Waste-free, guilt-free events | SummitDaily.com

Waste-free, guilt-free events

special to the daily
High Country Conservation Center

The word on the street this week is the Frisco BBQ Challenge. Locals and visitors who have caught “barbecue fever” will be hitting the streets from Thursday night to Saturday to experience live entertainment, games for kids, cooking demos, pig races, and of course eating … lots and lots of eating.

With over 68 teams and 30,000 attendees, you can only imagine the mountain of trash this large-scale event would normally produce. Fortunately, the Town of Frisco and the High Country Conservation Center have teamed up to hit the streets with an arsenal of ways to lessen the environmental impact of waste generation at this event.

The town and HC3 have been working together to ensure the majority of items distributed by vendors will be recyclable or compostable.

For example, the cups distributed at this event won’t be your standard petroleum-based plastic cup, like a solo cup. Instead, vendors will be distributing cups made from corn. These cups are labeled as a “#7-other” PLA plastic. PLA, or polylactic acid cups, are designed to break down in a high-heat commercial composting facility. Compostable cutlery will also be distributed by vendors.

In addition to the compostable cups and cutlery, uncoated paper plates, bowls and paper boats can also be composted. What’s more, all of the food provided at the Frisco BBQ Challenge is compostable.

So when you’re finished with your meal, you can cruise over to one of the many green Zero Hero tents, consisting of a recycling bin, a compost bin and a trash bin. The majority of your leftovers will be compostable (remember, the meat bones, cup, plate, cutlery, napkin etc.). Recycle your pop can and voila, you just had a litterless lunch, brunch or dinner!

You’ll also notice a crew of dedicated volunteers educating visitors about composting and recycling as they make their way to the Zero Hero tents to sort their discards.

Without the help of our phenomenal volunteers, this program would not be possible. If you see them on the streets, feel free to ask them questions, but remember to thank them for their commitment to our community and our environment.

If you’ve ever attended a large zero-waste event in our community (like the Frisco BBQ Challenge) and wondered how to create a small-scale zero-waste event at your home, church, or backyard barbecue, wonder no more. The High Country Conservation Center has developed Zero Waste Party Packs (ZWPP’s), which include everything you need to make your event zero waste.

To reserve a zero-waste party pack – which includes plates, cups, cutlery, educational signs for your compost and recycling bins and more – just call the High Country Conservation Center. Once you’ve placed an order, you can pick up your supplies from our office at 518 Main Street in Frisco.

Next, you’ll throw your party but, be sure that all the materials distributed and disposed of are reusable, compostable or recyclable. You’ll collect the material in two different bins, compost and recycling. Remember, if you’ve planned ahead there won’t be any need for a trash can! Finally, you’ll deliver your compost back to the High Country Conservation Center, where it will be commercially composted – and don’t forget to place your recyclables at the curb or at the drop-off center.

Hosting a zero-waste party is a great way to show your friends and neighbors your commitment to the environment and to help us spread the word that trash is not inevitable. Contact the High Country Conservation Center to learn how to throw a waste-free, guilt-free summer event!

Eartha Steward is written Jennifer Santry and Erin Makowsky at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Submit questions to Eartha at eartha@highcountryconservation.org.

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