Kilifi New Year

From the Blog

Striving Towards a Greener Festival


Kilifi New Year is built on the principle of sustainability. We choose to work around our natural environment rather than forcing nature to work around us. “Reduce, re-use, recycle” is a much repeated mantra at Beneath The Baobabs with recycle bins the only things littering the site; festival attendees are encouraged to go barefoot to soak in all the positive ions from Earth Mother and improve blood flow throughout the body, as well as body balance (For improved dancing as well! Ha!)

Image courtesy of Kimty Dennis

However, try as we may – the dream of becoming a fully green festival is still slightly far off due to multiple factors such as the use of non-biodegradable single-use plastics by the Baobabies (an affectionate term for Kilifi New Year festival attendees), the carbon emissions from the transportation of beer bottles, not to mention the thick cardboard packaging which cushions the fragile glass bottles during the trip.

Air contaminant emissions from the generators and the propane used in the pyrotechnics, plus all the tuk-tuks and boda-bodas which ferry people to and from the site, and around Kilifi town, also contribute towards a bigger carbon footprint for the festival. And of course, microplastics like glitter.

Mama didn’t raise no punk though, and Kilifi New Year is always prepared to fight the big battle against Green House Gases (GHG’s). Eco-friendly solutions and mechanisms which are always present at Kilifi New Year include: the permaculture garden which boasts of a diverse array of herbs and vegetables, the compost toilets which turns your poo into plant food and bamboo showers (constructed from bamboo) which  drain grey water to the permaculture garden, ensuring not a single drop of water goes to waste.

As mentioned earlier, the recycle bins are ubiquitous features at Beneath The Baobabs and as of last year, single-use plastics were banned from the 25-acre site and Baobabies were given the options of either bringing their own reusable cups/bottles or purchase one from Beneath The Baobabs at Ksh. 200 per cup.

Image courtesy of Kimty Dennis

The art & decor are assembled from recyclable materials and the stages are constructed with wood sourced from Komaza. Komaza is a forestry company working with small scale farmers to serve industrial wood markets and repair the damage caused by deforestation by helping timber farmers develop environmentally sustainable livelihoods.

Kilifi New Year and Beneath The Baobabs are both vocal advocates for permaculture. We host permaculture courses with Barefoot Solutions, a permaculture design company. These are organized at intervals throughout the year and during the festival, The Kilifi NYE University screens multiple documentaries on the art of sustainable living.

Image courtesy of Nekane De Ozamiz

Despite all these balancing mechanisms in place, we’re still far from perfect and believe we have a long way to go before we can truly achieve the ecologically mindful festival of our fantasies. A few more ways Kilifi New Year shall reduce its carbon footprint is by employing a Rideshare program where Baobabies can carpool with each other, as well as transfer shuttles to and from Kilifi town to reduce the number of vehicles emitting GHGs.

The Festival looks forward to partnering with Wildlife Works, a REDD+  program development and management company (Reduced Emmissions from Deforestation and Degradation) to introduce a program for festival fanatics to buy carbon offsets and hence reduce emissions against their own carbon footprint. Wildlife Works is the force behind transforming the land between Tsavo East and Tsavo West, an area known as the Kasigau Corridor, into an abundant protected forest covering over 500,000 acres, inextricably offsetting 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year – for the next 30 years.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Works

Beneath The Baobabs shall purchase carbon offsets to reduce the festival’s collective carbon impact, inching a little bit closer towards becoming the carbon-neutral festival we visualize ourselves growing into in the foreseeable future.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Similarly, you can’t throw a festival without leaving behind a footprint, what we can do -which we are doing- is striving to do more good than harm towards the environment, while having a banging time.


What else can we do to reduce our carbon footprint? We’d love to hear constructive feedback! Shoot us an email at


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