Greening the Summit

Megan Jorgensen has a unique job at Snooze Eatery. The restaurant offers breakfast and lunch, but they also serve as a community hub and an example of what it means to be sustainable, a top priority for the eatery. Megan heads up the green efforts at Snooze, and says, “make it fun, make it easy, make it clean, and make it convenient,” when educating people on environmental issues.

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She is taking her experience at Snooze and applying it to this year’s Summit as she leads the Green Initiatives Committee. Megan is helping Chefs Collaborative lighten the environmental load of the summit, while building a program that is easy to replicate at future Summits.

“One of our big goals is to measure our impact so we can benchmark ourselves for future years,” says Megan. “We want to take small steps everywhere to experiment with what works, while learning about the fun idiosyncrasies of this type of event.”

Megan’s Non-Negotiables for Greening the Summit:2857ff3

  • NO Plastic water bottles
  • NO irresponsible disposables (i.e. Styrofoam or 100% virgin materials)
  • Waste diversion programs must ALWAYS be present! With how easy it is to recycle and compost in Boulder County, both should be present at all events
  • Recycled content/repurposed materials for ALL printing and messaging needs, with a reduction in printed materials wherever possible.

Cutting down on waste is one goal.  “Food waste and organic materials are important to dispose of properly at the Summit. We really don’t want this stuff to end up in a landfill,” she says. One of the problems that Megan faces at a conference like this is the geographic diversity of attendees: “There’s not industrial compost in every city, so one challenge will be teaching people what waste belongs where.”

This is where Summit attendees can really make a difference: “Take one extra step to think about the item in your hand and put it where it belongs,” says Megan. There might be a trash can right next to you, and a compost bin right around the corner. In order for these initiatives to be successful, attendees need to come with an open mind, and learn as much as they can. If everyone takes a few simple green tips home with them, the committee will consider these initiatives a success. Megan refers to this as the Snowball Effect: “Once people realize how easy it is to make changes, they make more and more, and the cycle keeps going…The best way to teach people is to explain the why, and then show them how multiple changes can be accomplished.”

Join us in Boulder to see what this Green Summit can accomplish!

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Posted by: Hayley Fager

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