“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
At this point, March seems like a lifetime ago. R20W was planning it’s signature cup/bib free 5K fun run along Ocean Beach with a festival to follow at the Park Chalet. We were also set to launch our first Zero Waste party at the Monarch in conjunction activities for Zero Waste Week. In addition, we provided many months of planning gearing up to provide zero waste education to 80+ event days in 2020. We were so excited to connect with sustainability leaders and trailblazers in our community and share their knowledge with those who may be just started their journey to Zero Waste. And then…
COVID-19 may have changed how we put “sustainability into action,” but it did not stop our mission. Since March, R20W pivoted toward using the virtual space to come together as a community and host engaging events such as:
- Virtual 5K Fun Run Fundraiser
- Zero Waste Happy Hours
- Zero Waste Action Hours
- Zero Waste Station Pop-up at Baker Beach w/ Value Culture
- Zero Waste Action Month Campaign in October
- Wild & Scenic On-Tour Film Festival Fundraiser
And with a team of strong and dedicated Zero Waste Specialists, we were able to continue our partnership with Love Dolores to provide educational outreach and landfill diversion at the Eco Pop-Ups at Dolores Park on weekends and holidays, proving that environmental educational outreach can be done safely and effectively in our outdoor public spaces. From June through October, R20W diverted 6.7 tons of compost and 3 tons of recycling from going to landfill! In addition, we educated over 5,000 people safely at our stations after they relaxed in one of the social distancing rings in the park.
But none of this could have been achieved without our sponsors, volunteers, Board of Directors, partners, and supporters believing in our mission. Funds raised from our virtual 5K allowed our organization to purchase the equipment and PPE necessary to host our Zero Waste stations. And in 2021, we hope to use this model in more public spaces, working partners and volunteers to support clean-up efforts and raise awareness to the importance of reducing our dependence on single use disposables.
This year has been a journey like no other. And we’re grateful you were on the path with us. May the new year keep us strong, resilient, and hopeful as we work toward a future of sustainability for all.
Marria Evbuoma & Teresa Bradley
Race to Zero Waste Staff