28 December 2013

sustainable sophia

The Sophia Conference - Near Zero Waste

The Sophia Conference brings together San Diego women to tend our souls every year. We sing, dance, listen to each other, and share beautiful food made with love. Because of the holistic nature of the Institute of Feminine Wisdom, we include Mother Earth in our sisterhood, and keep moving closer to zero waste at these events. With about 75 women in attendance, here's what we were able to capture and (mostly) divert from the landfill:

REDUCE (COMPOST) - About 3 gallons of mostly napkins and tea bags, plus a few food scraps and a nice big stack of uncoated paper dishes to work into the compost bin

REUSE - Two glass gallon jugs

RECYCLE - Two boxes, one paper coffee collar, and 5 recyclable plastic lids

LANDFILL - Veggie plastic spoons, plastic wrap, name tags, 3 black trash bags, 6 wax-lined coffee cups

Thank you to everyone who brought their own mug or water bottle. This allowed us to eliminate the "compostable" corn-based plastic cups from last year, once we learned that they are not recyclable in San Diego (or anywhere else that I know of) and sadly, they will not break down in a backyard compost pile.

Please remember that there is no such place as "away" for us to throw our trash. Modern landfills are lined with layers of absorbent material and sheets of plastic to keep pollutants from leaking into the soil and water. It's like a big Tupperware container buried in the ground. Not good.

We can improve next year by capturing kitchen scraps and trash from behind the scenes and all paper from the registration desk and vendor tables, for a complete snapshot of our waste stream. We can also encourage carpooling and public transit. Please share other ideas for leaving a light environmental footprint.