The Cheshire Fall Festival went green this year, thanks to the support of the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and a local nonprofit, Generation Prime Education Foundation.
While food is a major attraction at any festival, all those food trucks and food stations have a downside — a lot of food waste. And that’s a situation that Generation Prime wanted to help address.
According to its website, Generation Prime provides assistance and resources to educational nonprofits in an effort to provide safe, inclusive learning opportunities for those with autism spectrum disorder.
Generation Prime’s founder Linda Blackburn, who also is a member of the town’s Sustainable CT committee, has rallied around efforts to educate town residents about food recycling.
As part of that effort, Generation Prime brought in Blue Earth Compost, a food recycling service, to help limit food waste generated from the festival.
“I was very interested in addressing the topic of composting, especially with respect to getting food out of the waste stream. Hauling food waste to the trash costs money and it’s not productive. This will not only save residents and the town money, but it’s good for the environment,” said Blackburn. “It would be great if Cheshire could lead this movement to composting food waste.”
This year, much of the festival’s unwanted food will be composted.
According to the Blue Earth website, “Food is the number-one material sent to incinerators and landfills in America. We throw out 40% of our food every year along with all the water, hard work, and natural resources used to grow it. We close the loop on food waste. Whether you want to improve your environmental footprint, help build nutrient rich soil, or save on your waste costs, we’re here to make the process clean and easy.”
Additionally, Generation Prime worked to enlist the assistance of the town’s Sustainable CT committee, as well as the Cheshire Environment Committee. Volunteers from the local Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire also participated. Generation Prime is underwriting the food waste service on behalf of the Cheshire Environment Commission.
This year, the festival also had food truck vendors who use biodegradable materials. Plus, Generation Prime also made an investment to provide the food outlets with bamboo utensils. Blue Earth Compost provided education and guidance on how residents can cut down or eliminate food waste.
“We are so grateful to Linda and Generation Prime Education Foundation for bringing this idea to the table and funding the initiative,” said Chamber President Yetta Augur.