WE DID IT!!!! We had the first ever ZERO-WASTE FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL!
Like all of you, we were disappointed when we couldn’t celebrate our favorite festival in person. We would like to give a huge shout-out to Scott Feehan and his team for providing a world-class virtual experience that has now become the model for other festivals. (The Virtual 5k was especially genius!) Their work allows us to keep dreaming and planning ways to make our biggest party a green one.
This means that we can now look to next year for implementing our 24HCP plan, with more time to get vendors on board, educate the community, and support city infrastructure policies that will make it easier for all of Lafayette to Geaux Green.
Here are things you can do to help!
- Ask about eco-friendly to-go containers at your favorite restaurants. Frequent restaurants that use them. Many of our vendors were surprised to learn the variety that is now available on sites like Ecoproducts. In many cases, the markup for these containers is just a few cents.
- Say no to plastic straws, lids, and other single-use products. We know that isn’t always easy, but each one you refuse is one less that ends up in our waterways and landfills.
- Show your love for a greener festival with “Geaux Green” Merchandise! So far, we’ve sold about 100 pins and 25 stickers. Want your own?
Stay in Touch!
Peace, Love, and Bagasse,
The Greening Festivals Team
Our project had to be put on hold because of COVID as we felt it was necessary to avoid close contact with our customers. With our Governor opening Phase II, we took the opportunity to host the 1st Sunday Produce, but unfortunately, weather cancelled the event.
Given the challenges, we were able to offer “Veggie Bags” on Facebook starting June 10 and that has been going well. We will be at the McComb Veazey Homegrown Pop-Up Market On June 20th, and our plans are to resume the 1st Sunday Produce on July 5th.
Thank you for allowing our project to help the community.
Our world has changed…in more ways than one! The past couple of months have been a challenging time for everyone and our project wasn’t spared. Our project is somewhat unique in that we are able to continue working remotely on developing our digital platform. However, being physically disconnected from each other and unable to interact with organizations and citizens has definitely been challenging.
We’ve continued to build out of the platform but have hit a few roadblocks. We’ve brought new volunteers on-board who have more experience with the front end programming language (front end = what users see and interact with). Our developers have been swamped with adjusting to working from home full-time while trying to find the energy, time and motivation to work on a volunteer development project. We’re definitely embracing the idea of “slow and steady wins the race”!
On the community outreach side, we had to cancel our “Expert Workshop” which was planned for early May. The workshop’s purpose was to bring community leaders, drainage experts and neighborhood organizers together to determine which “zones” would be ideal for piloting our project. Unfortunately, those conversations still haven’t happened. In addition to identifying “pilot zones”, we were in the middle of identifying businesses that would be great for the pilot. We have every intention of acquiring that information but we’re still figuring out how to best accomplish that within our new constraints.
A persistent and pressing challenge is that we are working on gaining access to LCG’s storm drain data set. We are reaching out to our city and parish contacts to gain support for this process, as well as leveraging this project’s champions to continue requesting access to the data. We are requesting giving our team access to the storm drain location dataset and would love to see more open data projects, like this one, develop across Lafayette!
We still have our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DrainDefendersLFT/) and still need folks to fill out the survey (https://forms.gle/7UeishEK5jaF2K2h7) regarding where our pilot program should be. We want to make sure we are prioritizing locations the community is invested in supporting. We are proud of this being an open community project and look forward to including everyone who wishes to be involved on this project.
We are anticipating about 100 hours remaining of development work. We started our front-end development in CSS, HTML, and React. Once it’s appropriate to continue community outreach, we still need help with creating educational materials around storm drain maintenance. If you want to support our educational and marketing efforts (creating material, boots-on-the-ground efforts, or marketing supporting) please email draindefendersLFT@gmail.com with your interests.
As always, we want to emphasize that our core value is transparency. Follow our Trello board (https://trello.com/b/MnlSujIZ/adopt-a-storm-drain-timeline) to see our progress. This is our way of living our truth and being the change we want to see in the world. We hope you follow our progress along the way, or better yet, participate however you want to.
Now, let’s get to work. We have a lot of #DrainDefenders to mobilize and even more #StormDrains that need adopting!
The Adopt a Storm Drain Team
We have been very busy on our project. We were able to get a vendors trike and a bike trailer custom made but had to buy material to close the wall and floor and we were able to stay within the budget. Everyone who saw the trike and the bike trailer were very excited about it, I even met a gentleman at the gas station who was curious about the trike and offered to help with any welding repairs we may need in the future. I was able to finish closing the bike trailer but I am still working on the trike. The plan is to finish it within the next two weeks if the weather allows.
I got all the licenses needed for the venture. I also opened a square account to accept all credit cards and I applied to accept EBT but I”m still waiting for approval. It’s been difficult getting information from the processing center about what stage the processing is in. They keep stating that it’s in the next stage waiting for the agents decision.
We had our First Sunday Produce on March 1st. It was a success. We had people coming after church, some had seen the Facebook post, some got the flyers we put on cars, and some were just passing by and decided to stop and see what was going on. We had a lot of feedback about the need for fresh produce in the community. We also collected additional funds distributed by the “pay it forward” board to help.
The weather prevented us going out on Monday and Wednesday but I was able to go out with the bike trailer on Friday. I road through the McComb -Veazey Neighborhood and parked on the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Evangeline Thruway. I had a man from Broussard stop by to buy some produce and called his wife who came by to buy also and went live on Facebook to promote the project. The first run with the bike trailer was a little difficult dealing with the wind and the load, so I will have a lighter load when going out with the bike trailer.
I was approached to start a market on the second and third Sundays at the corner of Madeline Ave and University and on the parking of the Family Dollar on Carmel Ave. I’m waiting for approval from the groups to start. We have a Facebook page called Veggies on the Go, an email account and an internet account. We also have a phone number. I will be updating the Facebook account with the email, internet and phone number soon.
Besides having a set back with the trike and getting approved to accept the EBT card everything is moving along smoothly. It is my hope to continue this project after the projected end date because there is a need to provide fresh produce in neighborhoods that are located in a food desert. Thank you for funding this project.
Team Veggie on the Go
Kids N Media is currently in the second month of classes! In January the topic was Introduction to Production. Based on the large number of students interested in December we decided to have the first class of the year in the Recreation area of the Clearport. Our intention was to allow more students to get an overview of the program. However, after this class we decided to go back to allowing 4-5 students in a classroom setting. The Recreation setting and large number of students seemed to be more of a distraction than a benefit. In the Intro to production class, students learned about the many positions that it takes to make a film happen. This was definitely an eye opener on job possibilities that could be open to them. In the second class they dove into filming techniques and then got their first assignment. Students were challenged with using what they learned to interview their peers at Clearport. They really enjoyed this part, as it allowed them to talk to students they normally didn’t interact with. The students used a cellphone without lighting or microphones. They are interested to see how the quality will improve after adding lighting and audio to the filming process. Currently, we have only utilized $150 on lighting and microphones. We pushed back the purchasing of camera equipment to February. This will utilize the bulk of our budget. We made a change to the schedule to allow for additional partnerships. Lighting classes will be in February and Storytelling is in March. We will be sharing Interview clips on Instagram and Facebook. Please look out for that information on our next update. Thank you for keeping up with our journey!
Team Kids N’ Media
The response to our project has been truly overwhelming these last couple months. The outpouring of support and encouragement from you still comes daily as our plans continue to develop and come to fruition. A few weeks ago we posted a poll via the Festival Internationale website asking, “Would you be more or less willing to visit a food vendor who used compostable packaging?” With nearly 1,000 votes between Facebook and Instagram combined, a whopping 89% of you answered with a resounding YES!!! #monumental
Since funding night here’s how we’ve advanced our project:
– We partnered with EcoProducts to develop an online store for the food vendors to directly purchase their to-go containers with the “24HCP discount” already tabulated, effectively streamlining the ordering and delivery process
– We held a meeting with all of the 2020 food vendors explaining the project and process. Many of them had expressed interest in doing something like this prior but seemed like too much of an undertaking.
– We’ve held several calls and meetings with the FIL marketing team to build a full-scale campaign centered around Greening Festival (which will begin in just a few weeks).
– And lastly, and definitely my favorite news to share, we’ll have Green Festival pins available for purchase soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
This undertaking wouldn’t have been possible without the diligent work of our whole team, the staff at Festival Internationale, the investors who provided our funding, the 24HCP leaders and most importantly, you the community. Big things are coming! Glad to have you along for the ride.