Luminate’s fundamental environmental consciousness is fundamental to the ethos of the festival

The Clean Environment Strategy covers all areas of the festival. All participants become an integral part of the success of this strategy with self responsibility and co creation. Since the first Luminate these initiatives have empowered and inspired festival participants to live in harmony with nature and be self sufficient, and to take their inspiration home with them . This year we are spreading this wider, focusing on getting what we do out there!


Luminate aims to go further than the three R’s, encouraging participants into a new era of ownership, creating less “waste” at source. All participants, suppliers and crew are empowered with inspiring initiatives that are educational and informative. Pioneering closed loop systems and guidelines support these initiatives that reach far out from the event site.

  • No rubbish bins
  • BYO containers
  • Composting
  • Reusing resources


  • pack out what you bring in and leave no trace
  • bring products with minimal or no packaging
  • a focus on reducing waste at source on all levels
  • everyone is responsible to deal with any waste they generate
  • directions are given to local recycling and refuse centres
  • clean environment bond for food vendors
  • micro rubbish collected daily and post event by the eco amenities team


  • vendors are not allowed to provide food or drinks in disposable plates or cups
  • bring your own containers & cutlery, or hire ceramics from Luminate
  • dishwashing facilities are provided for your convenience
  • vendors are not allowed to sell products in cans, bottles or packaging
  • bring your own water bottle and fill it for free from Canaan’s pure spring water


  • all toilets are compost toilets (see here for more info)
  • all food scraps from the market are composted
  • all food scraps from food vendors are collected and composted
  • participants are encouraged to compost personal food scraps in the central compost
  • all organic matter is added into the humanure pile to form a thermophilic system
  • compost is used to fertilise the land on site


  • infrastructure, art and décor are all created using re-cycled materials and by re-using and up-cycling resources
  • natural building materials are used where possible, eg bamboo, untreated timber
  • natural materials are used for décor and art where possible, eg harakeke, bamboo
  • 90 per cent of all timber used for building is recycled or donated
  • everything from the furniture and appliances to the nuts and bolts are meticulously reused year on year


The Luminate Clean Environment Strategy covers all areas of the festival, from crew, suppliers and participants and is considered in every decision made at every level.


  • changes in consumer patterns, more awareness about packaging, re-using resources, avoiding generating waste at source
  • increased consciousness around rubbish and waste minimisation
  • generation of rich compost for use in forest restoration projects on the land
  • completing the nutrient cycle, avoiding “waste”, creating a resource
  • no rubbish hits the ground, festival site stays clean and tidy throughout the event
  • significant amount of potential waste going to landfill is avoided
  • providing best practices in conscious event management
  • increased consciousness around rubbish and waste minimisation
  • generation of rich compost for use in forest restoration projects on the land


  • clear communication of common values and ethos
  • education of all participants and contributors
  • individual responsibility and self reliance
  • reduce generation of waste at all sources
  • strategies permeate all strands of the festival
  • walking the talk
  • “net positive” impacts not just “sustainable” impacts
  • creates a legacy of empowerment and inspiration


  • Luminate has created specially designed hand-built composting “Lumi-loos”
  • thermophilic humanure compost system causes optimum pathogen breakdown
  • inbuilt pee separators mean no blackwater is produced
  • toilets are built entirely from recycled and natural materials
  • all compost remains on site – closing the loop
  • nutrient rich humanure is used to regenerate native forests
  • sawdust sourced from local timber mills, utilising a waste resource
  • toilet rolls are made from unbleached recycled paper.
  • transportation costs reduced – toilets are built and kept on site for other events


Big efforts have been made at Luminate to maximise energy efficiency from natural sources. Hand built systems exist in nearly all areas of the festival!

  • solar and rocket stove hot water heating for the showers
  • solar power system runs the sound and lighting for the village stage
  • solar power system runs the sound and lighting for the healing zone
  • solar powered lighting around all composting toilets
  • LED low energy lighting used in all music zones
  • Rocket stove water boiler serves food outlets & dishwashing facilities
  • wood-fired earth oven utilised for pizza café, bread baking etc
  • rechargeable batteries are used in torches etc
  • all fire wood is sourced from windrows on site, waste timber from industry and as a last resource sustainable forestry.
  • natural gas powers all cookers and ovens to avoid generators.
  • wood fired heating is used throughout the festival
  • all power is multi-use where possible, i.e. synonymously heating and cooking
  • currently sourcing bio diesel generators to power the main stage and lighting rig


Canaan Downs provides Luminate with crystal clear, cool and refreshing spring water, the way nature intended it to be. Innovative and effective water management systems naturally filter all greywater to be returned to the land, reducing wastage and chemical treatments.

Drinking Water

  • taps giving pure natural spring water across festival site
  • participant guidelines include “bring your own water container”
  • no plastic bottles of water are sold on site
  • on site spring water tested by Cawthorn Institute accredited by the IANZ


  • natural filtration systems treat greywater from the food outlets and showers in a safe and hygienic manner
  • food vendor guidelines include using biodegradeable dishwashing products
  • participant guidelines include using biodegradeable shower products
  • sponsorship of biodegradeable Eco-Store products for kitchen and showers
  • no blackwater is produced site wide ensuring greywater treatments


Conscious Food is a key part of the Luminate lifestyle. From the five Luminate run ‘Lumi Cafes’ to the Market Spirals’  food stalls, measures are in place to ensure you get the best organic superfood laden nutrient dense fuel to keep you full power for the late nights and sunny days!

The Lumi Cafes

Luminate chooses to run 5 of the main cafes on site and is making networks in the community to provide food for the festival on a large scale

  • Luminate menus are designed nutrient dense, packed with superfoods
  • all outlets are vegetarian and vegan
  • a focus is put on conscious eating education
  • organic produce is locally and new zealand sourced
  • preferred suppliers are small sustainable (ideally local) producers
  • all eggs are organic, free range and locally sourced
  • milk is organic and locally sourced
  • local cheese is used as priority
  • bulk foods are organic and locally focussed
  • no trans fats, additives or preservatives
  • all cooking oil is organic coconut oil

Food Stalls in the Market

  • market vendors are encouraged with discounts on fees to be 75% organic
  • all food stalls are vegetarian and eggs must be free-range
  • food vendor guidelines state no GMO’s, additives, preservatives, trans fats
  • raw, vegan and gluten free options are available throughout the festival


Our environmental ethos even extends into our marketing and promotions. Well researched stationary sourcing and values aligned merchandise is just the tip of the iceberg.

Marketing resources

  • t-shirts are bought second hand and screenprinted with the festival logo
  • participants can bring their own clothes to be screenprinted at the festival
  • printing of booklet, posters & fliers is eco paper with veggie (non-gmo soy) inks
  • printing of promo material is kept to a minimum and online promotion is favoured
  • envelopes & packaging are re-used
  • ink cartridges for office printers are refilled
  • eco-paper is used in the office
  • all redundant paper is recycled or composted
  • stationary materials are re used, reclaimed or rejuvenated


Luminate’s transport initiatives stretch from pre festival delivery scheduling and lift sharing to vehicle restrictions on site and a reclaimed bicycle pool for crew! Luminate believes in putting emphasis on localising carbon offsetting; introducing a land management scheme reclaiming the land from grazing and planting native trees.

  • participants are encouraged to car pool
  • crew collaborate to combine transport trips to end from local towns.
  • all deliveries to site are combined by pooling transport
  • any single runs are done on smaller vehicles
  • crew carpool to and from site
  • large containers remain on site to reduce volume of transport for set up/pack down
  • vehicles are not permitted in the festival site
  • a large second hand bicycle pool provides crew and volunteers on site transport
  • land management on site to regenerate naive forest
  • relationships built with local farmers to shift grazing patterns