One of the keys to Osheaga’s inarguable charm and “je-ne-sais-quoi” is its unique place in the urban environment of Montreal. Simultaneously urban and isolated due to its island site, this festival truly offers the best of both worlds. Osheaga 2019 is set to be greener than ever this year, and not just because government-issued cannabis will be allowed on-site! Thanks to amazing new environmental initiatives, this year’s festival plans to reduce its environmental footprint by generating less waste and disposing of it more responsibly.
That’s not all: Osheaga will rely this year on local suppliers, returnable cups, a privately-run waste sorting facility, bicycle parking, special public transit rates, water refill stations and more!
Here is an in-depth look at how organizers at Evenko are making Osheaga one of the world’s leading eco-friendly festivals.
Organizers have intensified their efforts to work with the best of local suppliers with respect to concession stands and other services.
You’ll find locally-supplied food and drink, as well as other services, all over Osheaga each year! In fact Osheaga tries to hire over 85% of its suppliers within a 10km radius of the festival site for maximum environmental and economic benefit.
Speaking of economy, the festival’s 135,000 attendees usually bring in an estimated $50 million in economic benefits to Montreal. That’s no small sum!
The “Three R’s” of waste management always start with REDUCE! Reducing the amount of waste is the first and most important part of Osheaga’s waste management strategy.
At all drink stands, reusable “Ecocups” are used to serve festival goers, which has helped reduce the number of single-use plastic cups by 120,000. That’s enough cups to stack 10x the height of the Eiffel Tower!
The Osheaga mobile app, which includes schedules and a site map, has not reduced, but rather eliminated, the use of printed programs at Osheaga. Each year, the festival saves the equivalent of 20 trees, simply by NOT printing maps and programs.
Water filling stations allow festival goers to refill their water bottles (reusable or not). This also helps reduce the amount of waste generated at the festival.
When all’s said and done, Osheaga has managed to reduce its yearly waste by 13 tons in the past two years! That’s a LOT of waste that stays out of landfills!
REUSE and RECYCLING
Other green initiatives at Osheaga aim to reuse and recycle materials that would have otherwise gone to waste.
You’ll find garbages at the site, of course… But pay attention before you throw things away! Each garbage station will also feature recycling and composting bins. This helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions from food waste and allows for responsible disposal of recyclables such as plastic, aluminum and cardboard.
Each year, Osheaga sends 11 tons of plastic, 8 tons of cardboard, 3 tons of wood, 2 tons of metal, 0.2 tons of glass and 4.3 tons of compost to their appropriate processing centres.
In addition to recycling, Osheaga also reuses tons of material such as banners, decorations and paint cans, all of which are used to decorate and embellish the festival site in various ways.