Ever noticed how much waste there is at conferences and festivals? We have and we want to do something about it. The Embolden Festival has a Green Team to minimise waste and the harm that our Festival does to the Planet. There is a very ageist rumour out there that 'older people have destroyed the planet - and young people are saving it.' We think this ageist divide is not helpful, we know stacks of older people (and younger folk) who are doing wonderful things to reduce waste and environmental damage - in fact we have invited a few of them to be part of our Green Team, to teach us how we can reduce our waste.
Here is the list of our achievements from #Embolden2019. We aim to improve on this each year and share it with other conferences and festivals to inspire others.
- Promotional flyers and postcards with plastic film: didn't realise those we printed online in 2018 had plastic film. In 2019 all promotional materials were electronic
- Printed program with abstracts: no abstracts - plenary sessions so participants don't need abstracts to select sessions. Explore option for printing program on Envirocare 100% recycled paper with vegetable inks (PrintTogether)
- Program ring binder and plastic cover: program was printed as a four page fold out
- Lanyards and plastic name tags: thick name tags on recycled card were used, tied with paper ribbon to pin
- Fashion Parade program: provide most details on line and print A4 sheet black and white
- Fashion Parade masks for participants: seek alternative or paper options
- Coffee cart cups: compostable cups and lids were provided (next time need to work out composting options)
- Drink bottles: we asked delegates to bring their own and keep a table filled with water jugs
- Satchels: were not provided
- Satchel inserts: provided hyperlinks to partner/sponsors online only
- Disposable cutlery: the catering company provided biodegradable cutlery
- Food waste: adjusted catering when numbers were confirmed and provided fresh fruit to compliment catering - so surplus can be taken home by delegates
- Banner: used banner from last year and printed banner for podium onto tea towel that was given away as spot prizes.
THE GREEN TEAM
In 2019 Monique Decortis (pictured below) answered the call out for a Green Team. Monique is a sustainability consultant and co-chair of the Mullum Mullum Festival, a sustainably-run festival that annually celebrates the Aboriginal cultural heritage and ecological values of the Mullum Mullum Creek Valley. For #Embolden2020 we are looking for an intergenerational team.