One of the most useful features Sundowner focused on was creating a paperless online registration system. Creating a publicly available survey that captured critical information allowed Sundowner and City staff to track how many volunteers planned to attend, what kind of projects they wanted to participate in, and ensure sufficient project materials for everyone. There was also an online survey that allowed businesses to pledge participation and supplies virtually instead of snail mailing paper forms. Together, the systems made registration paperless and ensured a successful event.
Event planners also wanted to make sure catering vendors, participants, and organizers were all on board with the City's efforts to make this a zero-waste event. Historically, participants would have a hard time knowing how to sort effectively, or vendors would bring supplies that were non-compostable, reducing the effectiveness of the zero-waste bins. Sundowner took the lead on communicating with food vendors to make sure they understood that compostable utensils and plateware would be available on-site, and double check on potential sources of waste. When it comes to waste sorting, Sundowner strongly believes in the concept of creating waste signage that is customized to what's being served at the event. As a result, Sundowner came prepared with interactive signage templates and physically attached examples of the appropriate waste to the signs. Case and point: it's a lot easier to look down at your plate, see the exact same plate posted on the waste sign, and know where to put it as opposed to having to read through a long list of potential materials to figure it out... wouldn't you agree?
To bring the waste sorting message home, we also had an interactive waste sorting game for volunteers at the end of the event. In exchange for prizes, participants could sort through a pile of sample waste items ranging from plastic bottles to batteries and place them in the appropriate "bins" (labeled sections of our sorting box). The more items they placed correctly, the more points they earned. It was a great way to educate people about waste streams in Santa Barbara, and how to appropriately dispose of unique items like CDs/DVDs and foodscraps.
If you want help implementing green features like this at an upcoming event, don't forget to contact Sundowner for a free consultation (firstname.lastname@example.org). For a news article containing more information on the event, click here.