Camping without plastic
This year we’ve pushed the boat out and treated ourselves to a new tent. Family camping is going to be our thing for the next few years in a bid to have some cheap holidays and reduce our use of planes. We decided to christen our new palace by taking it to a local festival. Having watched this video I was keen to limit our plastic use through the weekend.
As newbies and with two small munchkins in tow, we picked a nearby family friendly festival to break the ice. Deershed Festival at Baldersby Park near Thirsk has a reputation for being great for kids and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We’re already planning next summer around going again. Our first purchase was an old bike trailer to wheel the kids around in. I found it on a selling site for £16.
We had already agreed to take the pressure off by just taking a small stove for hot drinks, packing up some bits for breakfast and then just enjoying the festival food for other meals. I made some breakfast muffins using stuff from the cupboards and some cheese straws for snacks. Trying to avoid plastic means that every bit that enters our house is now hoarded away for future use. I had never appreciated how useful the plastic bags inside cereal boxes are. I used to just chuck them out but now they’re used for all sorts! One of my last remaining plastic milk bottles was used to decant from our glass bottles and take.
Festival food isn’t cheap. We had anticipated this but figured with two small kids who can manage by sharing bits of our food it was a good year to treat ourselves. Once they are eating full meals we’ll probably join the families cooking on the campsite. This did raise a couple of aspects that I hadn’t prepared for. Next year I’ll definitely be taking our own reusable straws and cutlery in a bid to avoid these disposable and often plastic items. This was an obvious one really and I kicked myself for not thinking of it. I’ll probably also take my mini thermos, as by mid afternoon I was desperate for a caffeine fix but keen to avoid the cups.
We were very impressed by the reusable cups at the bar. You bought a cup for £2 which was then swapped and washed up for each subsequent drink. I think this was a massive contributor to the lack of litter floating around the site. Car sharing was mentioned on the festival facebook page but not massively practical when you have a load of camping gear.
The festival itself was awesome. There were so many things to do! Our mini-people had a fantastic time drumming, den building, monster making, rocket launching etc. The relaxed atmosphere was fantastic. We managed to see some great acts with the kids in tow, with generally plenty of space to run around and/or dance. My only request for the organisers would be an attempt at recycling some of the rubbish. I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard to have some bins where people can sort their own rubbish out.
So next week we’re off camping again! We’re going to the Northumberland Coast for a few days and we’re going to be cooking a bit more. Here are some of the plastic free foods we’ll be taking in addition to a big box of fruit and a bit of home baking. We tried our local weigh shop for pasta last week but it was awful so I’m back to square one with sourcing that.
We’ll also be using our new external battery packs to charge phones. Kudos goes to my husband for finding these. We charge them up on our solar panals through the day and then charge phones/tablets at night. Unlike plugging your phone into the mains, these boxes turn themselves off once the item is fully charged. Mine charges my phone three times before it needs recharging itself.