newportFILM is introducing their first “Green Team” with a mission to create more sustainable events on Aquidneck Island. Supported by 11th Hour Racing and in partnership with Clean Ocean Access’s Healthy Soils Healthy Seas RI initiative; Zero Waste Stations will be available to filmgoers at the outdoor series with composting provided by Black Earth Compost all summer long. These demonstrated efforts will show the effectiveness of diverting food scraps from our waste stream and increasing awareness of the connectivity of healthy soils and healthy seas.
The diversion of food scraps and compostable products from the waste stream allows us to reduce waste, including single-use packaging that ends up in landfills and our oceans. newportFILM, along with Clean Ocean Access, hopes that these efforts become routine for all large events on Aquidneck Island. “Every time we bring zero waste efforts to an event, we are asking event-goers to get personal with their trash, breaking down the barriers and misconceptions about composting and recycling,” said Eva Touhey, Program Manager of Clean Ocean Access. “Single-use food packaging is one of the most found items at our beach cleanups, so by educating our community about proper waste disposal, we intend to find less of these materials in our environment.”
Staffed by volunteers from newportFILM and Clean Ocean Access, filmgoers are assisted throughout the evening as to what goes in each bin; compost, recycle and landfill. With the summer outdoor season in full swing, the Zero Waste Stations have been very well received by the audience, eager to dispose of their waste properly and inspired to use compostable and reusable items. “Volunteering with the Green Team at newportFILM not only allows me to enjoy being part of a community, but also makes me feel as if I am making a positive environmental impact each week,” said Claire Barnewolt, Green Team volunteer from newportFILM.
Onsite food vendors are an intricate part of this initiative, with many committing to using compostable materials for takeaway food items. “newportFILM is all about community, so collaborating to launch Zero Waste Stations with 11th Hour Racing, Clean Ocean Access, Black Earth Compost, Green Team volunteers and our filmgoers has been an incredible experience, reinforcing the critical role that the arts play in developing strong, vibrant and healthy communities,” said Cathleen Carr, Executive Director of newportFILM.
Photography by Maddie Van – maddievan.com