In our studies, we have found that the simplest measures are the most effective ones. We encourage all local events to start their journey Towards Zero Waste by focusing on the elimination of individual items of trash and single-use plastic from their event footprint. We strongly encourage anyone starting on this journey to focus wholly on each individual item and its total eradication before moving onto the next. Your vendors and attendees need realistic, achievable goals, and you must support them in their efforts while enforcing your guidelines. Volunteers will be a crucial component to your success, as they will be educators and enforcers on the day(s) of your event.
We have developed a 3-pronged approach to the creation of our sustainability guidelines:
What the event can do.
What the vendors can do.
What the attendees can do.
What the Event Organizer Can Do
Communicating your guidelines clearly and confidently to your vendors, attendees, and community is critical to your success.
Share resources with your vendors, tips with your attendees, and use signage and volunteers on the day(s) of your event to help everyone succeed (and take lessons home that positively impact the community).
Event organizers must be adamant about the sustainability goals and define a system for dealing with nonobservance (particularly with vendors). Use signage and volunteers on the day(s) of your event to enforce efforts.
What the Vendors Can Do
We all have to recognize that how we are packaging and selling products is mostly unsustainable. Take responsibility for your business and home, and realize that being a steward of the Natural State is for future generations and the convenience of today should not be first priority.
Respect the goals of the event and do your part when packaging and presenting your product. Imagine if you had to personally deal with all of the waste from your product – make it minimal, biodegradable, and/or easily recyclable.
We know that humans must curtail our single-use, convenience-driven lifestyles to expect a future home for their progeny. That being said, this is still a trend that is gaining much traction! Share your successes with your patrons, and you will both be gratified at buying your product!
What the Event Attendees Can Do
Share and support your efforts online and by word of mouth! Give plenty of opportunity for the community to engage and react to your sustainability goals.
On the day of the event, attendees must come prepared to meet your goals. By bringing their own vessels, saying no to straws, and separating waste properly, everyone will be contributing to keeping the Natural State litter-free.
Urge attendees and the community to take these lessons beyond your event. Challenge them with ways to think outside the “plastic box” and engage with them on their efforts as a follow up!
(Próximamente) Descarga el manual en español aquí.
For more information about these resources and how to use them, please contact Brittany Nichols, City of Little Rock Recycling and Sustainability Programs Educator, at 501-371-4646 or by emailing email@example.com.