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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Sustainable industries: festivals and events


There are many kinds of festivals and events: music, art, balloons, food and wine, and lots more. They're great fun, but are they bad for the environment? These days, many people try to organise green festivals and events that are planned with sustainability in mind.

Image attribution: Lois GoBe on Adobe Stock

Planning an event?

There are lots of organisations thinking about how to hold events in a sustainable way. From companies putting on ‘green’ festivals to guides for creating a more sustainable event.

There are some easy ways to make your event greener.


Encourage people to bring their own water bottle to the event. Provide people with places they can refill water bottles. Consider selling or giving away reusable water bottles so everyone can use one.

Did you know you can hire composting or chemical toilets? Using water to flush toilets uses anwhere between 6 to 15 litres of water per flush. 


Sorting waste on the site and making sure it goes to the right place is the first step. Where is the right place? Where the waste is recycled or reused rather than going to landfill.

Having clear signs will make sure the waste goes to the right bin, saving recycling from being contaminated with rubbish.

Food waste

Sell tickets or ask people to register to come. Then you know how many people will be there and you can order enough food for everyone and not waste extra food. Any leftover food and green waste can be collected and turned to compost or soil. 


Think about where will your power will come from. Can you use solar panels and batteries instead of electricity from fossil fuels?


Consider how people will get to the festival. Will public transport be available? Make it easy for people to leave their cars at home by:

  • choosing a site close to public transportation
  • providing bike parking
  • providing a bus from the train station
  • reducing the cost of car parking for people who ride share
  • creating or using walking trails