This weekend is Reading and Leeds festival. Thousands of music lovers will already have arrived armed with beer, pot noodles, wet wipes and new tents.
And when they go home most of them will leave behind crushed cans, a dribble of noodles and that perfectly reusable tent.
At festivals every year, hundreds of people leave their tents behind rather than endure the 10 minutes of putting it away thanks to a mixture of hangovers, laziness and bad weather. Tents are so cheap that they’ll buy another one next year and leave it behind again.
Everything is Possible s a small organization aimed at helping young people with fewer opportunities. And for another year running, they are sending 60 of their global volunteers to the Leeds Festival site to put down, pack away and pick up all the abandoned camping equipment. Last year a whopping 700 perfectly fine tents were left at Leeds after the music stopped.
Piles of tents, sleeping bags, blow up mattresses, wellies and all manner of camping paraphernalia gets collected. The following week, all this scavenged equipment is given away in a local community exchange sale in return for small donations. Any money made is used by Everything Is Possible to help develop more international projects for young, disadvantaged people.
Any leftover food found on site (tins of soup, packets of noodles etc) is donated to St. George’s Crypt in Leeds to help feed homeless and disadvantaged people.
Of course, we’d rather the revelers didn’t waste so much in the first place, but we’re glad it isn’t all being chucked in the bin.
P.S. Everything Is Possible aren’t the only people collecting up leftover wellies after festivals: Festival Reboot and their Clogs for Kenya Project.
(Spotted on The Guardian