As Sedona enacts the Sustainable Tourism Plan, many of our local signature events are embracing their responsibility to improve sustainability and minimize waste.
MeetGreen.com tells us that the average event attendee creates 4.16 pounds of waste per day of an event. That number is staggering when you think of the millions of visitors and event attendees Sedona welcomes every year.
When we founded Compost Crowd, a community food scraps collection service for residents, businesses, and events, we set our sights on more than just food waste in Northern Arizona. As passionate environmentalists, we wanted to be part of the conversation and movement away from single-use and non-recyclable items that end up in the landfill or our waterways.
Just a few years in and we are proud of the Sedona community for enlisting our help in varying degrees for compost collection and zero waste support. Signature annual events including Sedona VegFest, RunSedona, Sedona Yoga Festival, and Sedona Food Truck Festival have all commissioned us in some capacity to aid in their efforts to move closer to realizing Zero Waste status defined by the Sustainability Alliance.
Composting food scraps is an incredibly impactful thing for any individual, business, or event to prioritize. When organic matter and food waste end up in the landfill they are essentially buried under a mountain of plastic and therefore decompose anaerobically–without oxygen–which emits methane. Methane is a Greenhouse Gas that is up to 86 times more damaging to the warming of the atmosphere on a 20-year timeline–yikes! Returning food scraps the the earth to create nutrient-dense soil decreases water use, decreases the use of synthetic fertilizer, decreases erosion, and has the potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
It is also extremely important to educate visitors and event attendees about what is recyclable here in Sedona and make it easy to opt for reusable over single-use options whenever possible. As a visitor, you have the awesome opportunity to play a major role in being a steward of the environment we all love here in the Most Beautiful Place on Earth.
It takes all stakeholders–residents, business owners, community leaders, event organizers, and visitors–to do everything in their power to safeguard the environment to preserve its natural wonder. Simple things like packing-it-out when you hike and refilling your reusable water bottle are actions that add up to make a difference.
During your time in Sedona you can use a reusable coffee mug to avoid single-use hot beverage cups that are not recyclable or opt to dine-in rather than to-go. You can refuse lids and plastic cutlery, and choose restaurants that are members of the Sedona Straw Free promise.
You can stay with hotels that compost in their operations like L’auberge de Sedona and Sedona Rouge, and eat with restaurants including Indian Gardens Cafe & Market, Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen, Sedona Golf Resort that ensure kitchen food scraps are being diverted from the landfill.
When you attend events be sure to look for the Zero Waste Stations to dispose of your waste in the appropriate bins. We are fortunate to have a robust recycling program with Sedona Recycles which accepts plastics #1,#2, and #5s, plus aluminum and glass. However, those items are only actually recycled if they end up sorted properly and at the processing facility.
Join us in being stewards of the environment in Sedona and beyond with the choices you make!