Follow these simple tips to be well on your way to a clean green film festival and planet. Your enthusiasm for environmental responsibility at your event will be contagious and your audience will thank you!
- Offer organic!
Seek out vendors who offer organic food and drinks or other natural products. Support healthy pollinators, ecosystems, and your own body. Your local natural food store might donate food to your event!
- Use alternative energy!
Contact your local solar company to help – it’s a great way for them to promote your business. The local media will love advertising that your event is solar powered!
- Avoid disposables!
Brand your event as “zero waste” – this is becoming more and more popular and people will recognize this term. Ask people to bring their own dishes. Rent dishes and recruit a team of volunteer dishwashers.
- Take advantage of Klean Kanteen’s pint cup program! Our national partner, Klean Kanteen, offers stainless steel pint cups. You can buy them with your logo or the Wild & Scenic logo, then resell them with a drink for a profit. Reduce waste, raise funds, and add a fun element to your event!
- Avoid plastics!
Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. Ten percent of the plastic manufactured worldwide ends up in the ocean, the majority of that settling on the ocean floor where it will never degrade. Alternatively, offer reusable cups and/or ask people to bring their own cup.
- Don’t be fooled by bio-plastics!
Yes, bio-plastics might be better than petroleum-based single-use plastics. BUT, they do not break down in home-scale compost piles, only in commercial composting facilities. They pollute the recycling stream because they look like recyclable plastic but they are not. They are typically made from GMO corn, which requires a lot of land and water to grow.
Every place you have a trash bin, also put a recycle bin there. If you have a trash bin by itself, inevitably non-trash items will end up there. Make sure recycle bins are well-marked so that your audience knows what they can put in there.
- Paper – reduce and recycle!
How many ways do you use paper at your event? Posters, flyers, event program, brochures, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper… Request recycled paper for everything you do! By requesting recycled products, you help to expand the recycling market. If you invite other groups to table, ask them not to bring handouts but to have a beautiful enticing display and a human being to share information! Do you really need to have paper napkins and paper towels? – There are lots of reusable alternatives for these that are not paper.
Someone in your community has a compost pile and would be GRATEFUL to take your event’s compost home. Compost is a valuable resource. Keeping food scraps out of the landfill means reducing greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Plus, landfills are someone’s habitat – by composting you can protect habitat and build healthy soil! Place a compost bin everywhere that you recycle and trash bins.
- Waste station volunteers!
You’ll be amazed at how much trash you avoid making just by having educated volunteers help audience members know where to put their waste. Most materials at your event will be recyclable or compostable; therefore the trash produced will be very little as long as you help your audience in knowing what to put where.
About Jenna, SYRCL’s On Tour Manager and Event Greener Extraordinaire:
Before joining the team at SYRCL, Jenna worked for open space protection, transit-oriented development, environmental ballot measures, wildlife conservation, sustainability skills for everyday life, water and energy conservation, waste reduction, small scale diverse organic farming education, and pollinator advocacy. Jenna loves how the Wild & Scenic Film Festival brings all of these issues together through both films and people – not only the people working hard to create solutions to these issues, but also the people who want to learn more and participate in change.
Get creative and collaborate! There are lots of ways to impact the world!