Eco Comment – The Times, They Are A-Changing

24 August 2023

I’m old enough to remember when this title song by Bob Dylan came out. What I didn’t know is that the first time it was played in concert was in Carnegie Hall. Not quite what I wanted to find out as I was looking for a link to the famous Woodstock Festival of 1969. Sad to say that other than watching it on a cinema screen or TV, the closest I’ve been to such an event is being the taxi service for teenage offspring closer to home. Yes, this weekend sees Leeds Festival happening at Bramham Park.

Purely out of interest I wondered if Leeds Fest had an Eco policy. They do and wow, have the times changed! The organisers are really going green in so many ways.

Transport: the Big Green Coach have 40 pick up points and are offering weekend as well as day returns. Plus they’re going to sponsor 5 square feet of Amazon Rainforest for 10 years for every passenger that travels with them. So, already more than 1 million square feet already protected.

There is an Eco Campsite. To stay here you have to agree to respect fellow campers, separate recycling, protect biodiversity, use the toilets provided and not cause excess waste. Most importantly, guests agree to leave the campsite exactly as they found it!

A conscious effort to reduce single use plastic has been made in that all cups are paper and there is a return deposit scheme for bottles, all of which are made from at least 50% recycled plastic. All bottles collected at the festival will be recycled to create bottles for the Co-op’s own brand bottled water. Only compostable food containers are allowed at food vans and plastic cutlery and straws have been banned since 2009. Taps are in place for refillable water bottles and there’s a comprehensive list of things that are not allowed on the campsite and in the festival areas as a whole.

Everything is Possible have Recycling Points and their volunteers will be giving out prizes for tidy camps alongside green recycling bags to collect up any items for reuse.

The camping equipment guides all stress how much plastic is in a single tent and urge people to take them home or even use one of the Camping Plus or Pink Moon tents which are already pitched and ready for occupancy. Again, the notion of only bring what you can take home with you is in a ‘Pack the Essentials’ guide.

On the Monday the organisers have a salvage opportunity for charities to collect some of the perfectly reusable camping equipment that is left thereby reducing the amount of waste that goes to energy from waste. If you might be interested in this please email: to register your interest.

And finally in 2022 the organisers worked with the London School of Economics to calculate the carbon footprint of the food sold by certain food traders. Each was given a simple three level rating for customers to see the impact of their food options and see the impact of a positive choice. This is in place again this year.

So from compostable toilets to powering 98% of the energy used from biofuel, the times are certainly changing for those Leeds Fest consumers.

Susan Morgan
Eco Group

Keep up to date

Be the first to know about the latest news and events.

Wakefield Cathedral

Cathedral Centre
8-10 Westmorland St
View on Map

01924 373923