I was very excited about being the Campsite General Manager at Bushfire Festival this year and even more so when I learnt that the theme was environmental sustainability, as this is close to the hearts of All Out Africa.
Home to almost 4000 campers during the Festival, staying in the Tent Village, Canvas Camp, Forest Fire, Family Camping and Open Camping zones made trying to keep the campsite environmentally friendly a real challenge. But this was what we did!
Through cooperation and hard work the site included:
- 20 showers controlled by stop valves only allowing water to run for 40 seconds at a time, reducing the amount of water used and more importantly, wasted
- 8 sinks with taps controlled by stop valves allowing water to run for 10 seconds at a time, reducing the amount of water used and wasted
- signs in our showers and sink areas promoting 14 different ways to save water, including tips on turning off the tap when washing your hair, washing your car with a bucket rather than a hose, and taking a shower rather than a bath. We were a little behind with our signage and so popped in and out of showers in between bathers but everyone seemed in good spirits and approved of our approach – apologies to anyone who had to wait a little longer!
- recycling bins throughout the campsite with clear signs for campers to make a choice
- green bags that our cleaning and maintenance teams used to collect recyclables
- bio-degradable black bags, donated by a sponsor, for general waste
- a café that sold only drinks and food made from natural products an effort to reduce plastics and additives
- reduced fire sites and wood burning by having central fire points at the café and information desk area, where groups of friends could sit and relax or make new friends
A big thank you to those people who assisted us in bringing our ideas and focus together and provided us with materials to help us with our plans.
We already have ideas to improve our impact next year including using different products in our signage, more focused recycling bins, transfers from Johannesburg to decrease Festival goers carbon footprint and selling natural shower products at our information desk. As winners of the African Responsible Tourism Awards for Habitat and Species Conservation we want to encourage campers to become more involved in the great work that we are already doing in Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique.
If you were a camper at this year’s festival or have experience in this area please share your ideas with us on how we can the environmental impact of our campsite at Bushfire Festival 2018. We’d love to hear from you!
Greening my Fire!
Campsite General Manager and Tours Director