THIS is one of our pet bugaboos…the huge amount of waste generated at big community events like Pride.
The awesome group OUT FOR SUSTAINABILITY is on the same page and they’re encouraging us to celebrate a PLASTIC FREE PRIDE by making a commitment to keeping our Pride events environmentally sound.
AND, it takes all of us to make this happen…as individuals but also as being part of groups who produce Pride events .
It’s simple stuff like not buying plastic bottles of water (use multi-use bottles and canteens and refill). And, companies/groups need to quit handing out so much material that just gets thrown away, like paper/cardboard handouts and plastic beads. Event producers need to provide running water and to arrange for recycling bins at their events.
AND, we wish Seattle Pride would encourage parade participants to not use motorized vehicles to pull floats…and, frankly, just outright ban large corporate/commercial/community vehicles of all kinds (beer trucks and buses and fire trucks).
Here’s lists of things that we can all do, via Out for Sustainability:
What can you do as an individual?
- #BringYourOwn water bottle and refill it often
- Take a reusable bag to carry out what you bring in so it gets sorted properly
- Take transit, bike, or walk (or carpool if necessary)
- Adapt something fabulous you have already to show your colors instead of buying fast fashion
- Avoid free handouts you won’t use and take pictures of those who leave them behind for waste management to collect
- Support nonprofits with your time and consider committing to your own planet improving cause
- Eat snacks that are local, organic, or at least non-toxic (vegetarian is always an option)
- Use your creativity to avoid plastic beads, glitter, balloons, and other toxic garbage items (think instead natural body paint, flowers, reclaimed materials)
What can you do as a contingent or vendor?
- Have reusable water bottles for volunteers and a refill station identified
- Carry out what you bring in, no garbage left behind
- Cut out handouts, especially plastic, and be creative with your marketing
- If you must hand out shirts, say where they were produced and what materials were used (avoid supporting child/slave labor, toxic rivers, or other fast fashion impacts)
- Run your Pride float or cart with human power, not engines
- Make your Pride presence count with commitments to do public good; whether that’s improving your supply chain, workers rights, or committing to go #PlasticFree as a company
What can you do as a Pride planner?
- Put together a strategy to have #PlasticFreePride in 5 years or less (work with OUT4S if this feels daunting, but remember it’s less scary than a planet of famine and drought.)
- Start with the basics and ban plastic balloons, glitter, beads, bottles, and dinnerware (replace them all with compostable equivalents)
- Select food vendors with credible sourcing from local and organic farms
- Enforce standards in who you accept as a sponsor, with transparency
- Ban fuel powered vehicles from parade routes and give prizes for least waste generated by decorations
- Create water refill stations and sell reusable bottles to keep people hydrated
- Work with local civic groups for free transit to Pride events
- Staff waste sorting stations so that non-compostables aren’t co-mingled with recycling and landfill trash
Go to plasticfreepride.org to learn more.