UC San Diego’s 4th Annual Wellness Fair!

On Wednesday, March 27th 2019, UC San Diego Housing • Dining • Hospitality in partnership with UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine, Human Resources, Recreation, Global Health, School of Medicine, and UC San Diego Health held their 4th annual Wellness Fair in Revelle Plaza. The event was free for all UC San Diego staff, faculty, and students to attend and focused on exploring the healing power of food and other dimensions of wellness. This zero-waste event included a variety of workshops, fitness classes, health screenings, and education sessions from campus and community organizations as well as lots of vendor giveaways! Attendees were also invited to enjoy a complimentary meal from UC San Diego Catering, who were introducing items from their new anti-inflammatory menu.

Many sustainability organizations across campus took part in the zero waste planning team for this event. Participants, Catering, Vendor Fair, and Giveaways achieved a 99%+ waste diversion rate. However, the vendor from which the farmers market produce was ordered had wax-lined cardboard for the Swiss chard (see picture below). Each one of the wax-lined boxes weighed 4-5 lbs, totaling 41.45 lbs. All the 9 other produce items were boxed in recyclable cardboard boxes. HDH plans to work with procurement and dining to help educate the produce vendor to ensure that sustainable cartons are used in the future for this item.

Overall, 219.25 lbs of waste was diverted from the landfill, totaling to 81.1% of all waste produced by this event.

Waste Diversion Stats

Recycling: 74.15 lbs

Compost: 92.65 lbs

Terracycle: 11 lbs

Participant Trash: 2 oz (2 coffee cups, and 5 small cups) 

Vendor Trash: 41.45lbs (9 wax lined cardboard boxes from the Farmers Market Swiss Chard)

Total Waste: 219.25

Waste Diversion Percentage: 81.1% 

However, the University of California Office of the President standards of a zero waste includes 90% waste diversion, which was missed by just under 10%.

WellFest had a total of 440 lbs. of waste, with about the same number of participants, a 50% waste reduction overall!  This was done through concentrated efforts to reduce food waste by lessening the Catering order and making signage such as A-Frames signs reusable as oppose to recyclable or compostable. These are valuable lessons to be learned as UC San Diego continues to iterate large scale zero waste events.

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