Portland Farmers Market’s Evergreen Program
What is EverGreen?
EverGreen is Portland Farmers Market’s initiative to encourage more recycling and less waste at the markets. The program was launched at the Saturday PSU market in 2010 and has since exapanded to encompass all of our markets.
What is the goal of EverGreen?
Prior to EverGreen’s launch, a single season at Portland Farmers Market’s largest location - the Saturday PSU market – generated more than thirteen tons of trash loaded with food scraps, plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, paper plates, packaging and other discarded items destined for the landfill. In its inaugural year, EverGreen helped divert more than 75% of that waste into composting and recycling streams.
By 2012, the EverGreen program expanded to all Portland Farmers Market locations, with the goal of diverting as much waste as possible from all market sites to recycling and compost streams.
How can I see EverGreen in action?
All market locations feature composting, recycling and water refill stations. Additionally, market vendors follow new guidelines, including required use of durable, compostable or recyclable food-service ware, and restriction of plastic bottled water sales. Vendors have also begun selling reusable, durable shopping bags to reduce the reliance on single use plastic bags.
Why be EverGreen?
Because it is the right thing to do. Single-use disposable packaging is not sustainable. Portland Farmers Market is committed to becoming the “greenest,” most sustainable farmers market in the United States, reducing the Market’s ecological footprint to the greatest extent possible, and inspiring change in our market community of customers and vendors.
What can I do to reduce waste in my community?
Download this handout to help get you started.
For an engaging, in-depth look at the impact of plastics on our everyday life, listen to this interview with Susan Freinkel, author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story
To learn more about what those plastic recycling numbers really mean, see this comprehensive list from The Daily Green
To help sort through the language of “green” sustainability claims, see the Federal Trade Commission’s tips on “shopping green”
Dive into the manufacturing process of “biodegradable” packaging with this article from Smithsonian Magazine