Ecoguide for visitors
Helsinki metropolitan area has estimated 1800 events every year. Events provide us with experiences, togetherness, culture, music, contests, sports, celebrations, and who knows what. Events are important to us, so the environmental impact reduction and sustainable development of event organizing are also very important and ensures that reliable, quality events are available in the future.
As the organizer of one of the world’s biggest rock festival Glastonbury Michael Eavis famously said:”If a festival was to be green, it would not happen, but then we would miss out on all the experiences that they have to offer”.
As a visitor you are part of the event and the choices you make effect the overall environmental burden of the event!
Below you find instructions on how you can support green events with you own actions:
Transportation of the visitors to the event venue and back home is almost without exception the largest environmental impact of events. By favoring your own muscle power by walking or biking to the venue or by using public transport you are making an eco-action! This also saves you from the pain of looking for a parking lot.
A number of events offer information on their websites about venue accessibility by public transport. Some events also arrange for additional train and bus services. Check if the event sells a combination ticket that includes in addition to entrance also a train or a bus ticket.
Note that many events have already been monitored bike parking lot, where the bike is safe to leave during the event.
- National train schedule can be found at: www.vr.fi
- National bus routes and schedules: www.matkahuolto.fi
- Some cities can be reached by cheap bus ride by www.onnibus.fi
- See carpooling opportunities www.kimppa.net, www.kyydit.net and www.greenriders.fi/car-pooling and carpooling Facebook sites. The events’ own website chat rooms might have carpooling ads. Remember safety!
- The metropolitan area public transportation routes and timetables will be found at www.reittiopas.fi
Food and drink
Environmental emissions of food are enormous. As in everyday life, also in events, a good way to minimize the effects of nutrition is to prefer vegetarian, organic and local food. Ask food vendors to name the food source, and if necessary ask them to offer more environmentally friendly food.
A number of venues put deposits on pints, glasses and cans, so be sure to return them to the designated return points to receive back your deposit. It is useless to buy bottled water, when you can conveniently refill your water bottle at the water points.
Require event food vendors to use reusable or biodegradable dishes and containers. One should remind the organizers of the event as well.
Do your things only in the intended places.
Eco-friendly nights offers hotels that have certified EcoCompass or Ecolabel environmental management system in place.
Choose a place to stay that is close to the venue or by the public transport network, so you can travel on foot or by public transport.
Pack only what you need with you, and do not leave waste behind.
Avoid poor quality and cheap tents, as they do not protect you from the hard weather condition, are difficult to pack and are not durable. Rather invest in good quality tent, which will last many trips. Big tent is also nice to share with a friend.
No one wants to have a picnic next to someone else’s waste and leftovers or listen to the show standing in a pile of garbage. Bring only what you need, and sort your waste accordingly at the recycling points. Small pieces of paper, candy wraps, bottle caps and cigarette butts are cleaners’ biggest headache, so don’t throw them on the ground!
Do not drag furniture, covers, or signs to the event venue, if you do not cope to take them away from the area.
Recycle everything possible. Require an efficient waste sorting system from the event organizers.
SMALL RECYCLING GUIDE
Biowaste: Leftover food, teabags, napkins, wooden and other biodegradable cutlery.
Energywaste: Plastic bags, plastic packaging, candywraps etc.
Landfill waste: Unrecycleable waste.
Cardboard: Tetra pak packaging, card packaging waste etc.
Metal: Non-deposit alumium cans, metallic bottle tops, metal cans etc. Note that in Finland most cans and bottles hold deposit and therefore leave them pickers!
Glass: Non-deposit glass bottles, glass jars etc.