Events aiming for zero waste by instigating management procedures will reduce costs and waste to landfill. Local governments should be falling all over implementing sustainable event management practices which will take pressure off their landfills. Large events that go on for days or weeks generate many tons of toxic waste, yes toxic. Every item of plastic that enters the earth through landfill STOP, oh I can hear some of you saying but if its plastic it would be recycled NO if bins at an event have a high contamination rate they will be sent to landfill and that plastic will spend the next thousand years leaching chemicals into our water table. Our local tip closed recently and I thought why should I suffer and have to travel miles away to dump my refuse due to outsiders filling the tip faster than was needed.
While providing sustainable event management practices for Surfrider Eco Challenge event in recent months I’ve connected with some very passionate advocates of educating effective waste management practices to events and the community.
It makes me sick and outraged that our polluting and business as usual ways are continuing especially with everything we know. I suppose I’m more aware about plastic pollution than most being an active environmentalist with Surfrider Foundation but for f*#^’s sake we will end up wallowing in our own filth while poisoning ourselves to death. Remember the old saying, “don’t shit in your own backyard” well that’s what we’re doing and trust me it’s not going to end well 🙁
Ok breath…I’ll mellow now and take out the passion and stick to the facts.
One of those passionate advocates of waste education is Lisa Flower from Waste to Resource who is generously donating her skills to implement a management plan for the Eco Challenge. For an effective waste management system to be an efficient tool an holistic approach must be taken which includes:
- Your event’s waste is effectively and efficiently managed
- Waste resources are diverted from landfill
- Your waste disposal costs to landfill are at an absolute minimum
- Your venue is left clean
- Your audience has actively participated in making your event waste wise
- You have given local job seekers a paid training platform and opportunity to engage in their local community, and
- At the end of your event you receive a concise report of your waste footprint. This is your point of difference and valuable marketing advantage worthy of sharing with your sponsors, audiences and broader community.
What more could you ask for…nothing because all you need is included in these points to heighten your event to the level that should be expected by any local government as standard.
So when you hear of events leaving a legacy to a community this is one component of what should be expected not just spreading a few dollars around to selected private businesses for products & services.
A unique addition to this system is Climate Wave’s use of Surfrider Foundation’s, Rise Above Plastics campaign Plastic Bag Monsters at bin stations to monitor attendees usage and educate them should they need any advice. This event we are going one more step and holding a Plastic Bag Monster making competition and fashion parade to which Lindy Saunders from A Little Creative and Mia de Jersey have kindly offered to volunteer coordinate. Before the event attendees will be encouraged to make their own costumes and Instagram #SurfriderEcoChallenge, #PlasticBagMonster their progress and then on the day participate in a fashion parade for prizes & giveaways.
Before I mentioned the holistic approach, so to complete this system you need signage to which Sandie Johnstone from EnviroCom Australia donated beautifully coloured easy to read three bin system signage, waste, recycle & organics. You would have seen the first two signs at most events but only a select worthy few events bother with organics and take the trouble to compost waste from food stalls. Which leads me to our next integral link in our management plan is Monika Sprott from Buddina Community Garden who has kindly offered the use of their mulcher so we can grind all food scraps and compostable catering products made from Polylactic Acid (PLA), sugar cane & bamboo etc to be used in their gardens.
Last but definitely not least is the majorly important removal experts to which Joanne Crozier from REMONDIS Australia have donated a large component of their service. We will be aiming for zero waste but for the first event it would be a miracle to achieve that excellent level but hey we’ve got high expectations 🙂
Climate Wave Enterprises
working with the planet