MV Green Event Guide

Preventing Waste at Martha's Vineyard Events

A collaboration of Island Grown Initiative, VCS, and Sail MV

This MV Green Event Guide will aim to:
  • Decrease your disposal costs by reducing the waste stream
  • Generate less trash sent off-island to the incinerator or landfill
  • Demonstrate your commitment to a more sustainable Martha's Vineyard
  • Track your waste to serve as a baseline, so that your next Island event could be truly Zero Waste (meaning NO waste at all!)
Waste Station Setup

Set up Waste Station areas that are centralized with clearly marked bins:

Compost (green container)
Island Grown Initiative can compost these items: Fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, pasta, bread, dairy, meat & seafood, coffee, filters & tea bags, napkins & paper towels. At this moment, compostable, "green" service wear is not accepted by IGI’s composter. 

Recycling (blue container)
Recyclables need to be kept clean (no food or liquids)
The best practice is to pick in this order: cardboard, aluminum, glass bottles, and plastic (at last resort!)

Trash (black container)
Bound for the landfill

Food Waste

Island Grown Initiative offers two types of food waste rescue services. Or, you can DIY and drop off your event's food waste at your local transfer station.

Full Waste Station: Festivals, Street Fairs, Large Group Events
Register Waste Station rental with Sophie Mazza (email, for more details see website

Small Waste Kit: Events of Any Size
(includes signage to affix to bins and a 5-gal bucket for food waste)
Pick up the "Waste Kit" one to three days before your event at IGI’s Farm Hub (directions
Your team drops off the food waste: Bring it to IGI’s Farm Hub and deposit in food waste bins outside the farm for free; or, drop food waste at Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark, West Tisbury transfer stations, cost is $2 per 5-gallon bucket.

No Single-Use Plastic

Keep it real! Use reusable glassware, china plates, utensils, cloth napkins, etc. instead of
No plastic! That means plastic bottles, cups, straws, utensils, plastic food wrap, etc.
Set up water filling stations with reusable glassware.

There is no perfect disposables on the market. Here are are best suggestions to date:
For food (to-go packaging)
We recommend:
YES to products that are PFAS free
YES products made from untreated/uncoated paper or untreated paper lined with PLA
NO #6 Plastic (ex. styrofoam and rigid polystyrene)
NO molded fiber products (i.e.wheat fiber, blends of plant fibers, silver grass (miscanthus),
sugarcane byproduct (bagasse), molded recycled paper, and PLA-lined molded sugarcane)
For liquids
YES PLA (plant-based) plastic **THIS NEEDS TO GO INTO TRASH**
Brands we recommend:
EcoProducts Vanguard line (available July 2019 certified PFAS-free), Sabert, Primeware

Green Team

Staffing your 'Green Team'
For a successful event you need one waste management point person and:
2-3 adults for centralized Waste Stations
1 adult for each stand-alone 3 bin stations.
‘Green Team’ are responsible for on-site monitoring stations, keeping it litter free, and sorting
waste for maximum resource recovery.
Train Volunteers on compost, recycling, and data collection protocol

Track Waste

Waste Tracking / Data Collection
Tracking your successes will help you develop a baseline to dial in a Zero Waste event in the
future and give you great social content to brag about.
Photos / Videos from the event
# of patrons at the event.
# of pounds of food waste sent to a composting facility.
# of pounds of recyclables (glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard


This mission-based collaboration between Island Grown Initiative, Vineyard Conservation Society, and Sail MV aims to educate event planners and caterers on Martha's Vineyard on the
importance of saying NO to plastic, preventing and recycling food waste, and how to operate in
an environmentally responsible manner.

A few facts:
40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten
We throw away appox. $40 worth a food a month, equalling 20 pounds of food per household
Americans toss $165 billion of food a year
6,500 tons of uneaten and wasted food is ferried off the Vineyard for disposal in landfills and
Stats provided by: Natural Resource Defense Fund, EPA

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the oceans every year. (Jambeck 2015)
Only 9% of plastic waste has been recycled. (Geyer 2017)
Plastics make up 60-80% of marine debris. (Derraik 2002)
Plastics have been found in mussels and oysters. (Janssen 2014)
Anthropogenic debris was found in 67% of fish species sampled. (Rochman 2015)
Most seabirds are ingesting plastics. Plastic fragments occurred in 71% of the fulmar and 100%
of the phalarope stomachs examined. (Nevins et al. 2005)

Questions and free consultation contact:
Vineyard Conservation Society:
Sail Martha's Vineyard:
Island Grown Initiative: