The Green Traveller Challenge

In the face of climate emergency, The Green Gathering is inviting festival goers to take a leap and become ‘Green Travellers’. The festival’s on-site carbon emissions are almost zero, an achievement recognised by the European Green Operations Group and the International Greener Festival Awards. The last big hurdle for organisers aiming to create a carbon neutral event is travel; in 2018 this accounted for 98% of The Green Gathering’s emissions.

Launched this spring, the festival’s Green Traveller Guide aims to empower ticket buyers to choose low impact transport. Acknowledging car-free travel can be a challenge, the Guide has tips for finding the best public transport deals, packing light, cycling and liftsharing. Incentives include complementary festival programmes, express shuttle bus from Chepstow railway station, free guided cycle rides from Bath and Bristol, and special offers on camping accessories courtesy of upcycled tent pioneers Camplight.

Choosing public transport can reduce a festival-goer’s emissions by up to 87%. By teaming up with Energy Revolution, The Green Gathering offers travellers chance to use a carbon calculator to compare modes of transport. There’s also an option to balance travel emissions by donating to Energy Revolutions’ renewable energy projects. In 2018, 100% of donations went to Solar For Schools, putting panels on school roofs and renewable energy education on the curriculum.

Carbon emissions according to travel method

Cardiff to GG

London to GG

Manchester to GG

Edinburgh to GG

Car

7.0kg

32.3kg

37.5kg

86.9kg

Train

1.7kg

7.9kg

9.2kg

21.3kg

Direct Coach

1.1kg

5.0kg

5.8kg

13.5kg

Source: Energy Revolution transport calculator, based on one person travelling

The Green Traveller Guide was compiled by ReFiesta, a volunteer-run network with an ambition to harness the good vibes of festivals to inspire positive change.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with a festival that is open to creative ways of tackling its travel footprint. Our aim at ReFiesta is not only to reduce the environmental impact of the festival itself but to stimulate changes among participants which may extend beyond the festival.”

– Mel Gould, ReFiesta co-founder

“In recent years we’ve reduced emissions by encouraging crew to use public transport and liftshare; asking the public to go car-free felt quite daunting but we were lucky enough to have an inspirational partner in ReFiesta and have already had great feedback about our Green Traveller Guide. Our aim this year is to directly reduce the carbon emissions of our festival-goers travel by encouraging and incentivising behaviour change. Once we’ve gone as far as we can with that, in maybe a year or two, we’ll focus on balancing travel through donations to Energy Revolution projects.”

– Em Weirdigan, Green Gathering director

PHOTO CREDITS: Thanks to Stefan Handy, Keef Gibson, Ayesha Jones, Ben Cavanna, Brian Darcy, Zoltan, Johnny Solstice & Cathryn, Mike Urban, AimeeVPhotography, Garry Holden, Mark Pickthall, Greeny Lens, mistereb.com & all who've shared their pics.

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