Matsuri, which means "festival" in Japanese, is the Japanese Student Association's annual event where we showcase the diversity of Japanese culture with Japanese food, games, and performances. We have put on this event for more than 10 years, offering a place where the greater Seattle community can connect with each other through the rich culture of Japan. Along with the many foods that we sell, we create a lot of waste in the form of plates, utensils, napkins, and water bottles, among others. As a culture, Japanese society has increased its efforts to protect the environment through more efficient waste management and better technology to reduce resource consumption. To reflect this, the Japanese Student Association would also like to take the initiative to make our event and our attendees more aware of the environmental impact. As a student led event run primarily by the officers in the RSO and other student volunteers, we hope to begin making this push for a more sustainable event for this Matsuri and all future Matsuri's to come, and through this funding we hope to significantly reduce waste on campus at our 700 attendee event. Not only that, we really strive to educate both our staff and our attendees through volunteer orientations and allocating more volunteers to monitor waste disposal to ensure that all of our new biodegradable ware will be properly disposed.
Although it will be a challenge, we are confident that by working with the HUB and through our own careful planning and budgeting, we will be able to eliminate all plastic waste at our event. Regarding the specific uses of our funding, we plan to utilize our funding on the following based on last year’s spending. Firstly, we will primarily focus on biodegradable tableware and utensils, which we estimate will cost us $800 to purchase the necessary utensils to serve all the guests at the event. This comprises of forks, knives, spoons, flat plates and cups for cold and hot drinks. In addition, we will focus on getting water dispensers to eliminate plastic water bottle waste, which we estimate will cost us $200 to rent. With any remaining money, we will focus on creating signage for the event to help people correctly dispose of their waste during the event which can be reused for all of our future Matsuri events. We will be in touch with our Student Activities Office Advisor to start organizing our orders as soon as funding is approved and hope to confirm orders by latest mid-April.