Cleanest & Greenest

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Proud to be one of the Cleanest & Greenest Festivals in the World!

SOLVE Volunteers

Environmental responsibility is a well-known and celebrated tradition in Portland. The Rose Festival’s Cleanest & Greenest Festival program runs like clockwork with annual support from major service organizations around the city. Thanks to our dedicated partners and volunteers, the Rose Festival has been recognized as one of the Cleanest & Greenest Festivals in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association!

Clean & Green TIPS!

The Rose Festival has achieved “Cleanest and Greenest” certification seventeen years and running! Help us keep our title another year by following these simple tips to waste less and recycle more:

  • No need to “contain” your excitement! Make this year’s parade waste-FREE by packaging edibles and beverages in reusable containers. And check out the latest and greatest fruit and veggie bags at your local market – they make being green fun and easy.
  • Less is MORE! By purchasing in bulk you reduce a ton of extra packaging that lands in the landfill each year. Instead of individually wrapped candies, small bags of chips, and single serving packages of fruit cups and the like, purchase candy in bulk, large bags of chips, and fruits and veggies that you package in your own, reusable containers.
  • Express yourself! There are a million really awesome beverage containers – all of them reusable. Show your individuality with a great reusable bottle. Keep packaging out of the landfill by purchasing large juice, water or other beverages (in bulk) and pouring them into your reusable bottles. Just think how many single serving juice boxes you can keep from landing in the landfill each year!
  • We found the cutest thing ever! Our community is so creative! Now you can have sandwich wrap made of cotton! It keeps your sandwich dry (no condensation on the inside of a plastic baggie!) and fresh. It’s like a sandwich gift bag!
  • Pack it in, Pack it out! Plan to bring your picnic basket complete with reusable cups, plates and utensils. We even turned handkerchiefs into napkins this year! Being clean and green has never been so easy — help keep the parade route waste-FREE!
  • Tie the knot! If you must bring your edibles and beverages in plastic grocery bags, please bag your bags and tie a knot in them once they reach “critical mass.” When plastic bags are left un-bagged and untied, they catch the wind and blow away, likely landing in trees or, worse yet, in the river. Eventually, plastic bags and six-pack rings can end up in the ocean where they harm marine life. Please bag your bags and tie a knot at the top so that we can recover them.
  • Keep it off the street! Volunteers from SOLVE, PGE and other great groups will be handing out bags for you to put all of your parade garbage in for disposal. Just leave the bags at the curb and volunteers will come by to pick them up!

How the Rose Festival Goes Green

  • Longtime partner, Portland General Electric, will once again step up to help make the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade and the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade carbon-neutral by purchasing carbon offsets to counter the carbon emissions of this year’s parade entries. An estimated 9 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted by the cars, floats and motorcycles in the parade – even the garbage trucks and street cleaners contribute to the carbon. PGE also purchased enough offsets to cover the 12-day run of CityFair, the Rose Festival’s largest event, so the estimated 106,000-kilowatt hours of power used by the rides and the vendors could be offset by investments in wind power and other renewable energy sources.
  • Volunteers distribute bags along the parade routes, then collect them after the parade, to help parade viewers keep the streets of Portland clean.
  • The clean-up trucks are part of the parade! They spray and sweep and pack the trash as they make their way tucked closely behind the last unit of the parades. They’re decorated, with lights for the PGE/SOLVE Starlight Parade and with balloons and festoons for the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade and the Fred Meyer Junior Parade.
  • Portland is so good at keeping it green that we were named the North American host for the 2013 World Environment Day celebration by the United Nations Environment Programme, 1 of 5 host cities selected around the world!
  • In 2013, a large scale waterfront restoration project led by the Parks Department was completed. The two-part facelift intended to provide the .5 mile park with better drainage and promote healthy and speedy grass growth. The Rose Festival is Waterfront Park’s largest event, so it’s fitting that the organization is also the largest single contributor to the restoration efforts. The Portland Rose Festival Foundation contributed $100,000 (nearly one-third of the project’s total cost!).

Help us keep our parades clean and green by volunteering with SOLVE! Sign up to volunteer for the Starlight Parade today!