Our tenth anniversary event sees us further our progress. The sale of single use hot drink cups, cutlery and serveware, like bottles last year, is prohibited. Food vendors will serve meals with compostable trays and cutlery. We will have a long block of hand-built eco-loos onsite. There will be general, recycling and compostable waste bins, managed by Leeds-based company, Maltings Organics. Eighth Plate, the festival food waste scheme, will be collecting surplus food from traders, as part of its aim to salvage 60 tonnes of festival food waste this summer, to make 143,000 ready meals for vulnerable people in society.
The next step, we believe, is persuading more audience members to consider sustainable travel options as part of their journey to Topcliffe. While the festival offers a shuttle bus service direct from Thirsk train station to the site, we want to encourage more alternative travel than has previously been the case. A small number of audience members, for instance, choose to cycle to the festival, and the team would love to build on this.
Companies like Red Fox Cycling are doing excellent work here, having partnered already with Shambala, Bluedot and others since establishing in 2018. They organise guided cycling routes to festivals from key locations. The challenge for Deer Shed will be making these alternative methods of travel appeal to its family audience.
We not only hope that the event itself will achieve a high level of sustainability, but that efforts onsite will also help to change the habits of its attendees in their everyday lives, long after they leave. There may yet still be resistance from certain aspects of the events industry, but the hope of course is that consumers vote with their feet and back the events investing both time and money into sustainable initiatives.