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Staying Green

Read about our environmental sustainability initiatives and how you can help

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Staying Green

Climate change requires urgent action – we can no longer ignore the damaging effects we’re contributing to our planet! The recent IPCC Report on Global Warming highlights the risks and irreversible losses that would take place at 2 degrees or more warming. At a warming of 2 degrees virtually all coral reefs will be lost, sea levels will rise affecting low-level coastal regions and huge numbers of animals and plants will become extinct, we will exhaust our natural resources and will need 1.7 Earths to keep up with our current demand of consumption.

However, instead of worrying about the future, we can start making it better if we work together!

We work very closely with Julie’s Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation working on sustainability within the creative industries, as part of their Industry Green certification. In 2017 we achieved an incredible 4/ 5 stars and Reading was crowned Best Festival in the Creative Green Awards 2018. Read the full report here.

We are also proud to be one of the 70 Vision Festival’s committed to reducing our carbon emissions, read more here about the Vision Festival: 2025 pledge.


Travelling to the festival makes up 80% of the total carbon emissions generated. You could travel by public transport or car share to help reduce this.

Read the latest full report here.

Carbon Balancing with Energy Revolution

The main contributor of carbon emissions at festivals is travel, which accounts for 70% of a festival’s carbon footprint. That is why at Reading Festival we are introducing carbon offsetting to our car and motorcycle parking prices. £1 of the cost of your parking pass will be donated to the charity Energy Revolution, who invest in renewable energy projects.

In 2018 we balanced 551,773 travel miles with 100% of donations going to Solar for Schools, a project putting solar panels on school roofs across the UK.


Energy generation is one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions globally and in the UK.

All of our tower and festoon lights are 100% LED. LED lights are 95% more environmentally friendly than fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Last year Reading festival used two-hybrid generators. These use renewable energy from the sun to charge up batteries to power the areas more efficiently. We aim for 15% of our total fuel to be run on Waste Vegetable Oil Biofuel.

Big Green Coach

We’ve partnered with Big Green Coach once again as the official travel provider to Reading Festival 2019.

  • Did you know that 80% of a festivals carbon emission is made up of audience travel?! We could reduce this to 20% if everyone travelled by coach.
  • Last year, by choosing the coach instead of the car for your festival travel, Big Green Coach saved enough travel miles to take you to the moon and back 46 times.
  • Last year the average carbon saving made by Big Green Coach passengers was enough to boil 7.8 million kettles.
  • Big Green Coach sponsor and protect 5 sq ft of rainforest for 10 years for each coach seat sold.
  • Big Green Coach have protected over 1 million sq ft of rainforest through our sponsorship initiatives.
  • Coach travel is between 4 to 6 times more environmentally friendly than taking a car to a festival. Using Big Green Coach is a positive step towards reducing the environmental impact caused by festival travel.

With 41 pick up locations, there’s bound to be one near you. Return journeys start from just £44, book now before prices go up!

Skint? No worries, Big Green Coach have you covered with their DEPOSIT SCHEME where you can cover the cost of a coach seat and festival ticket for next to nothing and pay the balance later.

Car Share

If you are driving to the festival, sign up to to save money on a permit and park right at the front in the Priority Car Park for free. Looking for a lift? Find awesome people who’ll drive you to the festival. Travel green and save money.


We run a three-bin system at the festival, which means every bin station in the campsite and Main Arena will be formed by 3 bins:

COMPOST – When you buy food from the traders, everything your food comes in is compostable so plates, cutlery and napkins can be placed in the compost bins along with the food scraps. Please make sure no plastic goes into the compost.

RECYCLE – Plastic bottles, aluminium cans, newspapers, magazines and clean and dry cardboard (no used greasy pizza boxes as these do not recycle).

GENERAL WASTE – There should be minimal left over that goes into General Waste.

Zero Waste Campsites

You can be a recycling champion in your camp! When you get to the festival you will be given a free recycling bag, in this bag please put; Paper, card, cans, food tins, tetra packs, cartons, plastic bottles, general plastic containers, newspapers, cardboard, beer cases

For general rubbish use your shopping bags, crisp packets plastic bags, straws, wet wipes, scrappy bits of plastic and all other rubbish. Try and minimise this as it goes to landfill or energy from waste.

When your bags are full bring them to the NiftyBin Recycling Points for your chance to win some exclusive prizes!  A member of the Field Agents of Change can help you separate them out into all the different materials to learn about Zero Waste philosophy.

Gold– chance to win 2 x festival tickets next year – For all the recycling champions out there!  Bring back your clear bag of recyclables and a bag of non-recyclables to sort into the different NiftyBins.

Silver– festival merch bundle – bring back a bag of mixed recyclables and sort at the NiftyBins and a bag of non-recyclables

Bronze – Co op tokens to use off site– bring back any bag or any unwanted camping equipment / food to the recycling points

Our dedicated field agents will be engaging with everyone in the campsites about our recycling initiatives so look out for them and say hey.


We put together a salvage operation after the festival for organisations to collect some of the perfectly reusable camping equipment that is left behind therefore reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill or incineration.

This is an opportunity for charities and community groups to come to the festival site on the Monday and Tuesday after the show and help save what they can. Please register your details here and email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Tents and Camping Equipment

Only bring what you can take home with you!  When packing ready for the festival weekend, remember to pack wisely and only bring essential items.

Pink Moon offer pre-pitched tents or if you’re bringing your own tent we ask you to take it home, along with any other camping equipment.

Launching at Reading Festival 2019, FestivalBag offers a hassle-free way of moving your kit to and from a festival to avoid needless landfill waste. With FestivalBag you travel to the festival equipment free, pick up your FestivalBag, pitch up and ROCK out, then you throw your kit into the bag and drop it off as you’re leaving. You get the FestivalBag delivered home where you can REUSE your kit and for being a sustainable festival going legend you get a REWARD. Then a percentage of all profit will be invested in RESEARCH and development. This will create products that reflect long-lasting design, like turning a disused FestivalBag tent into a FestivalBag poncho. Everything you need for Reading Festival all in one, delivered to and from the festival. Job done! Get yours now and be a Zero Waste Festival Goer.

If you have any broken tents chairs, gazebos, empty batteries, unopened tins of food after the festival, please take them to the Recycling Points.

The reality is that abandoned tents end up in the landfill because it is impossible to recycle or reuse them.

Say no to single-use, reuse your tent! Buy a durable tent that you can use again each year, it will save you money in the long run.

Volunteer on the Green Team

Do you want to help save the planet, one festival at a time?

We’re looking for volunteers who are full of energy, passionate about the environment and enjoy engaging with people on green issues. As a member of the Green Team, you will receive a crew wristband, get to camp in crew camping with like-minded people where you will have access to hot showers and nice loos. This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the sustainable events field, and you are welcome to enjoy the festival when you are not volunteering.