less is more

When does less equal more? When you’re talking about garbage, for one. At Portland Farmers Market, we are serious about sustainability and the fact that less waste generated at our markets means more resources for the generations to come. This year, with generous support from the City of Portland, we launched our EverGreen initiative, a comprehensive waste reduction plan designed to address this crucial issue. Read more here about how we are doing so far.

See you at the market!

(Photo courtesy of PFM volunteer and food blogger Allison Jones)

shrinking the market

When we opened for the season a few weeks ago, we knew this would be a very different year for Portland Farmers Market. We’ve expanded the footprint of our largest market at PSU, we’re adding two markets to our weekly farm-direct roster, and we are staring straight into the eyes of the meanest market monster: garbage. With founding support from the Office of the Mayor, we have undertaken a new effort to radically reduce the amount of waste that is generated at our markets. We have christened this campaign EverGreen and with it, we hope to move a giant step closer to creating a sustainable food system.

The EverGreen campaign will be introduced across all PFM locations over the next three years, beginning with the PSU Market in 2010. This season, we are asking customers to find an EverGreen waste station to recycle it, compost it, or waste it rather than seeking out the nearest garbage can on campus. The EverGreen stations are staffed by volunteer “garbage gatekeepers”, providing guidance to customers about how to shrink one’s personal waste footprint by ensuring that waste goes where it belongs.

Our goal for this year is to divert 50% of waste generated at the PSU Market to compost and recycling streams. By the third year of EverGreen, we will divert 90% of waste from all market locations to compost and recycling, redirecting more than ten tons of would-be garbage from the landfill over the course of each season. Of course, we need all sorts of help to make this happen. Vendors, volunteers, customers, civic partners, and government leaders are all being asked to pitch in and help us realize this (near) zero-waste vision. Do you want to join our fight against the trash monster and spread the garbage gospel to the masses? Please click here or email EverGreen Coordinator, Ryan McLaughlin for more information. (Stay tuned next week for more about Ryan, the newest member of our farmers market family.)

See you at the market!