Green Initiatives

Folk Festival Sustainability Initiatives

The Ottawa Folk Festival is committed to taking a leadership role in promoting greener festivals within the Ottawa area. We have taken many steps towards sustainable practices and programming. Here are some of our initiatives, past and present, including the first ever bottle-water free festival in the region in 2009!

OFF / Jake Morrison

    • Plastic bottle free zone with no plastic water bottles being sold or distributed on site. We’ve diverted over 13,250 plastic water bottles since 2009, using hydration stations to refill water bottles with clean, City of Ottawa drinking water.
    • Reusable dish program diverting 15,675 disposable plates each year since the 2007 annual festival, as well as over 34,000 disposable forks, knives and spoons at the 2011 festival.
    • Compostable beer cups and cupsuckers on garbage cans to keep cups out of the landfill.
    • Recycling and compost stations throughout the festival site!
    • An amazing Green Team of festival volunteers that help keep the site clean.
    • Mr. Something Something concert powered through bicycle-generated power in 2009!
    • Promotion of green transportation through bus service promotion, and supervised bike park providing secure bike lock-up.
    • Sharing our reusable dishes and water stations with other organizations, such as the TD Dragon Boat Festival, Community Cup, Beau’s Oktoberfest, and MEC Paddlefest to promote sustainable community events.

Rent an Ottawa Folk Festival Water Station

Do you have an upcoming event or festival and need an easy way to get water to hundreds or thousands of people? Save plastic water bottles from the landfill and rent a water station! Our water stations are available for rent year round, but please book early to ensure they are available for your event.

For more information on cost, as well as practical info like how to transport water stations, how they function, and so on, please contact:

Victor Bousada:
; (613) 230-8234 x234




Learn More about our Greening Efforts!

At the Ottawa Folk Festival, we are dedicated to reducing our ecological footprint and to inspiring our festival goers to integrate green thinking into their daily lives. However, we would like to do more: to encourage other festivals and events to broaden their environmental initiatives, as well as to learn from you how we can improve upon our own greening practices. We have produced the following documentary to display our greening activities during our 17th annual festival in August of 2010. We hope you enjoy and will share with us your experiences and ideas!

Environmental Wrap-up Reports

Check out the following links for the Ottawa Folk Festival’s Environmental Wrap Reports from 2009, 2010 and 2011. Take a look here for information on how to green your festival!

Ottawa Folk Festival 2009: Went Unplugged and Unbottled!

Clean water is the foundation of the health and well being of every community. The Ottawa Folk Festival was the first Ottawa Festival to say no to plastic water bottles and yes to public water!

Without the expertise, dedication, and generous support of our water partners, this initiative would certainly not have been possible.

Download and read the full Water Initiatives Report from our 2009 Festival:
Water Initiatives Festival 2009 (PDF 81kb)

OFF / Julie Stern