The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Associations (GSCRA’s) annual Strawberry Days Festival in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is visited by thousands of people every year and since 2011 the “Green Strawberries” recycling effor has become an important part of the festivities. The program, sponsored by SGM, Renewal by Anderson and the City of Glenwood Springs collected an estimated 14,000 pounds of compostable matter and recyclables to be re-processed. Eighty-six per cent of waste was diverted from landfills.
Alyssa Reindel with Evergreen Events worked with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association to plan the event to meet the increasing effort for an environmentally-friendly Strawberry Days, “Overall the event was a huge success. Vendors and patrons were happy to sort their items and the feedback we received was positive and grateful.”
Evergreen’s involvement may not be noticeable at first glance but some attendees may have noticed the placement of signs at handwashing stations encouraging them to “shake it off” rather than reaching for a paper towel and left over food items being collected for compost after the Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast. These may seem like minute tasks but they save fuel and reduce the creation of methane gas in our landfills.
“Our goal is to make Strawberry Days as ‘green’ as possible. With tens of thousands of people engaging in the event, we have the ability to educate a large group of people about the importance of recycling in a fun environment,” said Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
According to the GSCRA’s event organizer Angie Anderson, “The results get better every year. In 2011 we diverted 46 per cent of the waste from the landfill and now we are up to 86%. So we’ve made huge strides in 5 years! Most of that is because Alyssa works with the vendors in advance to make sure they are using compostable products.”
Anderson added that more people can get involved because there is always a need for more volunteers to help throughout the park with trash clean-up and to monitor recycling stations. She added, “We had a really great event and the trash and recycling portion is a big part of that.”
Ultimately, 2015 Strawberry Days collections will save about 593 gallons of gasoline and prevent over 46,600 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
Evergreen Events works with event planners to meet an increasing interest for environmentally friendly events, EverGreen Events provides Zero Waste and green event services for any occasion. From backyard parties to multiday sporting events and community festivals, they accommodate your specific needs, bringing the Zero Waste world to you and your guests. They work with municipalities, businesses, community groups and the public, offering full or partial sustainability consultation, operational management, compostable product distribution and outreach for any occasion with great results.
Strawberry Days Festival
Strawberry Days has been entertaining generations for more than 100 years. The festival features a FamilyFest area with interactive, entertaining and creative experiences for the kids; an arts and crafts fair and food court; an old-fashioned carnival; a parade down main street and a full entertainment line-up. We still serve free strawberries and ice cream on Saturday, just like we’ve been doing for the past century. For more information, visit Strawberrydays.com.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!