Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who writes on local and global social and environmental issues.

The Ottawa Folk Festival, happening September 6-10, 2012, is offering lots of great music. It also has plenty of hands-on activities, including an Envirotent with workshops on environmental topics. Everything takes place in scenic Hog’s Back Park, right off the recreational pathway.

For several years, the Festival has made a point of being environmentally-friendly: it’s a plastic-bottle-free zone (meaning no bottled water is sold there); you can fill up your own water bottle at water stations. The Festival has a reusable dish program (it shares the dishes with other organizations) and has introduced compostable beer cups. It also offers two supervised bike parking areas, at the north end of the park near Heron Road and the south end near Hog’s Back Road.

Envirotent workshops on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9 include:

  • An interactive presentation on food with the Otesha Project (Sat. 2 p.m.);
  • A talk on Wild Edibles by Peggi Calder (Sat. 3 p.m.);
  • A presentation by Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable on what people can do to help make Ottawa a Fair Trade city (Sun. 1 p.m.);
  • A participatory session by Rebel Crafters for people to contribute to making a quilt about the earth (Sun. 2 p.m.);
  • A seminar by Planet Botanix’s Heather Garrod on how to make cosmetics using natural ingredients found at home (Sun. 5 p.m.);
  • Other seminars covering health, saving Ottawa’s ash trees and going solar.

Details are at http://ottawafolk.com/?page_id=1474 (click on the link “Workshop Descriptions”).

You can also pick up refreshments at the Festival’s Envirocafe, or check out the vendors and the Community Tent. Of course while you’re there, do check out the music performances, as well as music workshops, kidzone activities, jamming sessions and more. See the Festival website for information and ticket prices.

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