Sustainability Updates

This spring has been a busy one for sustainability advocates; I thought I’d let you know what I’ve been doing in a short series covering Earth Day, the Green Team, and a recent county-wide meeting called by Forsyth Futures.

Earth Day

Earth Day 2011 was a smashing success. It was held in the Education Annex at the Dixie Classic Fair this year in part because it had out-grown Davis Field and also because of inclement weather. Every possible display space was occupied by a booth, the aisles were nearly impassible at times and the children’s activities were very well attended. Many of the exhibitors wanted to help me make my home more energy efficient, but others were selling plants, food, honey, soap and the like from local farms. Several city and county agencies were there to give advice about their services, as well. In addition, there was a small stage with live music and several vendors were selling food. If you recall, we had high winds, rain, thunder, and lightning that day, so indoors was exactly the right place to hold the event. Those of you who attended the Earth Day fair on Davis Field last year may remember that several tents were blown over, presenting a safety hazard that the organizers sought to avoid.

This year, the fair organizers had a goal of producing zero waste from the event. There were several manned stations throughout the venue containing large bins for recycling paper and glass/metal/cans in addition to bins for compost. All the food vendors were required to provide plates, glasses and silverware that could be recycled or composted. I volunteered for several hours at one of the stations and directed visitors to the correct bin when disposing of their items. Used paper plates and napkins went into compost as did certain plastic glasses (paper that’s soiled with food waste can’t be recycled). On those rare occasions when a visitor had an item that didn’t fall into one of the above categories (usually this was something they’d brought from outside the fair) they were directed to use trash bins outside the building. Fair organizers were pleased with the results of the Zero Waste Challenge.