Folklorama kicks off Sunday July 31. Unless you are heading to the Irish Pavilion, you might not be thinking of green.  Over the years, Folklorama has been a tradition of paper plates and plastic cups with your perogies and lassis – and piles of waste.

While most Manitobans have gotten on board with home recycling, especially in communities where blue boxes exist, our recycling rates plummet once we leave our front door. Events like Folklorama have special challenges to being green, but making a small effort can make a big difference.

For the Festival goers

To make festivals and events more green, we need to change how we do things as festival goers: bring your own reusable cutlery and water bottle, bring a container to take home any extras and consider bus, cycling or walking to get to the festival.  Many of the events are within walking distance of each other, if you are going to attend several pavilions, consider grouping together events in close proximity to minimize your car use.

For Festival Planners

There is only so much a festival attendee can do to make an event greener, if the planners don’t consider sustainability from the start.  The Recycling Council of Ontario is working on a Zero Waste Community Event Toolkit that provides planners with many great ideas to reduce waste.

This year, Folklorama earned a green “E” designation from Tourism Winnipeg, denoting its “efforts to reduce environmental impacts through a variety of means including design, utility consumption, waste management, and other environmental practices”.

Green Action Centre contacted Folklorama to find out what efforts are being taken, and the only initiative they could point to was having printed this year’s travel guide on recycled paper. Unless Folklorama and Tourism Winnipeg want to be identified with greenwashing, they should take action now to plan a greener event for next year.


Folklorama can start becoming more sustainable with a few simple steps:

  • Requiring pavilions to use compostable, or better yet, reusable plates.
  • Provide convenient recycling options at venues.
  • Make it easier for participants to choose active and green transportation.
  • Start planning for a more sustainable festival in 2012 today.