If you’re going to enjoy a festival this year then research from Bangor University has highlighted an essential step you can take to help look after the environment.
Great music, sun (fingers-crossed), friends and good times should be guaranteed if you’re heading to a festival over the next few months – and you’ll probably be wanting to be as environmentally friendly as possible during your time there.
Maybe you’ll be trying to lift-share or use public transport, reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use, and taking all your kit and litter home with you.
There’s something else you can do though, it’s incredibly simple to do (or not do!) but can have huge environmental consequences.
Don’t pee on the ground.
That’s it - just don’t pee on the ground, instead make sure you use the facilities provided by the festival organisers.
No matter how long the queue – use the loo.
Why? Because pee contains various compounds which, when there’s a lot of it from many people relieving themselves at a festival, can build-up, flow into nearby streams and rivers where it can pollute the water and ultimately harm insects, fish and other wildlife.
Pee contains various compounds which, when there’s a lot of it from many people relieving themselves at a festival, can build-up, flow into nearby streams and rivers where it can pollute the water and ultimately harm insects, fish and other wildlife.
Research from Bangor University, published just last year, also showed an added danger to festival goers pee: drugs.
Work by a team from the School of Natural Sciences and the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology found during the last Glastonbury Festival levels of some illicit drugs reached potentially environmentally damaging levels in the river flowing through the site.
Some people at festivals take illegal drugs, like cocaine and ecstasy, and we found that these drugs can reach environmentally damaging levels in the nearby river. These drugs are most likely getting into the water by people peeing in the area.
Drugs, and other chemicals in your pee, can find their way into rivers relatively quickly so it’s really important to use the facilities provided by the festival organiser. The cocktail of drugs finding its way into the water can potentially harm all sorts of aquatic life.
Be an eco festival-goer and join Bangor University’s campaign to use the loo (and don’t pee on the ground!).
“At Bangor University we’re doing more research into how damaging this problem is, and what we can do to remove the drugs from waterways, or stop them from entering them in the first place – such as using specially designed reedbeds and wetlands.
“You can do something to help though and that is – don’t pee on the ground at a festival. You may think you’re far away from a river, it’s only one pee, but don’t; just use the loo.
Every pee matters!"