Each year, Global Green USA brings together some of the most influential, well-loved, and eco-conscious folks in the entertainment industry for our Pre-Oscar Party. It gives us a chance to celebrate achievements in our field, raise funds to support our work, and spread awareness about the key environmental issues affecting all of humanity: water and energy conservation, urban development, climate change mitigation, and more.
While we have always employed “green event” best practices, our Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) staff, myself included, took it a step further this year by striving for a zero-waste event. In concert (pun intended) with our caterer, venue, and our newest CoRR member, waste hauler Athens Services, we took some key steps to maximize waste recovery at the event:
Steps to Zero-Waste Success:
1. Sorting: We helped educate and involve guests in the sorting process by clearly marking bins.
- All “Dry Material” contents – plastic, paper, etc. – were sent to Athens’ local material recovery facility to be sorted for recycling.
- All “Wet Material” contents went to American Organics composting facility in Victorville, CA.
2. Equipment & Materials: The waste hauler, Athens Services, requested that we find special small collection bins to stock at the bar. As it turns out, new CoRR member EcoSafe was happy to provide both the bins and compostable liners to gather the cherries, olives, and lemon and lime rinds from the many tasty cocktails served throughout the evening.
As part of the “green” decor, we also featured recyclable coasters made from recycled juice cartons, courtesy of ReWall. These were a hit during the cocktail party and helped educate guests about Global Green USA’s 20-year history.
3. Logistics and Communication: Restaurants and event venues are bustling environments, filled with people and food. We’ll admit: Recycling and composting takes more coordination than sending everything to a landfill. A big thanks goes out to Akasha catering and the Avalon staff who were very open and helpful, taking care to keep the compost stream uncontaminated in compostable bin liners.
4. Periodic Check-ins: Throughout the event, Global Green and Athens waste hauler staff monitored each bin, including in the kitchen, to ensure all waste went in the right bins. Upfront communication is key, but to make large zero-waste events a success, we suggest “boots on the ground”—and in the kitchen—to plan, check, monitor, and advise all parties involved.
Thanks to all who helped us achieve our goal of producing a zero-waste event! By the end of the evening, all the refuse leaving the venue was sent to be either composted in Victorville, or sorted and recycled at the local material recovery facility.
Next Stop: Following the food scraps to Athens Services’ composting facility in Victorville, CA!