Cardboard Tents may offer a sustainable future for festivals

Cardboard tents may sound like a crazy idea, but bear with us.

A new company may have found an environmentally sound way to change the face of music festivals.

Kartent are a Dutch outfit who want to reduce the waste left behind after music festivals. But is it really that big a problem? Apparently so:

Did you ever attend a multiple-day festival? Did you stay on the festival camp site?

Maybe then you know the problem: Every year a lot of stuff is left behind on festival camp sites after a festival has finished. This includes bottles and glasses, but also tents! Actually, to be more specific: 1 out of 4 people leave their tent behind on the various camp sites worldwide! People feel hungover and tired, and don’t feel like breaking up their tent and carry it along.

As you can imagine this causes a lot of waste: In the Netherlands alone, where KarTent is based, this counts up to 25.000 tent every year. Of course this is not all too good for the environment… after only a single use all these tents will go to the garbage dump!


Okay, so that is somewhat of an issue. But what if it rains? Surely a cardboard tent would just disintegrate, wouldn’t it?

Oh man, these guys have thought of everything.

The tents are made to sleep two people and are 100% recyclable, meaning that they can be reused to make any number of things. They are also left intentionally undecorated, meaning that festivals or companies can sponsor them, which creates a multitude of potential branding and revenue opportunities for associated companies. Just goes to show that because a company is eco-friendly, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to make money!


Kartent is the brainchild of Jan Portheine, a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur who gave a recent TED talk about his idea.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.