As a whole, Boulder is a very environmentally-conscious city and is known for its “Green” approaches to preserving the planet, which BCE respects and celebrates. Over the past several years, BCE has been successfully working on the monumental task of making the BCF a Zero Waste event – “monumental” because of the sheer size of the event, and the impossibility of being able to monitor every piece of trash that may come through the event from the dozens of different entry points.

The most important goal of a Zero Waste event is to point out to each attendee that with some planning, an event can be held by using all reusable, compostable, and recyclable materials. We have worked diligently towards our Zero Waste goal by continuing to provide mandatory training to all BCF staff and volunteers, requiring that all vendors sign the “100% Zero Waste Participation Agreement”, maintaining an experienced Zero Waste crew, designating staffing stations for crews to specifically monitor, and by increasing not only the number of Zero Waste stations on the event grounds but also signage and educational materials. Since the introduction of our Zero Waste program, BCE has managed to increase the overall diversion rate and reduce landfill waste generated at the BCF.  

BCE is also responsive to minimizing the BCF’s carbon footprint by encouraging festival-goers to carpool, take the bus, or ride their bikes to the event. 

Our other approaches to delivering a sustainable and environmentally-friendly event include meeting with the urban forestry division prior to the event to trim back any low-lying branches to avoid damage to trees; providing detailed information to exhibitors on what to do—and, perhaps more importantly, what NOT to do (no rubber mats on the grass to cover cords, no driving on grass, etc.); using only water-soluble spray chalk on the grass; protecting the lawn with proactive measures such as putting down hay bales, which helps minimize the deterioration of the grass; donating leftover materials—from the superfluous boxes of bottled water to the bales of hay used around the event area—back into the community after the event is over. 

In addition, one of our event areas at the BCF, “Spirit of Boulder”, is in part dedicated to environmental preservation. Exhibitors in this area, such as the Colorado Environmental Coalition, EcoMark Solar, Colorado Prairie Initiative, The Environmental Group, the U.S. Forest Service, WildEarth Guardians, and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, specialize in eco-harmony and/or the preservation of environmental resources.

Other ways that BCE celebrates our environmentally-conscious city:

  • Meeting with the urban forestry division prior to the event to trim back any low-lying branches to avoid damage to trees.

  • Providing detailed information to exhibitors on what to do—and, perhaps more importantly, what NOT to do (no rubber mats on the grass to cover cords, no driving on grass, bring only Zero Waste materials, etc.) during the event. 

  • Using only water-soluble spray chalk on the grass and sidewalk chalk on cement and asphalt to mark out booth spaces.

  • Protecting the lawn with proactive measures such as putting down hay bales, which helps minimize the deterioration of the grass. 

  • Donating leftover materials—from the superfluous boxes of bottled water to the bales of hay used around the event area—back into the community after the event is over.