The Green Gathering is all about low-impact living and creating a sustainable future. In order to achieve this, we carefully monitor everything that happens at our festival, from power to waste to social impact and beyond.
The stats are in and this is what we achieved at Green Gathering 2022. These figures demonstrate how far we’ve come, and lay the groundwork for what more we want to achieve in the future too.
If you like what you see here, don’t forget - tickets to join the gathering for 2023 are available here.
The Green Gathering’s electricity is 100% solar, provided by 18 power generation systems distributed across the festival site. These systems include independent venues and traders, and strategically placed provision to serve utilities such as lighting, medical tent, production offices and wheelchair charging.
Combined, the festival’s 18 systems create a 50kW solar array, comprised of 100-150 panels covering 300 square metres – equivalent to a light industrial sized array. Yes, The Green Gathering has its own mini solar farm.
Our 2022 energy audit shows we used 457kWh of solar power to run the festival. Had we used diesel generators to produce this power, The Green Gathering’s carbon emissions would be increased by approximately 479kg.
Fascinating fact: it takes more energy to run Ice Green (solar powered ice cream outlet) than the festival’s main stage!
Data collection, calculations and reporting by Tessa Stewart of REsource Living.
Our vendors are 100% meat- & fish-free and are chosen for their ethical and sustainable credentials.
This year we had 16 food stalls, of which 7 were entirely vegan. Of the rest, 3 were 90% vegan and all had at least 50% vegan menu.
At least half the menu was organic in all food stalls. 9 of the caterers used 80% or more organic ingredients. All sugar, coffee, tea and bananas were fairtrade. No GM ingredients or unsustainable palm oil were used.
15% of our adult festival-goers arrived by public transport, bicycle or on foot, while 40% drove and 45% were passengers. This means each vehicle, on average, had just a smidge over two adults in it. We also had approximately 600 under 16's at the festival, meaning many of those vehicles will have been transporting more than two people once the kids are counted.
When we began measuring back in 2016, well over half of Green Gatherers were driving to the festival. Travel emissions are tricky to reduce, but with your help and our Green Traveller Guide tips, things are improving.
The Green Gathering is unique in that we separate at source. Festival-goers visit recycling stations located around the site, to filter their waste into 13 categories, with bins for everything from food cans to tetra paks - and there's composting too of course. The sorting is then checked by our passionate Greensweep team!
This year at Green Gathering 86% of our output was recycled or composted - up from 71% in 2016 when we began measuring. With more people than ever on site, we're thrilled to see our system working even as the festival grows. Zero waste goes to landfill at GG - the remaining 14% was reclaimed for energy use at a local Welsh incineration plant.
Our AGF (A Greener Festival) report this year pointed out some lovely things about our waste management system. 1 - that it sets an amazing example for people coming into the festival, reminding us all how much we can manage our waste better. And 2 - that it relies on the teamwork of EVERYONE at the festival to function, from our Free Shop and Tat 4 Tibet making it easy to give unwanted items a home, to everyone who makes an effort even in the middle of a massive party to think about where their waste needs to go. So for that, we thank you!
In 2022 we began planting a grove of native trees on our festival site with a view to regeneration of the land; extension of the neighbouring woodland; replacement of elderly veteran trees in Piercefield Park; to create a community space for ceremonies and celebrations; to provide fruit, nuts and flowers for people and wildlife in years to come. We also erected a standing stone.
Instead of single-use, plastic hazard tape to cordon off areas, we used crowd-sourced home-made, upcycled red and white bunting, with free or discounted tickets as incentives. This reduced waste, provided another way for those with less disposable income to potentially be able to come to the festival, looked great… and can be used again next year.
This year we provided dedicated toilets with private space and sink, so that people with periods could have a place to wash reusable menstrual products.
While encouraging Green Gatherers to dress up in festive, flamboyant costumes, we educated about the ethics of textiles and fashion, challenging festival-goers to ‘buy nothing new’. Judging by the fabulous retro and upcycled outfits seen on site, the challenge sparked creativity and fun while reducing waste, as intended.
Lending festival-goers plates and cutlery and washing it up too, the Crock ‘n’ Rock team save a tremendous amount of waste each year.
By providing Moon Loos we took this campaign to the next level, making it simpler for people with periods to use moon cups or reuseable pads, a huge win for waste reduction bearing in mind one single-use pad can contain as much plastic as four plastic carrier bags.
More and more of you are bringing a mug to avoid drinking coffee or tea from a single-use cup. Some people forgot to bring their own but still did their bit - our hard-wearing enamel mugs sold out on site and plenty of Green Gatherers realised our reuseable bar mugs are certified safe for hot drinks. “Don’t be a mug...” is working!
Being sustainable isn’t only about the environment - social justice matters and is at the core of what we strive for.
We extended our Assisted Access area and services this year, to make it possible for more disabled, deaf and neurodiverse festival-goers to enjoy The Green Gathering.
Additional camping pitches, more hearing loops, a second shuttle buggy, accessible compost loos, a charity-led safe space for autistic people and more solar capacity for charging wheelchairs and mobility scooters made 2022 the most inclusive yet.
We made good our Keychange Pledge to platform under-represented talent on The Green Gathering’s stages this year, with 50% of artists being women or gender minorities.
Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better, more inclusive music industry for present and future generations and we intend to continue contributing to that aim.