HSU Library sidewalk chalk announcement for the Zero-Waste Conference. Photo by Vincent Leavell.

WRRAP hosts Zero-Waste Conference this weekend

Community and students, work together toward a goal of engagement, expansion, a purpose of sharing and moving forward.

Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program’s Zero-Waste Conference is a reflection of the effort the community and students put toward goals of engaging, expanding, sharing and moving forward.

Shanti Belaustegui Pockell, an environmental studies major at Humboldt State University, is the education director for WRRAP on campus.

Belaustegui Pockell said WRRAP hopes to grow in the future by working more with students on campus, as well as other programs to form coalitions and strengthen relationships.

WRRAP is hosting the Zero-Waste Conference throughout the day on Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10.

Belaustegui Pokell said the event will focus on intersectionality, social justice issues and institutionalizing sustainability practices of evolving and shaping policy.

Multiple speakers will be attending the event to discuss community challenges.

Sofia Pereira, the mayor of Arcata, will speak on making Arcata a zero-waste city on Friday and Andre Villasenor, a United States Environmental Protection Agency Sustainable Management of Food program representative, will speak on institutionalizing sustainable materials.

Ceria Wilbur, an environmental science and management major at HSU, has been the zero-waste director at WRRAP for the past year.

The conference and banquet at 5:30 p.m. on Friday is new this year and works to extend the message of a sustainable future.

“It’s just a way for us to connect with our campus community, bring our peers together with a number of different inputs and experiences,” Wilbur said. “This year our theme is Beyond Barriers, Imagining a Zero-Waste Future.”

Community members are encouraged to attend the event. Vegetarian and vegan options will be available.

There are activities on Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the UC Quad that include crafting with Tinker Time and a clothing swap, along with demonstrations from the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, or CCAT.

Tinker Time are local and on-campus programs that have workshops for gardening and crafting body care products.

Campus sustainability groups that are also participating in the zero-waste event are Green Campus, Humboldt Energy Independence Fund, with speakers from local officials, academic departments and the Office of Sustainability.

WRAAP will host the second half of the Zero-Waste Conference in the Kate Buchanan Room on Saturday, covering topics such as the role of compost in carbon sequestration, biomass and the Yurok tribe.

Jason Martinez, outreach coordinator for CCAT, will attend the Zero-Waste Conference.

“Help is always welcome at CCAT, and for folks that come through, there is a lot they can learn, a lot they can experience,” Martinez said.

Martinez is excited to introduce CCAT to students who don’t know about the house on campus.

“I love seeing how the projects get started, how they are going to see how CCAT continuously is growing,” Martinez said. “Whether it’s the physical space itself or just the people, I think that is the piece I love seeing.”

WRRAP’s Zero-Waste Conference is meant to bring together students, faculty and community members to discuss real issues the environment is facing due to human impact.

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