About This Video
Actually, there is not much of a connection between eating funnel cake and saving the planet, but we thought it was a catchy title; however, many of us eat funnel cake at outdoor events, and that is where this story begins!
At the beginning of the video, I tell John that he’s spending more on a bottle of water than he is on gas for his car. This is what that statement was based on.
Fly In Fact #1 – The Times They Are A-Changin’
Fly In Fact #2 – Only 2 of 10 plastic bottles is actually recycled
Source: Container Recycling Institute
Fly In Fact #3 – 34 billion water bottles wind up in landfills each year in the United States
Source: Container Recycling Institute
Fly In Fact #4 – If we all used reusable water bottles, we could save $12 billion
Source: Business Insider
Fly In Fact #5 – Much of that bottled water is really just repackaged municipal water
Tips for Attendees
1. Just Recycle Already!
As mentioned in the video, if you have something that can be recycled, but the landfill bin is closer to you than the recycle bin, just walk the extra steps and recycle the darn thing!
2. Carpool or Take Mass Transit
Yes, some of the outdoor events you will attend will be located far away from mass transit, so plan to carpool with your friends and family. You can split the cost of gas and have good conversation to and from the festival. If mass transit is close to your festival site, by all means, take it! You’ll save on parking costs and the headache of looking for a spot on the way in to the event and you won’t have the frustration of sitting in traffic on the way out of the event!
3. Pack a Reusable Bag or Two
Reusable bags like the brand ChicoBag are easy to carry around. You can clip them to your belt loop or put them in your pocket (Is that a ChicoBag in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?).
Fill them up and use them for hauling food to the festival (if you are permitted to bring in outside food) or, if you buy something (food, clothing, etc.), forego the plastic bag and place the stuff in your reusable bag.
If clothes or shoes get wet or soiled, place them in your bag and then wash the bag when you get home.
4. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle or Two
It just makes sense to bring your own reuseable water bottle into an event. Of course, this is easier to do at some events than others. Some venues will prohibit you from bringing in a full reusable water bottle. Have no fear. Just find a water fountain or ask a food vendor with fountain sodas if they can fill up your bottle. Also, more and more festivals are featuring water stations.
Tips for Planners
1. Let Them Have Water
More and more events are providing water refill stations where attendees can bring their own reusable water bottle and fill up throughout the event. Encourage your attendees to bring their own bottle, but if they forget, have some reusable water bottles available for purchase at a reasonable price. Include your event logo and web site (hello, branding!).
2. Put It All In One Place
Set up waste stations that include containers for all the waste you will accept — compost, recycling and landfill — to enable “one stop dumping” for your guests versus forcing them to go to one area for landfill waste and another for their recyclables.
3. Corn Cups and Potato Plates
Plan ahead and ask your food vendors to only provide food on compostable disposables — no plastic or polystyrene! Not all plastic containers can be recycled and polystyrene never biodegrades! Compostable disposables will eventually turn into mulch and that is so much better than the energy and resources required to recycle plastic.
4. If It Doesn’t Come In, You Don’t Have to Dump It
Prevent lots of landfill waste by anticipating what may come in to your event (e.g. plastic packaging) and have a plan for it (don’t permit it or determine how it will be recycled).
5. Signs and Staff
Be sure to label waste containers well and give examples of what goes in each container. If you can, staff these stations to assist attendees as they dispose of their waste.
6. Keep Stuff to a Minimum
Encourage all vendors to minimize their “stuff” such as paper handouts and promotional items that can’t be recycled or composted.
7. Weigh It and Celebrate
At the end of your event, weigh all your waste — compost, recycling and landfill — so that you can promote the percentage of waste you diverted from the landfill. Just use a simple bathroom scale.
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