I begin by acknowledging that Bass Coast Festival takes place on the unceded territory of the Nłeʔkepmxc First Nations (pronounced Ng-khla-kap-muhx).
Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name's Maria and I'm Bass Coast Festival's Green Team Manager. I've been an avid naturalist, environmentalist, and herbalist for the greater part of my life.
In that time I’ve been deeply humbled by the extent of disturbance that our human existence has had on the wilderness and in response, I do my best to live in a mutually respectful way with our planet. I see my role as Green Team Manager as a responsibility to help create a system that stewards this borrowed land for one magical weekend. Thankfully, I am able to achieve this with the tremendous efforts all the hard-working and dedicated volunteers, staff, and, of course, YOU!
I want to see Bass Coast have a net positive effect on the land and community in which it takes place. This means leaving the land better than we received it and fostering mutually beneficial relations with the community of Merritt and surrounding Indigenous communities. Read on to find out how you can help Bass Coast be a greener festival.
Shop Green. Reducing the amount of packaging and garbage you bring on site means you'll have less to throw out during the weekend. Buy in bulk and take what food and gear you can out of its packaging at home. Pre-cook your meals and then freeze them in reusable containers to keep your coolers colder longer.
Borrow and share. Don’t have a camping chair or a shade structure? Ask a friend if you can borrow theirs before you come. You’ll take better care of other people’s items and you'll save money and planetary resources. Forgot a shovel or flashlight? Ask around - chances are someone near you can assist. Abundance abounds.
Carpool. Do you have extra space in your vehicle? Offer others a ride! We have a great rideshare Facebook group where you can connect with other folks travelling to the festival. Remember, the main gate opens for general admission ticket holders at 9 AM on Friday, July 7th.
Think reusable. Avoid single-use items that will add to the volume of waste. Instead, invest in items you can reuse throughout your festival experiences, like a plate or bowl, cutlery, a washing tub, and a scouring pad. Bring a metal travel mug with you and fill up on coffee at the vendors. Did you know we offer free potable water on site? Water bladders and foldable water bottle are great ways to quench your thirst while reducing our dependence on single-use water bottles.
Get with the program. Get familiar with where to bring your waste. Bass Coast Festival has waste stations scattered throughout the grounds where you can bring garbage, recycling (clean and rinsed paper, plastic, and metal), and returnable drink containers (such as tetrapack juice boxes, aluminium pop cans, and plastic water bottles). Locate the large yellow dumpsters before you leave, (there is a cluster of them in each campground by the main road you came in on.) This is where you will take your garbage on Monday as you exit the festival grounds.
Use the showers (no Campsuds in the river). Avoid soaping up in the river or along the shore, and never dispose of your soapy dishwater in the river! Pour it into a vegetated area away from the river so that the soap has time to biodegrade before it reaches the aquatic ecosystem. For personal washing at your campsite, use a moistened washcloth with a little bit of soap. Learn more about effects of soap in rivers.
Butt-Out Consciously. Use the Butt Cans located onsite or get your hands on our new Bass Coast designed personal pocket ashtrays. Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded item, but it only takes one to pollute up to a liter of water and endanger the health of aquatic organisms. Do your part to help us keep hazardous waste out of the environment. Watch for volunteers handing out free pocket ashtrays or purchase one at the general store.
Stay On Top of Your Campsite. Get a head start of the Monday blah’s and mass exodus by sorting your waste throughout the weekend. Have different bags for your garbage, cleaned recycling, and returnable drink containers. This year we will even have containers available for other types of recycling, such as propane tanks, batteries, and paint cans. Keep these items separate and bring them over to where the large yellow bins are on your way out.
Do a final M.O.O.P.* Look for anything that does not belong in a natural landscape. This includes cigarette butts, bottle caps, glitter, agricultural food, plastic cellophane, and so on. If it’s not a rock, soil, or plant, it should not be left behind on the ground. *MOOP: Matter Out Of Place
Donate what you don’t want to keep. Drop off your gently used items in working condition at a thrift store instead of leaving it behind.
BONUS PRO TIP: Got a broken shade structure or canopy? Take it apart or break it down into the smallest possible volume before dumping it into the garbage.
Moving toward sustainability requires that large events such as Bass Coast Festival and the greater festival community think deeply about their impact on the land on which they are hosted. I see my role as Green Team Manager as a responsibility to help create a system that minimizes that impact as much as possible through collaborative teamwork. Every single person that attends these events has a role to play in helping to reduce our impact.