Ever heard of Zero Waste Event? Facilities Operations and Development initiated the Zero Waste Event tradition to achieve campus sustainability goals. The initiative was originally created to address waste diversion from Buckeye football games held at the Shoe as early as 2010. The Zero Waste initiative “refers to diverting 90% or more of materials from the landfill by recycling, repurposing, and composting.” The stadium has ranked number one in diversion rate within the Big Ten conference for the past four years, with an average of 95.40% of waste diverted.

In recent years, as an educational effort, The Zero Waste Team partners with the local community to assist fans at the Zero Waste stations on game days. To extend this sustainability idea across campus, organizers are encouraged to host Zero Waste Events at other facilities, with little or no additional cost. Proper cycling of event wastes is mainly facilitated through on-site Zero Waste containers, categorizing wastes into compost, recycle and trash from the very beginning of waste deposits. The main goal here is to divert trash from the landfill, to achieve economic and environmental sustainability of the overall OSU community.

As an organization dedicated to innovative and game changing ideas, TEDxOhioStateUniversity decided to host an Zero Waste Event this year at our 2018 annual conference: Hide or Seek. Luckily for us, Mershon Auditorium is already a qualified Zero Waste Event space. Our logistic committee has spent the last several months guaranteeing that our event precisely follows the Zero Waste Checklist by Facilities Operations and Development. Apart from using Zero Waste bins and signs, our team is committed to utilizing reusable, durable, compostable, and recyclable only products throughout the event. Minimal packaging and appropriate catering are also at the center of our efforts for the synergy among economic development, ecological diversity, and social prosperity.

So when you come to our event this Saturday, February 24th, consider yourself as a member of an even larger sustainability effort! When disposing of something, please pay attention to signs above bins and around room to determine if item belongs in the compost, recycle, or trash. We hope you’ll take this message with you, start thinking about personal impact on the environment!