Every year across the UK, 250,000 festival tents are sent to landfill or burned.
- Association of Independent Festivals and A Greener Festival
At the same time, schools across the nation are cutting DofE programs due to lack of funding.
The iconic scheme has enabled generations of British schoolchildren access to the nation's outdoors.
How can this inefficieny be solved?
First and foremost, festival-goers are not to blame (not entirely).
They are simply making a basic economic choice. The tents cost so little that it is more expensive (both in time and in postage fees) to re-sell them and recoup the initial investment - rarely above £20.
The majority of these tents are the product of sweat-shops and the isatiable 'race to the bottom' of supermarkets. Despite this, their intrinsic value remains and many are capable of being re-used.
So, how can we get from this...
... to this?
Reduce the postage costs of recycling camping equipment.
Young people want to be a part of the solution, but there are financial barriers in doing so.
For as long as they have to pay the same price to post a tent as they did to buy it in the first place, the tents will not be re-used.
Create a platform which connects recycled tents with DofE programs.
Organsing the re-homing of camping equipment can be difficult. But what if the process was pre-arranged?
What is our solution?
Starting December 18th, we will give £5 to help cover the cost of posting a tent to our equipment redistribution project. We will also give £3 to cover the postage fees of sleeping bags and expedition backpacks.
All of the equipment we recieve will be given to local DofE programs for use during the expedition phase of the award.
All that we ask is for the equipment you send us to be clean, functional and in a condition to be used again.
To take part in the scheme, and to claim your postage reimbursement, please take 2 minutes to fill out the form below.
What is the DofE and why is it worth supporting?
Founded in 1956, the Duke of Edinburgh Award was born out of an idea to provide young people with the opportunity to take part in self-led volunteer activities; enabling them to develop self-confidence, responsibility and independence, among many another key skills.
As the award progressed through the 20th century, it quickly became an avenue for young people to explore the nation's outdoors and develop an appreciation for the natural landscapes of the British Isles. For many young people, these interactions with the British outdoors were the first they ever had and have resulted in a life-long respect and understanding of the need to protect the wild areas remaining in Britain.
As an organisation, and having benefitted personally from taking part in the DofE initiative, we believe every young person should have unrestricted access to the nation's outdoors. This however, is not the case for thousands of schoolchildren across the UK.
What's more, as cuts to school funding continue to grow each year, educational institutions are becoming left with no option but to cease their offering of the DofE program. Quite simply, the funding no longer exists to pay staff to lead the initiative, let alone find the money needed for the equipment required to complete the award.
By providing local schools with the camping equipment needed to complete the expedition phase of the award, we hope to not only facilitate capacity for more young people to take part in the program, but also to encourage schools to keep the program running - such is the importance of the initiative.
For generations, the DofE Award has been a focal point for young people's participation in outdoor activity, and subsequent conservation. It would be a travesty if we were to see the program dissipate at a time when we need it the most.