This year, Lucidity is aiming high when it comes to trash.
Food and Sustainability Coordinator Alison Hensley says Lucidity’s target is a 95% diversion rate, meaning that only 5% of waste generated at the festival goes to a landfill. This lofty goal stems from the belief that there is no “away”. This philosophy beckons the question, where does something go when we toss it?
Alison explains, “When we recycle, up-cycle or compost as much of our waste as possible we give it another opportunity to participate in the life cycle….be it as soil, container, or some other recycled good as opposed to letting it rot in a landfill.”
It takes a large amount of dedicated people to achieve such a goal. Key participants in this collaboration are Sudbusters (a part of Wastebusters) owned and operated by Michael Siminitus and Green Project Consultants.
Sudbusters was born when Michael realized food service related discards were making up a large amount of waste and he set out to see just how much. “By collecting data at events I realized the largest percentage of waste is disposable food service wear,” says Michael. By bringing in dishwashers last year to Lucidity, Sudbusters kept almost 400 lbs of waste out of the landfill. This year, based on the estimated number of attendees, the projections are close to three times that figure.
Lucidity is also collaborating with Green Project Consultants, who provide a team of people at the event who specialize in dividing and sorting waste. Post event, their staff will sort through the waste to separate it all into recyclable, compostable, and landfill material.The post event sort is the most important step in diversion. Without it so much more waste would be sent to the landfill.
It will take more then just these efforts to keep lucidity as low-impact as possible. Read these EIGHT ESSENTIAL TIPS to contribute to this incredible vision and create a 95% conversion rate!
1) Buy bulk. Ditch the single serving packaging for buying bigger quantities. Arrange a system with your friends and family. This includes food stuffs, beer and alcohol. Buy kegs or growlers, not 12 packs.
2) There will be multiple refill stations provided, so bring your reusable water containers and refill on site. Magical things happen at the Ole watering Hole. Bring a 5 gallon water container to keep filled up for your campsite.
3) Remove all excess food packaging: Take the crackers out of the box, use a tupperware container to put all of your snack foods in (bars, nuts, crackers, etc)
4) Think and Re Think about buying or bringing anything that will only be used 1 time, and leave it at home! Bring reusable plates, cups, and eating wares. Glow sticks are a BIG one here…opt for LED rechargeable lights instead for both your camp and your body.
5) Reusable bags: Cost less than $1 in most locations….pack your food and trinkets in these instead of bringing in a bunch of plastic or paper bags.
6) Reusable DISH Cloths and Towels. Leave the paper towels at home and bring a few dish towels and rags to clean up spills. Wash and reuse when you get home.
7) If you are a smoker…Collect your own cigarette butts! Please come prepared with your own canister or container for your cigarette butts.
8) Bring and set up 3 Bags in your site, one for trash, one for recycling, and one for compost….Make a SIGN for each!! Create a culture in your camp of taking 1 more second to think about the “end game” for that little piece of “trash” we are throwing away.
Read those tips carefully and do your best to comply with what you can! It takes all of us being aware, engaged, and mindful everyday and in every moment to prevent excess waste!
In closing, Alison asks us all, “Can you even begin to imagine what the world would look like if this awareness was the case at all festivals or even in all homes, to really take a look at what a conscientious human existence/gathering can look like?
The impact would be far reaching.”