19/06/2015 09:13 BST | Updated 18/06/2016 06:59 BST

Building a Sustainable Future for Glastonbury

On Saturday afternoon, I'll be pitching my tent on a very empty Pennard Hill, four days before tens of thousands of festival-goers descend on the site to settle in for Glastonbury. I'm going to Glastonbury, like everyone else, for the music, dancing and atmosphere - but I'm also going to pilot an innovative scheme to encourage sustainable living.

Sixty Young Greens have been invited to camp on Pennard Hill. Our task: create a series of camping villages, live sustainably within them, and encourage members of the public to join us and do the same.


Over the years, Glastonbury has faced a growing environmental problem: campers abandon tents, litter, anything it's too inconvenient to carry home. The post-festival landscape looks almost apocalyptic, and the clean-up operation takes weeks. For a festival founded on 'hippie' ethics, with the pyramid stage first built using repurposed materials from the Ministry of Defence, something has gone wrong.

We're hoping to take the first steps to fixing this: to create a responsible community within the festival, to create a positive example of communal living, and to show how easy it can be to camp and leave no trace.

This doesn't mean living the hippie stereotype - it means being practical. We'll be cooking meals in bulk to keep it affordable for all of us; using timber to build campfires, benches and the borders of our village; and helping those around us to dispose of their litter.

But building community spirit is also vital in creating a sustainable village - so we have plans for performances in our village green, and the creation of hand-made artwork to mark out the space. We'll be facilitating discussions and workshops, to make sure that our village isn't just a space to camp but a real part of the festival.

This is just a small pilot but hopefully it will be the start of a much bigger movement. Glastonbury is an incredible event which attracts nearly 200,000 people each year, but the waste which plagues its fields after each weekend of camping is a fast-growing problem. If the Young Greens are successful, we'll create a model of sustainable camping which can be expanded in future years - and build a greener future for the festival.