Tag Archives: SXSW Eco

A Milestone for Zero-Waste Events

Volunteers from Sacred Heart University helped patrons at Chilifest sort their food waste.

Volunteers from Sacred Heart University helped patrons at Chilifest sort their compostables. The event sent 2,840 pounds of organic waste to be composted.

On Superbowl Sunday, we partnered with a local culinary competition event to help them compost their food waste. We just learned that the event diverted more than four times as much waste to compost than last year’s event — that’s 2,840 pounds of food scraps and compostable items that are being recycled into a nutrient-rich soil supplement instead of being incinerated!

The numbers are one thing to celebrate, but Chilifest has also helped us reach an important milestone as an organization. We’re now equipped with the tools and expertise to help even more events around the country compost their food waste.

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Behind the Scenes at a Zero-Waste Event

Volunteers from the Texas State chapter of Net Impact

Volunteers from the Texas State chapter of Net Impact; l to r: Meredith Solomon, Hannah Ballou, bat, and Melissa Gonzalez

Earlier this month, as the official Food & Waste Education Partner for the SXSW Eco 2013 conference in Austin, Sustainable America worked to capture and compost food waste from the third-annual event. Well, the numbers are in, and the conference was successful in diverting almost all of its waste—an impressive 97%!—to recycling and composting facilities instead of landfills.

Here’s a look at what goes into corralling a bunch of sandwich crusts and compostable forks into the proper places so it can be recycled into compost rather than go to waste in a landfill.

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Top Tweets From SXSW Eco

SXSW Eco 2013

We just got back from the 2013 SXSW Eco conference, the third-annual Austin, Texas, meeting of movers and shakers in the environmental movement. We helped wrangle the event’s food waste to the compost heap instead of the landfill as SXSW Eco’s official Food & Waste Education Partner, and our own Jeremy Kranowitz and Gray Peckham took part in a panel discussion about Program-Related Investments. We also gathered lots of fodder for upcoming articles. In the meantime, here are crowdsourced highlights from the conference via Twitter.

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Food and Fuel Event Calendar

Sustainable America Events

Part of our work here at Sustainable America is helping to spread the word and foster conversations about food and fuel issues. Here’s a quick update about some of the great events Sustainable America is going to be a part of this fall.

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Sustainable America Partners With SXSW Eco 2013

SXSW Eco 2013

We’re proud to announce that Sustainable America has been chosen as the official Food & Waste Education Partner for the SXSW Eco 2013 conference. Along with exhibiting at the conference, which runs October 7-9, we will help SXSW Eco implement a composting program in order to help achieve a zero-waste event.

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Vote for Us on SXSW Eco

Photo Credit: Rob Boudon via Compfight cc

We’re ready to spread the word about sustainability at the SXSW Eco conference happening this October in Austin, but we need your help. Please vote for our presentation proposals. All you have to do is register as a SXSW PanelPicker (it’s quick and painless), search for “Sustainable America” and give us a thumbs up for each one.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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