Green Practices

Our fondness for this place is deep and abiding.

In every decision made we consider how best we can look after the environment, both now and for the future. You can see how the system works below:

Every scrap of litter is collected, sorted, and assigned to its rightful stream, with as little as possible going to landfill. You help by using the appropriate stream in the Amphitheatre and campgrounds, by keeping your campsite clean, and taking your campsite furnishings home with you. The majority of the waste that goes to landfill is from abandoned camping gear, as well as products brought to the festival that aren’t able to be recycled or composted. These are the five streams in use at the moment:

In terms of infrastructure, Uncle Doug has built 184 permanent composting toilets, which use 100% less water than the temporary toilets they replaced (they also don’t require transport to and from The Sup’). All the waste from the toilets is processed on-site and reused on the farm. We trialled a few of them in 2006, and, by early 2008, over 100 were in operation in two permanent banks. We’ve been adding to them ever since, with plans for more in the near future.

Uncle Doug has also built 32 permanent showers and harvests all the water on-site (including from the roofs of the showers themselves, which then goes into the tanks beside them). The showers use around 50% less water than the previous temporary ones, which has also cut out transport emissions to and from the site.

There are solar powered lighting systems installed throughout the campgrounds, which reduces the need for portable light towers. Uncle Doug has also installed 13 large water tanks that allow you to refill your reusable water bottles and bulk water containers. At several high use areas, these water tanks have been replaced by even larger ones, so there is plenty of drinking water to fill up your reusable drink bottles.

In the food courts, caterers may only use compostable packaging (except for recyclable soft drink cans), which, along with all food scraps, is composted on site. Leftover food is used in the staff kitchen in the days after the festival. We’ve also managed to get the Pink Flamingo into reusable kegs instead of glass bottles. We’ve been able to remove single-use water bottles completely (aside from an allocation kept aside for emergency situations).

Many of you have helped things along by buying and using decent quality camping gear that lasts for several years and doesn’t look so disposable when it comes time to pack up. There are also far fewer couches being left behind for landfill than there were a few years back (although still a ways to go).

In 2022 we introduced reusable cups at Eric’s and in the Pink Flamingo, enabled by the installation of several dishwashers in these locations. Although, in general, compostable materials help provide the carbon needed to match the nitrogen that comes out of the composting toilets, compostable drink cups weren’t breaking down very well in our compost system.

Another great way to help is by organising a chartered bus, or by booking a seat on the Supernatural Express, which has benefitted from a redesign of Reception that better accommodates large vehicles. Transport to The Sup’ and back from Melbourne equals around 0.025 t CO2e per person. Thank You very much for using these services.

Uncle Doug’s Planting Project began back in 2014 as a means of offsetting transport and waste emissions. Your contributions, which we match dollar for dollar, have funded the planting and upkeep of several thousand trees and shrubs across the site.

These are just some of the more significant changes that have happened over the last few years. Please let Aunty know if you have any good ideas.