Splore setting the standard for a Zero Waste Event

The sun shone down on the Splore Festival for an amazing three day event in mid-February (thanks to my mum for buying me a ticket!). As well as soaking up the atmosphere, enjoying the fabulous food (the best I’ve ever experienced at an outdoor event) and marvelling at the stunning location I was super impressed with the overall organisation and the commitment to sustainability.  Splore set a high standard for a  Zero Waste event that should inspire all event organisers. Splore partnered with ACZWA (Auckland Community Zero Waste Alliance) to make sure all waste items ended up in the right place and not in the landfill and to create a clean and green environment.

Here are some of my observations:

  • Refundable Globelets removed the need for disposable cups and demonstrated why we need container deposit legislation – kids do all the clearing up when there is an economic incentive (my photo below is of Nathanial who told me he had “hit the big time” by collecting Globelets to receive the $2 refund – for each cup!)
  • There is now a full range of economically priced compostable products for stallholders to use – they no longer have the excuse that “doing the right” thing is too hard or expensive (at Splore all the stallholders were audited to ensure they used compostable containers)
  • The 3 bin waste stations – recycling, organics and landfill waste – worked really well because they were staffed by friendly, happy volunteers (including Winnie pictured below from Grey Lynn 2030 Waste Away.  All the waste was then sorted through at the Trash palace to achieve an impressive diversion from landfill (I understand it is likely to be about 80% but Splore don’t have the final figures yet)
  • Wash against Waste is an inspired idea to reduce the need for disposable packaging
  • Cigarette butts are still a big challenge. Splore is held in a smoke free regional park but of course smokers still needed their fix. Many brought their own ashtrays (eg film canisters ) but unfortunately a majority of smokers drop their butts even in a “leave no trace” environment (would love to know the answer to solving that one).

Congratulations to the Splore team on a truly inspirational event. I look forward to event organisers in the Waitemata Local Board area taking your lead to host Zero Waste festivals of such a high standard.

More information 

The Art of Sustainability at Splore  (far more than just waste)

Auckland Community Zero Waste Alliance – guidance and advice