Bring Your Own & Reduce Waste           View email in your browser

Conservation Almanac Special Notice
          Help Green the Fair!
               Waste Station Workers Needed

Help Green the Fair!
Building on last year’s success, the 158th edition of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is poised to take another big leap toward a more sustainable future for our Island. Led by the good folks at Island Grown Initiative, with help from VCS, Sail MV, and the Ag Society, in 2018 we reduced the total waste generated throughout the Fair by over 30%. Thanks to all the hardworking volunteers and “trash kids” at the new waste stations, more than three tons of food was sent to IGI’s Thimble Farm. There it would become valuable local compost instead of going to off-Island landfills, where it would contribute nothing but carbon dioxide and methane emissions. In addition, VCS’s newly-installed water bottle refill station saved (according to the on-board counter) nearly 3,000 disposable water bottles and/or plastic cups from our over-burdened recycling system (as a best-case scenario, because many of these would also find their way to the landfill).

Now we are teaming up again to take things to the next level, with a heightened emphasis on building a “Bring Your Own” culture. Due to the sheer scale of the Fair, where across just four days (Aug. 15-18) tens of thousands of guests will eat, drink, and play in one small spot, it is important that we not only improve the handling of our waste, but reduce it in the first place.

So when you head out to the Fair next week, pack your water bottles, metal straws, cloth napkins, and bamboo forks, and keep an eye out for these additions:

The B.Y.O. Tent
Just outside the northeast corner of the exhibition hall will be our new educational exhibit with all sorts of info about single-use plastic items and some of the many reusable alternatives. Stop by and share what you’re doing to “B.Y.O. to the Fair” to receive a prize and be entered into the raffle for the four Grand Prizes (which will be awarded one per day).

Outdoor Refill Station
In addition to the water bottle refill station inside near the restrooms, the B.Y.O. tent will also serve as a second location where you can hydrate for free (as long as you have something to put it in!). If you forget your water bottle, the Ag Society has created their own branded stainless steel cups for sale this year, and of course you can always just save that lemonade cup for a refill. Come on by and say hello when you’re thirsty!

Skip the Straw
One important change this year is that the Fair will no longer allow plastic straws to be distributed automatically with drinks. Paper straws will be available, but only on request. (Please note that paper straws – like plastic – are not recyclable, so these do need to go in the trash.) Don’t forget to BYO Straw!

Join the Green Team!
A crucial part of the effort to "Green the Fair" are the members of the Green Team: those adult volunteers and hard-working (and paid!) kids who take on the challenge of getting all that stuff where it needs to be. Every Green Team member gets free admission to the Fair on the day of their shift and a free t-shirt. Many shifts remain unfilled, especially for adults and at night, so please read the details here and sign up!


Copyright © 2019 Vineyard Conservation Society, All rights reserved.

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