Last weekend we went to the Electric Picnic festival as we were part of the Global Green, an area where lots of gardens, grass root organisations and environmental groups came together in one big ‘village green’. It was a great weekend, full of music, workshops, incredible food and time spent with lots of passionate people.
At the time one of our friends was busy organising a convoy to Calais to deliver supplies to the refugee encampments over there and was planning to collect any left over tents, blankets, roll mats and shoes to take with her. So, on the Monday morning after the last beers had been drunk and the last songs had been sung, a group of us congregated at one of the four campsites at the festival to collect abandoned gear. I expected a few tents, maybe the odd pair of wellies to be lying around but I didn’t expect what was about to come across. It was mass destruction, you could hardly see the green grass below all the carnage.
Thousands of tents abandoned yet still standing, broken chairs, brand new wellies, roll mats strewn about the place, countless plastic bottles and beer cans, the list could go on. It broke my heart to think that every one of those tents could be someones home yet they were discarded without value. We managed to sift through all the camping gear left behind and packed away over 400 tents, countless pairs of brand new wellies and piles of roll mats in the end which was a great success. However it left a bitter taste to such a light hearted and positive weekend.
It made me realise what a throw away culture we life in today which is such a stark contrast to the reality today. Many people can justify chipping in 30 euros to buy a tent and then throw it away after two days where as for thousands of people who have currently been displaced by war, that tent could be their shelter, their home for months, even years. It’s a shameful series of events and one that I am glad I saw as it has made me value things even all the more.
If you would like to donate any tents, wellies, roll mats, sleeping bags, blankets, warm jumpers, stop by the Moy Hill Community Garden before this Friday and drop them off at the shed. Every little helps, your trash could be another man’s treasure