In the News
Festival of Nations brings a taste of other cultures to St. Louis - Ohr Chadash, September 2010 (video)
Festival of Nations Grows Greener
2012 Festival of Nations was a tremendous success on many fronts. Huge crowds roamed the festival grounds, immersing themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of our region’s largest annual multicultural festival.
“The crowd of 125,000 was absolutely gigantic in spite of a thunderstorm that arrived at 3 pm on Saturday to disrupt the balance of the day with rain,” said Anna Crosslin, Festival Director. “On Sunday, we were threatened by rain all day although it held off until shortly after closing.”
And the crowd was clearly there for the ethnic food! Main Drive in Tower Grove Park was packed solid both days. The arterial drives were heavily populated too. In all, 43 food booths offered ethnic tastes from around the world, from Afghan to Vietnamese.
But that much food results in A LOT of trash. So the International Institute, in collaboration with Earth Day and its Executive Director Cassie Hage, has been working on a variety of ways to divert event waste from area landfills.
Here are a few of our accomplishments:
Recycling weight: 5,250 lbs. Wow!
A booth provided recycling information for many attendees. 65 volunteers helped with collection and recycling during the weekend, including 25 members of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.
Of more than 13,500 lbs. of total waste, the estimated recycling weight is 5,250 lbs., a volume of 75 cubic yards. So our overall diversion from area landfills is more than 40% of the event waste. 50% is considered excellent for events of our size and with so many food booths. So THAT is our goal!
We piloted composting this year with select food vendors, gathering total compost of 480 lbs. We also piloted a waste sorting station near one of the dining areas.
Spent oil weighing 650+ lbs. was collected and recycled. And 100 lbs. of leftover food was donated at an area food pantry.
Sample photos that are available. Please contact Kate Howell for the higher resolution photos.