The UW Night Market has been an event held in Red Square every year since 2001. It is one of the Taiwanese Student Association’s signature events and easily the largest in scale in terms of people. The event recreates traditional night markets in Taiwan and is centered around food. Last year, we had 24 total vendors. Every year, this event creates large amounts of waste that isn’t properly disposed of by guests; this year, we plan to create a recycling plan that alleviates this issue.
The plan is based on ZeeWee, a Zero Waste Event. The goal is to heavily reduce waste with a three-step process. First: replace all food containers with recyclable ones. Some containers are vendor specific and will require funds to replace in house. The second step is to eliminate bottled water and replace them with water stations and recyclable cups, which will also require funds. The third step is to assign waste reduction tasks to staff and volunteers. These tasks will include monitoring garbage disposal bins to ensure proper sorting, after event cleanup, etc. Most importantly, the plan will require a radical redesign that will ensure a greener Night Market but will severely strain our already tight budget.
With around 6000 people per year visiting the UW Night Market and 24 vendors, there is a large amount of waste being generated. By working closely with vendors and supervising trash containers, waste should be reduced by at least half and recycling increased by an even larger margin. This isn’t a plan that will be implemented once. The 2017 Night Market will set a precedent for all following Night Markets.
Student Leadership and Involvement
The UW Night Market is primarily run by the Taiwanese Student Association officers, a group of 45 dedicated students. There is also a sizable number of volunteers that help out with the event. These volunteers come from various backgrounds; some are members of other UW RSO’s or are students at nearby high schools. Overall, student involvement is prominent. Every year TSA is excited to see so many people participating in the creation of Night Market.
Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change
The hope is for event-goers and our officers to become more conscientious and aware of the consequences caused by the waste we generate. It is hoped that such a mentality will be adopted in the day-to-day lives of those involved in Night Market, and that the effects will extend beyond TSA events, but to the events of other on-campus organizations.
Feasibility, Accountability, & Sustainability
TSA is a longstanding organization (founded in 1946) that has received multiple RSO rewards. Besides its reputation, TSA is credited with holding multiple large events annually, including a singing competition, semi-formal, and the aforementioned Night Market. A zero waste event is a challenge that we are willing to take on and have confidence in fulfilling considering our vast experience in event planning. TSA is confident in its ability to use CSF monies in a responsible manner.
Seeing as night market serves 6,000 people, a conservative estimate for reusable water stations would be $500. Food containers would cost an additional $500. TSA requests $1000 to make this a reality.