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[greenyes] a successful zero waste event!
hello everyone,
we just hosted a small, zero waste event this morning that went very well!  I am including here a description of the event, set-up, results and changes I would do in the future.  Any feedback or comments would be appreciated!  And please keep sharing your recycling/zero waste events!  It is so exciting!  and thanks to karyn at the university of oregon for the idea for our event in the first place!
take care,
michelle smith
recycling coordinator
providence college

Providence College, Providence, RI

Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Recycling Program
Recycling Coordinator: Michelle Smith
Reusable Mug and Zero Waste Coffee HourTuesday, October 28, 2003
9 am to noon
Slavin Soft Lounge, Room 100


   To have a small, fun  and informative gathering to give the campus community a chance to come out and learn more about the campus recycling program, pick up informational packets and free reusable mugs and to ask any questions they may have.  The event was for all PC students, faculty and staff. 
   The event itself created no waste, to keep in line with the goals of the recycling policy (reduce, reuse, recycle!)



   I worked closely with Sodexho (the catering/food company on campus) who catered the food, drinks and dishware for the event.  They provided ceramic mugs, in addition to our reusable travel mugs we gave away.  All dishes, silverware and napkins were durable wear.  Items such as milk, half and half, sugar and honey were in glass jars.  Coffee and hot water was in urns.  Pastries were on reusable, plastic trays.  The only disposable item were the paper doilies on the trays with the pastries; in the future, we can simply ask for no doilies.  I bought soymilk, rice milk and herbal teas, since Sodexho could not provide these.
   After people took their drinks and food, plates, ceramics mugs, silverware and napkins were deposited in the dish return.  Food scraps (which I believe there were none) and tea bags were deposited in the 2 compost buckets I set up (as we do not currently have composting at the College, I brought these home to be composted.)
   On another table, we had our Recycling Information.  This included our 3-fold recycling information board, recycling handbooks for students, recycling handbooks for faculty and staff, recycling information for cans and bottles, mixed paper and computers, recent Closing the Loop newsletters (our monthly recycling newsletter), information on Zero Waste and how to set up a Zero Waste event, and recycled cereal box notebooks, which the student group, Student Environmental Action Coalition had created.  Outside the entrance we posted a sign alerting people to the event.
   We had plenty of couches and chairs set up for people to relax, talk and look over the recycling information.  We also had some music going!  (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, etc.)


   Many people came!  I estimated 100 people or so came throughout the 3-hour period.  Some people came for coffee and left, while others stayed awhile to talk and look at the information.  About half the people were students, half faculty and staff.  Many people had questions, some had suggestions and many had great things to say about the recycling program!  Overall, it was a very successful event and many people commented on what a good idea it was.
   I took many pictures, which I will put up on our website.
   The Spectrum (the bi-weekly publication for facutly and staff) came to cover the event and take pictures.

 For next time:

   If we were to do a similar event in the future, here is what else I would do:
      Advertise more to students: posters on kiosks, signs in dorms, ads in the Cowl (student newspaper) and PSA?s on WDOM (student radio station).
      Have the Cowl come to do a story and take pictures.
      Have more promotional items with our recycling logo on hand for people to take with them, so they are reminded of the recycling program.
      Have surveys people can fill out to get more feedback on the recycling program.
      Expand the food options so vegans and special diets can be catered.


Michelle Smith
Recycling Coordinator
Office of Environmental Health and Safety
Providence College
Providence, RI  02918

(401) 865-1881

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