Single use tents? My mouth dropped to the floor when I watched a piece on #victoriaderbyshire about #singleusetents being left at festivals around the country.

Victoria had 3 guests on the show, including a festival organiser, a tent manufacturer and a millennial festival goer.

The outcome of their discussion was perhaps rather obvious – There is no such thing as a ‘single use tent’. No business has created a tent intended to be used just once. The term has been created by the media and was probably spawned through social media.

Let’s be clear here. The only thing that makes anything ‘single use’ is our attitude towards it.

So, what can we learn from this sorry tale?

Firstly, it highlights the growing scale of our throw away society. It seems that these tents have been purchased with the full conscious acceptance that they will be left on the festival ground. What the hell, its only £20, right?

The scale of this behaviour is very concerning of course as it stems from a deep-rooted mindset of ‘our rubbish is someone else’s problem. Everything is disposable.’

The young Millennial on the TV actually thought she was doing a good thing by leaving them there as she mistakenly believed here rubbish was just collected and donated to charity. Again, someone else will sort it out. Not my problem. The idea of folding a tent up and making it last a few years and putting rubbish in a bin bag to be disposed of seemed utterly alien to the poor girl.

She was pressed by Victoria about her actions and she stated that at the end of a long festival, most people are too tired to clear up and pack a tent away – What have we become? A selfish, entitled and privileged society bereft of respect and responsibility for anything and anyone outside of our own existence.

She continued to state that some form of incentive would be good especially for her generation. So lets get that clear – Millennials require incentive to take responsibility for the environment. Their lives are simply too important to make any effort without reward. God help us all.

This is a snapshot of the challenge we face as a society – to drastically change our thinking and attitudes.

So what do we do?

I have read that a new tent has been designed that is compostible. We tackle the problem by designing something that encourages the behaviour. This has to be the wrong direction.

Education has to be the foundation key for change. From the outset parents must educate they’re children on sustainable living and set the example to follow in respecting the natural world. We don’t have to become raving eco activist hippies. We just have to show a level of respect and perhaps make a bit more effort.

We need to look after our possessions more and consciously try to break free from the ‘I’ll just buy another one’ mentality. – The epidemic of consumerism can be tempered by making good choices both about the things we buy and from where as well as our treatment of possessions. – Out of sight out of mind can no longer be an acceptable thought process.

The changes we must make are not hard. They are not huge. They are simple. It starts with the way we think both about ourselves and the impact we have.

Thanks for reading. Keep it UP!

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