Held annually for more than 25 years, the Linden Hills Festival is both a fundraiser for the neighborhood organization (http://www.lindenhills.org) and a neighborhood event. Linden Hills is a very family-friendly and progressive neighborhood located in SW Minneapolis. The Festival first undertook a zero waste initiative in 2008 and has continued in subsequent years.
Made adjustments in food offerings and service to allow for composting, including but not limited to wrapping hot dogs with paper instead of foil, serving ice cream in paper cups with compostable spoons instead of plastic, creating a condiment station with bulk condiments instead of individual foil packets, adding roasted corn-on-the-cob as a food option, and more.
We recruited volunteers for 2-hour shifts as 'disposal monitors' to assist event attendees with proper disposal - recycling, organic composting, or trash options.
For the table coverings for the silent auction area (30+ tables), we used recycled kraft paper (purchased in bulk on a roll), secured with masking tape. All the table coverings were then recycled (organics) at the conclusion of the event.
All vendors and exhibitors were informed about (and agreed to) the restrictions associated with their respective booths ahead of time.
We rented carts for organics collection through the city of Minneapolis and borrowed (free of charge) portable recycling units (PRUs) to collect recyclable materials through a loan program at Hennepin County.
Our success was the feature of a column in the Star Tribune! (http://www.startribune.com/local/94005959.html?page=1&c=y)
Raising the awareness of organics recycling for the neighborhood and serving as an example for other neighborhood events.
Since many attendees walk to the event, many people bring non-recyclable and non-compostable items INTO the event which we must then deal with...which is the bulk of the 'trash' at the end of the day. The Festival itself produces nearly zero waste.
Very well received by most attendees, as long as disposal stations were monitored by friendly and helpful volunteers. Vendors were very accommodating and for the most part willing (and excited) to work on this goal. Likewise, most exhibitors were accommodating and were willing to adjust their giveaways or handouts to conform with our zero waste goals.
Definitely! This is the third year the Linden Hills Festival has gone zero waste, with increased success each time. It is now expected at the Festival! We are looking for ways to expand our green initiatives beyond the waste arena as well.
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