Edinburgh Book Festival offers free tap water.

This weekend marks the start of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and this year they have signed up to be a tapwater.org refilling station for the duration of the event.  There will be two standpipes at the event with free access to the gardens, so no need for a ticket to go and fill up.  I would still recommend you check out their programme of events though as it sounds like there’s going to be a lot of interesting stuff going on.

The festival has actually been providing drinking water for visitors since 2007, and on average dispensing around 4,900 litres of water each year over the 18 days of the festival.  The organisers have been committed to improving the festival's environmental impact in other ways too.  They offer full recycling facilities on site and over the past three years have been able to reduce the print run of their main brochure (printed on 100% recycled paper) through the introduction of brochure re-use racks on site where customers can leave brochures for other visitors rather than putting them straight into recycling. Last year they also reduced diesel consumption by 46% and use of national grid electricity by 12%.

They’ve done lots of other good stuff too, so if you are interested in finding out more about their environmental commitments you can read their 2010 Annual Review here.

During the summer, festivals attract thousands of visitors which adds up to a lot of waste.  It’s great to see festivals like the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Limetree (where we will be handing out free water!) taking their environmental commitments so seriously; hopefully more festivals will follow.