JULY 5, 2018 BY 

Adapted from Steamboat Today
Written by Cameron Hawkins, Waste Diversion Director

Event season is in full force, and Fourth of July means many large community events. But, when you bring hundreds, if not thousands, of people together, events can generate a tremendous amount of waste.

Waste reduction and recycling don’t happen by magic. We can all help minimize the environmental footprint of events that we attend. Here are simple things that you can do to make Steamboat events more sustainable:

• Say no to styrofoam: Choose to buy food from a vendor who uses more environmentally-responsible service ware. Styrofoam is bad for human health and the environment.

• Be straw-free: Ask for no straw or purchase a metal reusable straw for on-the-go.

• BYOB (bottle, that is): Bring a reusable water bottle to avoid single-use plastic bottles.

• Spork it: Bring your own cutlery, cloth napkin and/or to-go container.

• Find the bin: Properly dispose of items in recycle and trash bins. If you don’t see a bin right away, ask someone. If you spot an aluminum can or plastic bottle that didn’t make it into a recycling bin, be a waste warrior and put it where it belongs! Paper with food on it must go in the trash.

• Leave no trace: Pack out your waste, especially if you can’t find a recycling bin. Although some food waste is biodegradable, please don’t leave it on the ground. It’s still litter and is harmful for native animals to eat. Also, be sure to dispose of cigarettes in safe, appropriate areas. It’s been a dry year, and the fire danger is rising.

• Use alternative transportation: Ride your bike, walk or take the free bus to events. You’ll be glad you did when everyone else is waiting to get out of the parking lot.

To find out more about recycling and reducing waste, visit yvsc.org. Please do your part at events this summer. It takes all of us to keep our valley green and clean.