Festivals and events are unique places for us to express ourselves in an open, loving, and care-free environment. One way that many people choose to express themselves is by paying it forward to the community – whether it be a small, individual act of kindness or an act of a much larger scale, or maybe even somewhere in between. Think about the last time someone went out of their way to do something kind for you at an event just for the sake of doing it – remember how good it felt? There are so many ways to pass this feeling along to someone else, but just to name a few, you can:

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1. Make sure all of your trash makes it into a trash can (and maybe even pick some up along the way).

While camping festivals do their best to instill the “leave no trace” mentality into their attendees, many other festivals/events don’t because they hire cleanup crews specifically for the reason of cleaning up all of the trash, or as I like to call it, MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). And while this does alleviate the waste management issue, it doesn’t help the sea of trash that is present throughout the weekend. It is so easy to take any MOOP you create and throw it into a trash can or recycling bin – yet at almost every event I attend, there is always trash scattered all over the floor. First off, it’s an eye sore to say the least (and the worst backdrop for any memorable pictures), and second, it is extremely unsafe. Many people injure themselves by tripping or stepping on garbage; we all know how catastrophic stepping on an empty-but-capped water bottle can be. A friend of mine rolled his ankle at EDC 2015 on an empty water bottle and had to spend the last day of the festival in a wheelchair. Not to mention, everyone just throwing their MOOP on the floor creates more of a hassle for the clean up crew. Make life easier for everyone and just throw your trash away. 

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2. Use a reusable water bottle – and maybe even gift one to someone else!

This loops back into minimizing trash. Most of the plastic water bottles that are sold at events are not properly disposed of, and as a result, many more millions of pieces of plastic are released into the world. If more people brought their own reusable bottles, the number of wasted plastic water bottles at events would greatly diminish. This also means less people tripping over empty plastic water bottles on the floor! As long as more events keep instituting water refill stations, more people should be encouraged to bring their own water bottle. And maybe even gift one to someone who doesn’t have one to spread the sustainable love.

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3. Return any and all lost items you may find throughout the night.

We’ve all been there – we get too caught up in the moment at a festival and realize that something is missing. Whether it be your phone, wallet, keys, or maybe all three….it never feels good to lose something at an event. But the feeling of having someone return your item(s) to you – whether that be through lost and found, by meeting up with you later in the night, or mailing it after the event is over – cannot be understated. It’s the most relieving, hope-for-humanity reviving feeling ever. Think about that whenever you come across someone’s lost item(s) at a festival, and how relieved they’ll be when you’re able to return it to them.

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4. Lend a helping hand to someone who looks like they’re having a hard time.

Seeing someone going through it at a festival is never fun – whether they’re lost, injured, or a little too intoxicated, it helps to be aware of your surroundings so you can spot anyone might need assistance out. Many people just point, laugh, and stare at those in despair at an event, not even thinking about the turmoil they must be going through in that moment. Doing something as simple as lending your phone or escorting them to the medical tent could mean a world of difference in their night, as well as a possible new friend.

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5. Exchange a smile with a stranger.

We come across so many different people at a festival – the amount of new friends to be made is never-ending. It’s so easy to flash a smile at someone as they walk by you, whenever you make eye contact, or even as you’re getting down on the dance floor. Something as simple as a smile can lead to getting a smile back, striking up a conversation, or even meeting that special someone. But don’t do it just because you’re expecting something out of it in return…the best reason to give a smile is…just because it feels good!

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