Make your next event zero-waste!

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What is zero-waste?

The goal of a zero-waste event is to divert as much material from the landfill as possible, using various waste-reduction techniques. Ideally, all of the items used at a zero-waste event are either reusable, recyclable or compostable. You can make your next event zero-waste by taking advantage of the free event collection bins available to borrow by Thurston County residents, and by following some of the tips below.

Why should I make my next event zero-waste?

  • At the very least it is now required by law to provide recycling at specific types of events. Learn about the requirements of this law and whether it applies to your event (external link).
  • It saves you money.
  • It is better for the environment. Materials that can be turned into other useful products are diverted from the landfill, as well as food scraps and other organic materials. During anaerobic decomposition, the process which happens at a landfill, organics produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
  • It increases environmental awareness within the community and attracts the attention of potential sponsors.

Planning your zero-waste event:

Planning ahead is the key to a successful zero-waste event. Use our event-planning toolkit to help you stay on track and set waste reduction goals for your event.

Reusable/Durable items

For smaller events, consider using fewer disposable items such as paper plates and cups, or plastic utensils. Instead, look into renting durable wares from one of our regional companies. Or borrow some from a friend.

Compostable/Recyclable Items

If durable materials are not an option for your event, consider using only compostable and/or recyclable items instead. For larger events, be sure to work closely with vendors to ensure that all of the food service materials used are either washable and reusable, compostable, or recyclable. This step is crucial to carrying out a successful zero-waste event! Check out our event planning toolkit for a sample letter to send to your vendors/caterers. Learn more about how to borrow free recycling and organics bins for your event.

Save resources with smart food planning

Using a portion planner takes out the guess work for event planning. Consider how many people you will serve and what type of beverages and food you will provide. Below are a few of the available planners that come up in a web search. In addition, plan to have some clear food storage containers on hand. This will allow you to see the leftovers in your fridge. Clear containers are widely available and vary widely in both price and style (something for everyone). You can also plan to send leftovers home with people. For larger amounts of leftover food, consider donation. The Thurston County Food Bank does take donations of prepared food and The Good Samaritan Act protects those who donate. If you want to read the entire Act, the link is below. Thurston County maintains this list as a courtesy to the public and does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the service offered or provided.




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