential impacts, and about the future, which our children will inherit.
Ireland is following an unsustainable path, however we believe that a sustainable one would not exclude recreational use of the vehicles we love. We must embrace clean, sustainable forms of mass public transport, yet that does not have to mean that we sacrifice what we love to do. We dream of a future in which traffic jams are the exception, not the rule. Not because owning and driving a car or van is too expensive; nor because the right to do so is restricted, but because the alternatives for most people are more appealing. Imagine how clean and quiet our country could be!
We understand that we are wholly dependent on fossil fuels, and that the foundations of our dependence are unsustainable and crumbling. However we are also pragmatic, and know that Ireland will always be reliant in some way on our road network given its geography and existing development.
We do not believe Ireland’s path to sustainability should necessarily be through sacrifice and the imposition of limits. We see climate change as a great opportunity to make our country happier, healthier, wealthier and more efficient. Ireland has some of the best renewable energy potential in Europe. Reducing the world’s carbon emissions presents a great opportunity for the development of international energy interdependence, and that can only be a good thing for our small country, irrespective of climate change.
Enhancing our environment needs to happen on many other levels, and that is why Vantastival strives to ensure that much of the food you will eat at the festival is local and/or organic; that resources are used as efficiently as possible, and that the waste which we create is minimal, and is managed as sustainably as possible.
We encourage Vantastival goers to travel with friends; to do your bit to keep our beautiful venue clean, and to contribute positively to a great festival atmosphere. We hope you enjoy it!
Our Green Policy, Our Future
Use of Compostable Packaging & Eco Cups
Vantastival’s food traders use ONLY compostable foodware. It is our policy that there be no non-compostables used for food or drinks and no disposable plastic cups will be used at O’Hara’s Bar. The use of EcoCups at Vantastival over the last couple of years has been a great success, saving in excess of 10,000 plastic cups going to landfill!
WHY? Well, put simply:
- Plastic has become a ‘natural’ part of our daily lives, however there is nothing natural about it. It takes over 500 years for plastic to break down, so that means that EVERY piece of plastic created still exists somewhere, even if part of it has been recycled.
- 72% of all plastic packaging is never recycled, 40% is landfilled so that means 32% ends up in our ecosystems. Ireland is Europe’s LEADING producer of plastic.
- It’s estimated by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.
There’s a lot to be done and while we are trying to do our bit, we’d like you to join us by limiting the amount of disposable/single use plastic you bring to site and where possible, not to bring any at all. Here’s a few small suggestions to help you start off:
- Bring snacks, drinks and other items in reusable containers that you can bring home when empty and use again, we all have some old school tupperware knocking about the house, put it to good use!
- Use a stainless steel water bottle, let’s do away with bottled water entirely. We suggest stainless steel as they’re far more solid than aluminium and don’t have any of the nasty HDPE chemicals plastic reusable bottles have. Refilling on site is easy and free!
We are introducing a block of compostable loos this year and need your help to ensure the initiative is a success. This means correctly following the instructions on proper use and ensuring that no rubbish goes into the toilets. The science bit is that poop and wee breakdown gradually when layered with sawdust as it creates air gaps for aerobic bacteria to break it all down. This saves water and creates new humanure for our on-site tree planting for carbon off-setting. Proper job.
If you haven’t used one before it’s really simple, here’s how they work:
– Each loo will be like a regular loo but with no water and hence, no flusher.
– There’s a bucket of saw dust with an attached scoop.
– One scoop for poop, none for pee.
– No rubbish in the toilets. Sanitary products go in the bins provided.
It’s that simple!
Operate a leave-no-trace policy
Does exactly what it says on the tin, we leave NOTHING on site when we go, but we need help during the festival keeping it clean too.
Waste management at Vantastival is an experiment in sustainability. We’ve all see the filth and detritus at major festivals – it is our aim to reduce to zero the amount going to landfills from our activities. This will require a degree of commitment and responsibility from each attendee. We’re operating a “Leave No Trace” policy. Waste that doesn’t fall into existing recycling categories as displayed at the event should be disposed of off-site in an environmentally responsible manner.
We would greatly appreciate a responsible attitude from all our patrons – your actions will speak louder than words. Cigarette butts are the bane of any festival, and we would strongly encourage smokers to carry a personal cigarette ashtray/receptacle, such as tobacco tin, film canister, zip-lock bag, or a beer can as a last resort. Please collect your recyclables in clear bags if possible, and and leave at our rubbish points when full. Please pack up your tent and take it home with you.
Ask the stewards where the recycling points and landfill bins are if you don’t know!
We pride ourselves in how we leave the site, no cans, no cigarette butts, no MOOP!
What’s MOOP you wonder? Well it’s known in the festival world as :
– Matter out of place is a term that incorporates all aspects of litter, rubbish and debris that you see lying about the festival site. Yes, even GLITTER!
– This starts as a can here, a plastic bottle there but ends up piling up around the site and before you know it, there’s a huge mound of rubbish where there was nothing hours before.
– We all have a duty to keep our environment clean so if you see something out of place, whether a can, a plastic bottle or a pair of broken sunglasses pick it up and put them in the appropriate bins!
What we consume isn’t only about what we eat, it’s what we buy in general. Consuming consciously works by taking a minute to think about where it is your food, clothes/costumes, camping gear and even your toiletries came from.
– Come from thousands of miles away to get here?
– Effect the environment to get here?
– Cause suffering to those who made them?
– Use excessive amounts of water to be made?
– Cause deforestation, land clearing or destruction of habitat to be made?
– Really NEED to have that item or food?
– Think you can find a better alternative?
– Want to support an industry that involves any of the above?
We ask everybody coming to Vantastival to think about what they’re bringing, if it’s necessary, will it last and where it’s going once it’s done with.
– We’re encouraging our patrons and crew to try and introduce more meat free meals into their festival and daily lives seeing as animal agriculture equates for “14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second highest source of emissions and greater than all transportation combined. It also uses about 70% of agricultural land, and is one of the leading causes of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution”. Try the veg option for one meal, a day, or try the whole weekend if you like! Every meal makes a difference. We have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on site, don’t worry!
– Avoid buying cheap camping gear, as cheap tents and chairs are often one use items too. They break and tear and end up in the tip after only a couple of uses. Think about investing a little more money in a better tent that will last you years or ask a friend to borrow theirs if possible!
– Costumes are great but cheap costume items that are used once and thrown away just end up in landfill and are around for hundreds of years, all for one weekend. Get creative, make your own, they’ll be better quality and unlike anyone else’s!
On March 30th 2019, a Biodiversity Survey was conducted at Beaulieu House estate by the ecological company Saol Glas.
The field survey was repeated at the end of the growing season in 2019, and again in 2020, to monitor how the land recovers. The results of the surveys have been used to prepare a report called a “Biodiversity Impact Assessment” for Vantastival, which will help the Vantastival management team:
- have a clear picture of the biodiversity of the landscape at Beaulieu House;
- understand any impacts that the event may have on the biodiversity around Beaulieu House; and
- manage the festival in a way so that the nature at Beaulieu House is preserved and even enhanced.
The assessment has identified positive impacts of the festival on biodiversity but has also identified some negative impacts and potential negative impacts of the event, as well as ways in which we can counteract or prevent these. We are on a journey of constant learning and improvement in this area, and hope that you will work with us to continue to improve and reduce any negative impacts Vantastival has on Beaulieu Estate and it’s rich biodiversity.