A Sustainable Event: Greening Waste Diversion at the Mother Earth News Fair

| 7/26/2011 3:42:31 PM

One of the great things we try to do at each MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR is to make it a truly sustainable event. It can be pretty difficult with the inevitable complications of a lot of people in one space, but we’re always looking for green solutions to make things better. One of our efforts is to compost food waste and recycle as much of the FAIR’s byproducts as possible. At the Puyallup, Wash., FAIR in June we achieved 91.4 percent waste diversion with compost and recycling, keeping the large majority of the FAIR’s waste out of landfills. We’re hoping to do at least as well in Seven Springs this September.

To accomplish this, we set up several recycling stations throughout the event grounds. Each station has five containers to collect different recycling and reuse materials. We collect paper, cardboard and chipboard, plastics, and compostable cups and eating utensils. We also collect glass (which can be made into new jars, aquarium pebbles, or gorgeous recycled vases) and organic materials – including liquids – for composting. There’s a friendly volunteer at each station to help people figure out what goes where.

After the FAIR closes, our wonderful volunteers continue this mission by digging through all the trash bags used during the weekend to ensure everything is sorted properly and no potentially recyclable materials end up in a landfill. At Puyallup, we composted more than 6,000 pounds of food, hay, pine shavings, compostable flatware, and animal waste, and 2,505 pounds of combined liquid wastes. We also collected 1,000-plus pounds of other recyclables: 810 pounds of cardboard, 305 pounds of glass, 145 pounds of plastic and 30 pounds of aluminum. Of the 11,224 pounds of waste products at the FAIR, we diverted a total of 10,259 pounds! Check out this video to see our greening in action.   

Thanks to all our volunteers, including those who helped green the FAIR. We couldn’t have done this without your help! Thanks too to everyone who did their part to reduce and recycle at the Puyallup FAIR!

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