I have to confess. I’ve been enjoying a torrid, weekend-long love affair every summer since 2001. It involves dressing up, carousing and dancing - all while appreciating art, music and nature. And this lovely liaison leaves me revelling in so many delicious memories they last all the way until next year. What I’m talking about is… SPLORE.
Taking place over three days in the ridiculously picturesque Tapapakanga Regional Park, just 72km south of Auckland on the Firth of Thames, Splore has been part of my NZ summer DNA ever since I experienced that first festival - thanks to my then-boyfriend (now-hubby). Nowhere in the world do I leave feeling more full of certainty about the goodness of mankind and the power we have to be good humans united together in the spirit of love, harmony and community than after Splore.
From the moment I step onto the Auckland festival site, life becomes a whole lot more colourful. Splore let’s you shake off the shackles of day-to-day existence and spend three days being a BIG KID (or you can bring the kids). It’s about meeting new people, swimming, dancing, dressing up and just being you.
But the coolest thing about this festival is the way it is set up so that 10,000 people can party for three days and literally leave no trace. Yep, Splore has a zero waste policy.
This means before you pitch up to Tapapakanga Regional Park this coming weekend, there are five key things you need to get prepped in your head and for your campsite.
1) SHOW R-E-S-P-E-C-T... TO ALL!
Whether you're on the dance floor getting down, swimming in the sea, making sure your recyclables get into the right bin or cleaning up your campsite with a Sunday-sized hangover, the reality is Splore is all about channelling Aretha Franklin and showing R-E-S-P-E-C-T - for people, the land and yourself. Be a #goodhuman... not a dick!
2) WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
Did you know that humans are the only species to produce waste? That's why before Splore take five to think about the way we "take, make and throw" things before and during the party. Instead of bringing throw-away items, buy once and buy well. Rather than bringing recyclable products, go reusable.Think coffee mugs, drinking straws, water bottles and smoothie jars. 'Cause to keep your energy up and stay on your game all weekend you gotta hydrate and nurture the body and mind to get to the finish line in fine style!
3) USE LESS STUFF
Sure recycling works but given every Kiwi produces 3.68kg of waste per day, almost half of which is compostable and quarter of which is recyclable, why not just reduce our waste by using less stuff? That's why it's a good idea to give your camping kit the once over and de-clutter it!
4) DON'T BRING CHEAP SINGLE-USE PLASTIC SHIT
Just like 2017's festival, single-use plastics are once again banned - woohoo! That means BYOB - Bring your own water bottle, fill it up regularly and when you want a tasty beverage, pay the pingers and enjoy one from your very own Globelet.
It also means steering clear of single-use plastics when it comes to your costumes - so no shitty glo-sticks, wigs or one-time-use cheap stuff that's made out of crap. Go for bio-glitter instead and get crafty with your mates to create costumes from sustainable materials. You'll have the satisfaction of achievement and something awesome hand-made.
It also means being aware of not bringing micro-plastics on site in the form of toothpastes and body scrubs. If your product has Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terepthalate (PET), Polymethacrylate (PMMA), Nylon, Polylactic Acid or ADA 2014 on the ingredient list, you’re washing microplastics into our waterways every time you use it. That's the opposite of the definition of a #goodhuman.
5) COMPOST LIKE A BOSS
Did you know 45% of waste sent to Auckland landfills is compostable? Turn this tide around during your weekend away because all vendors at Splore use compostable packaging. This is then diverted and sent for composting at Envirofert, where it is turned into nutrient dense soil conditioner. Also, get acquainted with Splore's nifty three bin system. It means you can compost any food waste and all the packaging (coffee cups, lids, cutlery etc), recycle and ... if you really have to ... send waste to landfill.
These sustainability initiatives are why Splore is known as one of the world's greenest festival and that's why we're encouraging everyone who's coming to party with us this weekend to hold up their end of the bargain. C'mon #goodhumans, let's show the world how Splorers do it...
Yours In Health + Happiness, KB xx