If you haven’t heard about it already, here it is again: IEPERFEST won the OVAM GROENEVENT AWARD 2010, an award for the greenest event in Flanders! We wouldn't be going into competition again this year if we wouldn't believe we are still the greenest fest around. Plain f* simple... and we’re adding a few extras to our green policy in 2011. Apart from an amazing line-up of bands, we have an amazing set of ideas for an even greener festival. Be sure to take notice and help us out.
Do you know another festival with a 100% vegan catering (except for the almighty Fluff Fest, not accidentally another hardcore fest), or a fest with reusable trays for French – I beg your pardon? - Belgian fries, or a fest where the visitors and band members get, totally free of charge, 100% biodegradable shower gel to use in our showers (www.ecover.com), or a fest which uses and collects all the PLA-cups and recycles them in order to make new PLA-cups (www.loopla.org), or a fest that owns a small forest in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador (www.organicmeltdown.com) and protects it from destruction,… Do you know another festival who does all of these things together? We don't, and if we would, it wouldn't be here in Flanders!
So, what’s new this year?
The story of bottled water
No more water in plastic bottles this year. It takes about three liters of water and approximately 3.4 mega joules of energy to produce and sell a single liter of water in a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles are recyclable, but inevitably a bunch of them end up on landfills, get burned or end up in our oceans. Most recycling is actually downcycling: making lower quality products than the originals, and requiring the addition of virgin plastics and toxic chemicals in the process. There is nothing green about that! After reading (and watching) the story of bottled water online, we decided to invest in a good water system. There will be clean and tasty tap water for all. Hooray!
Fair Wear Shirts
You might see Ieperfest-crewmembers and -shitworkers running around with cool Ieperfest-shirts or you might want to buy one yourself in the Distro-tent. These shirts are printed by ACP (who’s a member of the Fair Wear Foundation) and provides us with sustainable shirts. These shirts are produced with climate neutral fabrics, water-based inks and the Fair Wear Foundation is very dedicated to enhancing workers’ lives all over the world.
If you’ve been coming to Ieperfest for a long time now, you might remember the grey tubes we used for collecting reusable cups a couple of years ago. We’ve recycled those tubes and reinvented them as ashtray tubes. Look around for them as they actually look like cigarettes now. Every cigarette butt you throw on the ground pollutes about 3 liters of ground water. Fuck that! Put your cigarette out and bin it in the ashtrays and ashtray tubes provided. Thank you!
Reduce the amount of posters you hang up (and the amount of duck tape used) by putting them on the Poster Wall on the festival site. All other posters found elsewhere will be removed or relocated to the Poster Wall! There will be plenty of space for everyone and you’ll find all the info you need on this wall. This is a free space for you to promote your show, to express your thoughts or to leave a message. Go check it out!
Bubble Gum Tree
Instead of spitting your bubble gum on the ground, you might want to stick it on the bubble gum tree. Look around for it.
Apart from your usual chemical toilets, there will be some composting toilets on Ieperfest as well. Many people know about composting toilets, particularly those in the alternative movement who are quite familiar with composting in their gardens, and who understand the advantages of recycling and simplification of our needs. Composting toilets are toilet systems which treat human waste by composting and dehydration to produce a useable end-product that is a valuable soil additive. Working together with KOPO on this, our shit will be turned into electricity through the production of biogas. By taking a dump on these toilets, you produce energy! What are you waiting for? Go test them out!
Why should you follow others if you can set an example yourself? Ok, we don't claim to be perfect, but at least we fucking try. But still, we can't do it on our own. We need you; all visitors, band members, distro holders, volunteers, shitworkers… in short; everybody on the fest to help out!
We might come up with the ideas, we might provide all (sometimes expensive) logistics & we might ask you all to participate in what we believe should be the standard on all festivals and maybe in our daily life, but if you're not using the logistics and not responding to our calls, it would all be in vane, or like we would say in our dialect: “voa de noent zin klotn”.
If everyone here at Ieperfest thinks about what we are doing, if everyone helps out, we will all benefit from it... What we do now determines our future (and our future doesn’t look too bright unless we act now!).
So, no more beating around the bush; this is shortly what we want you to do at Ieperfest (and beyond):
- Don't bring glass to the festival, it just sucks BIG time on grassland!
- Leave those nature-killing-soaps & gels at home, we give you ECOVER shower gel for free.
- Leave loads of trash at home, what you don't bring, you will not 'forget' to take home.
- If for any reason you still end up with waste, BIN IT in (the right) one of our different bins.
- Don't spoil any food or drinks, eat it or pass it to others, someone will eat/drink it for sure.
- If you do smoke, remember: you can NOT sow butts… put them out and bin them in the ashtrays and ashtray tubes.
- Return your plate, tray for fries & cups to receive a food or drink coupon!
If you’re still reading this, thank you, it means you are interested in what we have to say! So, especially for you, we will give more details on each aspect we thought of so far: read on and spread the message to the non-readers and/or non-believers … Our gratitude will be eternal!
We still hold tight to the slogan we launched 2 years ago:
DON’T THROW YOUR SHIT AROUND… BIN IT !!
If you read this sentence, it seems so logical and easy. But every year we must conclude that it just isn't. And we're not only talking about all the foreigners at Ieperfest, but also and maybe even more about the Belgians. We have noticed that those who think they know the very strict Belgian sorting-system aren't paying any attention at the very clear signs we put on all the different bins, you can and will find around the festival ground and still put waste in the wrong bins. Please use your eyes and common sense. And if you still have some doubts, just ask someone else, you might learn from each other and in the meanwhile you're talking about what we hold dear!
OK, here we go again:
Glass: Fuck it, we don’t want it here, so don’t even bother to bring it. It is not allowed on the camping either. A few weeks after the fest, cows will be grazing (NOT glazing!) on it. If you feel the urge to be an ass and bring your own glass bottles to the fest, we will ask you to put them in one of the big glass containers we put at the entrance of the camping and the festival ground or in some of the smaller ones around. There’s actually a huge change that the word ‘GLASS’ is written on it. You just can’t miss it.
PMD: What PMD stands for: Plastic bottles, Metallic cans and Drinking cartons. NO cups or plates or other plastic things. Just drinking bottles, cans and drink cartons. This kind of waste belongs in a BLUE BIN or bag, and will to be used again to make new bottles or even bikes...
Paper & cardboard: You can throw all your paper & cardboard in one of the big cardboard boxes that you’ll find in the tent where the bands and some distros will try to sell you all kinds of stuff, sometimes, unfortunately, wrapped in non-recyclable plastic (see: All other stuff that can’t be recycled).
Organic waste: This GREEN BIN just loves food… food, napkins & wooden cutlery only. Which means that the package the food was wrapped in (if you brought it from home or somewhere else), doesn’t belong in this bin! Even the food doesn’t belong in it as long as it can be eaten, and there is always somebody around who will eat it. Just ask around. And if you don’t find anyone, bring it to the MTM-tent. I bet there will be people around who will finish your plate with great pleasure. Finish leftovers … fatality !!
Green plates: If you were on one of the last editions, you will recognize the lovely green, long-lasting hard plastic plates. So we don’t have to tell you that they are being re-used. Just like last year we ask you to pay a warranty (extra food coupon). If you return your/a plate to our special ‘RETURNPOINT’ nearby the kitchen and bar, you will get a food coupon back. Sounds easy, right? The plates will be washed with 100% biodegradable washing-up liquid (www.ecover.com). So we can use them again. What a service, what a pleasure, what a festival!
Drinking cups: for the third year in a row, we're going for fully bio-degradable cups made out of corn or sugar beet! Hooray! And just like last year we want to separate all the cups from other trash. All our cups will be reused again to make new bio-degradable cups. We're working together with LOOPLA on this matter. Visit their website www.loopla.org to see how it works exactly. We fully believe & support this company. So help us a hand (or two) and collect those cups. Let’s make a deal: If YOU collect 50 biocups, YOU will get ONE drinking CHIP in return! So get on your feet, collect & drink some more! Let’s make this cup-thing work!
All other stuff that can’t be recycled: BLACK BIN, if you’re holding something that doesn’t fit in one of the groups we’ve just explained before, you might hold something that can’t be recycled (yet) and maybe that’s why we call it non-recyclable waste. But hey, you can still put in into the right bin on the fest. There’s a bin for everything… crazy, we say...
DON’T THROW YOUR SHIT AROUND… BIN IT !!
Human wasted liquids and/or solids: We also ask everyone, men and women, to use the toilets to piss and shit. There are plenty of them on the fest and campsite and all of them will be cleaned on a daily base or more if needed. There‘s really no need to annoy the plants and grass with your body’s wasted liquids or solids. The festival ground’s smell will surely benefit from it and the chance of peeing on your own shoes will be reduced to almost zero...
If you’re familiar with the use of composting toilets or willing to learn all about them, you should pay them a visit.
Showers: Another fine victory over the past 2 years was the fact that we could give everyone who wanted to take a shower 100% biodegradable ECOVER shower gel, totally free of charge. And why change a winning team? This year we’re just going to do the same. So leave those nature-killing-soaps & gels at home and gain from our generosity … There’s also 100% biodegradable ECOVER washing-up liquid provided so you can do your dishes professionally on the campsite.
Campsite: THE pain point for every festival; it seems to be hard or even impossible to keep the campsite tidy. Kind of strange if you ask us: how stupid it is to ‘fest’ on an untainted site if the campsite is nasty … and hey, we’re talking about the same people staying there. We don’t get it, and in fact we as organizers don’t have to care, because none of us are sleeping over there anyway. But that’s just not our way of doing things. We want the campsite funky and clean, so same rules on the campsite as on the festival ground. As simple as that. Use the bags we offer you, for free, when you enter the camping for the first time, collect your trash, rubbish, rubble, debris, detritus, waste or whatever you like to call it, put it in the right bins, that can be found not far from the campsite entrance, where you will pass several times a day and reuse the bag we gave you! And YES, it is allowed to discuss with people that might think this policy doesn’t apply to them, show them the right way. You got our full permission to speak your mind...
If you’re leaving the fest and if you can’t be bothered to take home what you have brought with you, leave it at the entrance of the campsite where there will be a donation pit! You can’t believe how much stuff people leave behind that can still be used or donated to less fortunate people; tents, clothes, food, drinks,…
And to help you out on the campsite we’re putting a special garbage team on it this year. These people actually volunteered to do this as they noticed how hard it is to get a clean campsite. So please show them your respect and work with them to keep it tidy over there!
DON’T THROW YOUR SHIT AROUND… BIN IT !!
All of us are campers / visitors / organizers / shitworkers / band members with certain responsibilities, whether you like it or not. All big deeds start very small within yourself… take action and keep it tidy wherever you may roam ... The Ieperfest collective and, even more important, Mother Earth will be so grateful!
And if you want to do more than we ask you to do, feel free to do so, we won’t complain at all. You must know that your splendid example could be followed by many others. And if you might have an excellent idea regarding this matter or you want to help us before, during or after the fest. Be our guest and speak your mind! Don't hesitate to get in touch with Martijn through straightkieken at hotmail dot com or to express your thoughts on the Green Ieperfest presentation on Sunday. We're working day & night (no kidding) on this aspect because ...
It's a true story that this quest will never end but it's even more true that we will never give in!