Get Ready for Zero Waste Mt. Airy Village Fair 2016

Alisa Shargorodsky, for the Shuttle

In May, Weavers Way made a bold attempt to go Zero Waste at the General Membership Meeting. Thanks to the efforts of many members, we succeeded well beyond our expectations, beating our 90 percent diversion goal. 

The food offered by the Co-op’s excellent Prepared Foods Department showed a full commitment to Zero Waste. The Weavers Way Environment Committee provided critical support at the event and throughout the planning stages. Our members responded enthusiastically, more than half bringing their own dishes and utensils. At the end of the night, with close to 200 attendees, the total trash generated fit in a single grocery bag! 

This is something we can all be really proud of. Together, we took a step in a direction that honors the planet, each other and our shared future. 

To keep the momentum going, we have identified a great opportunity to take our Zero Waste initiatives to the next level: The Mt. Airy Village Fair on Sunday, Sept. 11, will be a Zero Waste event! 

This is our chance to demonstrate publicly what a conscientious community of people can do. Here’s how to start: Throughout August, we will be holding a food-service supplies drive. The following items will be collected at 555 Carpenter Lane, in Mt. Airy.

  • Plates
  • Forks, knives, spoons
  • Cloth napkins
  • Tablecloths
  • 12-oz. mugs
  • Reusable plastic cups

Though we expect to have plenty of supplies on hand, we encourage everyone to bring their own plates and utensils on the day of the fair.

Some people may ask “Why? Why should we do this? Waste is inevitable, and every living organism produces waste.” Yes, but we need to consider the impact of all this waste on our biosphere. Our waste is being produced from precious resources that we all know are not infinite. It’s important that we care for our environment responsibly, and take deliberate actions to nurture this miracle of a planet. 

For many of us, packing up a bag with dishes may seem like a burden, but this is about belonging to something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s about trying to imagine what our cities might have looked like before the advent of disposable plastics and single-use everything. This is about us taking time to care for ourselves, taking time to peacefully eat a meal. You do your part by bringing dishes and we will do our part to develop a system designed with ecology in mind. 

There will be plenty to eat at the Village Fair, with two principal public eating/seating areas for attendees to enjoy: a beer-garden-style seating area in the Garage at 542 Carpenter Lane and a large outdoor seating area at High Point Cafe, 602 Carpenter. 

If you’re passionate about sustainability and would like to do more than donate supplies, we could use your help on Sept. 11! Many jobs will be posted on the Weavers Way Online Work Calendar (, including positions for eco-ambassadors and Zero Waste managers. This is a wonderful opportunity to earn working member credit while taking action on the environment. For more info, visit or email

Weavers Way member Alisa Shargorodsky is a zero-waste consultant.