A fundraiser hosted last week by Indianapolis-based nonprofit Second Helpings achieved a zero waste designation. The organization, which focuses on food rescue, hunger relief and culinary job training in central Indiana, says its annual Corks & Forks event was the first to achieve the milestone at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Second Helpings says 92 percent of the waste generated by the event was recycled or composted with the remainder being disposed of as trash. The Zero Waste International Alliance says a waste diversion rate of 90 percent qualifies for the zero waste designation.
"Reaching zero waste at an event of this nature is complex," said Julia Spangler, a sustainable events consultant who partnered with Second Helpings to achieve its goal. "Second Helpings and Pacers Sports & Entertainment fully committed to the goal and set a leading example of the level of sustainability it’s possible to achieve at an event in Central Indiana."
The nonprofit says achieving a zero waste event is in line with the principles that guide its day-to-day operations. More than 30 million pounds of prepared and perishable food has been rescued from wholesalers, retailers and restaurants since 1998, according to the organization, which was then transformed into more than 11 million meals delivered to nonprofit partner agencies throughout central Indiana.