Wednesday, September 15, 2010
What the Fulton Festival taught me
This past weekend's Fulton Fall Festival was our second year of attempting zero-waste. We collected:
organics: 161.7 pounds
recyclables: 41.9 pounds (cans, bottles, foil and aluminum pans)
trash: 22 pounds
The trash was a lot more than I had hoped, and it drove home an important lesson for me: you have to be involved in the planning stages. I didn't participate in the decision-making when it came to buying supplies for the festival. There were plastic cups for sour cream and butter, yards of plastic table cloths and candy in plastic wrappers. In the pictures below you can see that not much trash was generated *during* the festival; most of the waste came during clean-up, meaning the waste was generated by festival organizers.
Trash from one station ...
and another. And this was toward the end of the festival.
This is our final trash total, after cleanup. See all the orange? That's the table coverings.
I vow to do better next year! The Fulton Festival committee is a great group of people: hard-working and committed, and they want to make the festival low-waste, so I just have to be willing to put in more time on the front end.
About 13 bags of compostables, plus pizza boxes.
Here's another thing I learned: I can't be in two places at once. That and the fact that wind is murder on recycling displays. I set up a couple of recycling displays, but because I was also doing waste-monitoring, my displays were largely unmanned. I'm sad about the missed opportunities to talk to folks.
Everything had to be taped down because it was so windy.
We got to take home leftover corn!