Leave No Trace: Sustainability

The power of music to gather, evoke emotion and send a message is undeniable. We’re committed to using our resources to promote sustainability and encourage environmental responsibility. We act with the planet in mind and are dedicated to a high standard of sustainability. Our festival sits in a gorgeous public park located on a beautiful planet and we intend to keep it that way for generations to come.

Through partnerships, action and we focus on waste reduction, environmental education and advocacy, energy offsets and earth celebration, we aim to have the most positive impact as possible.

Festival Partners

The Telluride Blues & Brews festival is proud to partner with the following sustainability-focused organizations to enhance our greening efforts and lessen our footprint.

Leave No Trace - The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching people to enjoy it responsibly. It is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Through targeted education, research and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world. Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace.

Purchasing a Telluride Green Ticket contributes $3 to Leave No Trace and their efforts to keep our community clean. The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival encourages fans to do their part when it comes to practicing Leave No Trace. At Leave No Trace, they believe that the solution to land preservation is to provide education that empowers people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Stop by the Leave No Trace booth in September to learn more about how you can make a difference. To help out now, donate a Green Ticket.

Here are a few simple tips for a greener Festival experience:

  • Know before you go

  • Stick to trails and camp overnight right

  • Trash your trash

  • Leave it as you find it

  • Be careful with fire

  • Keep wildlife wild

  • Be considerate of others

The New Normal by Telluride Mountainfilm - The New Normal is a grassroots program with the goal of reducing energy use, offsetting waste, increasing education and advocacy, while celebrating the earth. This program targets change locally and internationally encouraging businesses and individuals to invest more sustainable future. Guided by the New Normal principals, The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival focuses on Education, Reduction, Offsets, Advocacy and Celebration.


The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival has implemented the following programs to reduce our footprint at the festival and year-round.

No Single-Use Plastic Bottles

The United States uses roughly 50 billion plastic water bottles a year, and nearly 80% of them end up in the landfill. The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival says no to single-use plastic water bottles. In fact, you won’t find one for sale in the Festival. Instead, we’ve built two free, convenient, and easy to use hydration stations in the festival grounds. Bring a water bottle or use a reusable cup - just say no to bottled water!

No Single-Use Tasting Glasses and Beer Cups

Beer is best enjoyed out of a cup, so our festival requires the use many cups. Instead of single-use plastic, the festival employs multi-use souvenir cups. Attendees who hang on to these commenorative cups for reuse throughout the festival are rewarded with discounts on beer, wine and cocktail refills. These cups can also be used at the festival hydration station and for timeless home, bar or restaurant cup-ware.

Compostable and Recyclable Utensils

All festival food vendors serve their food on compostable or recyclable plates and utensils reducing unnecessary plastic waste. We also utilize compostable dishware in all festival catering areas.

Compost and Recycle Stations

There are multiple compost and recycle stations located throughout the Festival for proper waste disposal. Each station is manned by an environmental volunteer who helps determine if trash can be recycled or composted. From 2014 through 2017, 44% of waste at the Festival was diverted from the landfill. Help us bump that number up!

Energy Efficient Pedestrian Travel

We encourage all attendees to carpool to Telluride, park and leave their vehicle put for the weekend. With Telluride’s robust public transportation infrastructure this is a safe, simple and fun way to reduce carbon emissions. During the festival the Telluride Gondola offers free transportation to-and-from Mountain Village from 7-2 am. The Galloping Goose offers complimentary rides on a 10-minute local circuit and throughout San Miguel County. Check the schedule here.

If you are unable to bring a bike, the Wilkinson Public Library has a bike-share program, Telluride Townies, that works like a library book. Check a bike key out from the front desk of the Wilkinson Public Library, keep it for four days (locked up of course), reduce your carbon emissions, and bring it back when you're done. Call (970) 728-4519 for more info.

Low Impact Commuting Office

More than 75% of time, the Festival’s full-time staff utilizes human-powered or public transportation options to commute to our office reducing carbon emissions.

Education & Advocacy

Leave No Trace Activation

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a long-time partner of the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Each year they attend the festival, host a membership drive, host the Making My Blues Green: The Coolest & Cleanest Campsite Challenge and educate attendees on best “leave no trace” practices. Make sure to stop-by the Leave No Trace booth during the festival to learn how you can make the blues, green.

Green Ticket

The festival has partnered with Leave No Trace to offer a Green Ticket! This ticket is a great way to support Leave No Trace and environmental education. The Green Ticket contribution is available on our ticket page and goes directly to Leave No Trace help fund environmentally targeted education, research and outreach programs.

Making My Blues Green: The Coolest & Cleanest Campsite Challenge

Presented in collaboration with Leave No Trace, the Making My Blues Green: The Coolest & Cleanest Campsite Challenge promotes environmental education and cleanliness amongst festival campers. Just as the name implies, the contest encourages festival campers to have a clean and green campsite for a chance to win tickets to next year’s festival.

Green Beer: Sierra Nevada Partnership

The festival is proud to partner with Sierra Nevada! Through use of renewable energy, biogas, sustainable building construction and more, Sierra Nevada is widely recognized as the most environmentally friendly production brewery operation in the world. Learn more about Sierra Nevada’s sustainability measures, click here.


Once inside the park, patrons find dedicated teams of environmental volunteers, helping to spread the green message by offering to take recyclables, filling water bottles at the filling stations, and helping fans to properly discard their waste in the correct bins near the vendor area.


For many years the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival partnered with Green Mountain Energy to offset the festival's carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits. Currently, the festival is consulting with a number of carbon offset and Renewable Energy Credit companies to look for the most impactful option moving forward.


Join us for the festival and sign up for our Bluesletter to stay up-to-date on how you can get involved with our greening efforts. Upgrade your festival ticket to a “Green Ticket” today for only $3 and help Leave No Trace educate and empower people to enjoy our great outdoors responsibly. Click here to purchase your Green Ticket Today!

Steve Gumble2017