Zero Waste: An Idea. A Belief. A Goal.

I feel really lucky to work with so many awesome people on our festivals, including Bradley Earl from Zero Point Energy. Right from the start, Bradley has been on board helping us out with our zero waste logistics and waste management.

Over the past few months we’ve had so many conversations about ‘zero waste’, what it really means and how (if?) we can achieve it at our festivals. Usually these discussions go back and forth for a while, because zero waste is bloody tricky dammit! It’s hard enough to attempt to define, let alone to actually put into place at something like a music festival.

Recently Bradley sent me the most awesome and thoughtful definition of what ‘zero waste’ really means in regards to our festival. Here is is below, basically exactly as he wrote to me:

When I first started talking to waste managers, I realised something. That the term zero waste isn't welcomed. This is because it is so difficult to achieve. I agreed with this for a while. That we'd be better to use the term 'Waste Reduction’ or 'Minimum Waste'.

Because it is very unlikely that we will achieve total and complete zero waste. Any tiny piece of rubbish that we create through the festival will become what we would call waste. But then, I had a realisation.

The Term Zero Harm is used often in mine site environments, though Zero Harm isn't always achieved. Occasionally someone may hurt themselves. In this case the ‘Zero’ represents an idea. A belief. A Goal. That we can Achieve Zero Harm. And this is our goal. So If zero waste is seen in the same light as zero harm, it becomes a more adaptable term.

I know that a lot of people struggle with the term ‘zero waste’. It seems so extreme, and so confronting in a society that is geared around convenience. It’s also one of those things that people love to pick apart, as though if you create any kind of waste you’re not technically ‘zero waste’ and so why bother at all?

At Across The Road we believe that aiming for zero waste is the goal, and that every plastic water bottle, straw, container and bag that we don’t use is a win for the planet. We’re so excited to be bringing you Bunbury’s first zero waste music festival, and we hope that aiming for zero waste will become standard in all festivals and events in our beautiful South West.

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