A Model Ordinance for you! Happy Holidays from Team SD Zero!

Happy Holidays everyone! As a gift from Team SD Zero to you, we have nicely wrapped up our Zero Plastic Waste Event Model Ordinance in a file that you can find and download from here.

Photo credit: https://oceanfilmfestivalaustralia.com.au

We hope that this model ordinance can be used by your local city council to incorporate into the event permitting process and lead to Zero Waste Events (particularly Zero Single-Use Plastic!).

Please feel free to contact us with your feedback on this model ordinance as well as any questions you might have.

With that, we hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.

P.S: Here are some cool eco-friendly gift-wrapping ideas if you need:


ECOMagazine Marine Pollution Special Edition Article

We are super excited to announce that our work is being publicized in ECO magazine’s special edition on marine pollution. Check it out here:


Many thanks to Charlotte Stevenson, M.S. and Holly Rindge, M.A.S. for putting this great article together!

Stay tuned by checking out our website frequently for updates.

Ocean Hero Events: How To Say No to Single-Use Plastics

Say no to single use plastic. Motivational phrase. Plastic garbage bag, bottle, cutlery in the ocean graphic design. Vector illustration in doodle style. Protect ocean concept

So, you want to put on a single-use plastic free event?

First of all: Congrats! By being here, you are already part of the effort to make our world a better place- so thank you! 

If you’ve never put on an event like this, you must be wondering how to accomplish such a feat? Well, the good news is others have done this very same task and succeeded! Some inspiration and examples of zero-waste events include: 

Jack Johnson with his reusable steel cup (Photo: Brandise Daneswich @antimodel)

Below are FOUR MAJOR STEPS that YOU can use to put on a successful and fun event that is free of single-use plastic:

1. Use reusable serviceware (plates, cups, utensils, etc.)

  • This will save you money in the long run, and greatly lowers the impact of your event on the environment.

So.. you want to use reusables, but you can’t afford to stock up and buy everything you need?

2. Use compostable paper or bamboo-based materials. Try to stay away from the so-called ‘compostable’ bioplastic materials. Turns out, a lot of those items don’t degrade properly in a landfill, or if they get loose into the environment. So best to avoid them completely. Similarly, avoid single-use recyclable aluminum materials, these are actually worse for the environment than single-use plastic! (Upstream 2021 Report)

3. Skip the plastic decorations and party favors (plastic table covers, balloons, and plastic-wrapped treats). 

  • Instead opt for cloth tablecloths, paper-based decorations, sustainably sourced flowers or potted plants, and seeds (flowers or trees) for party favors. 

4. Source the food and beverages from places that minimize plastic packaging. If you and your friends are preparing all of the food yourself- then opt for buying produce that is not pre-wrapped in plastic (if you have that option). Remember- bagging your produce in a plastic produce bag before you reach the check-out line is unnecessary – Just give it a good wash when you get home.

Farm Fresh Vegetables, Free of Plastic Packaging!
  • Steer clear of individually wrapped, “snack size” items like juice boxes, chip bags or cookies. Always buy in bulk!
  • Instead of providing water bottles at your event, provide filtered water at bottle refill stations. 
  • Provide ice-stations if it is a hot day (and provide tongs so people can help themselves while remaining sanitary)
  • Provide beer, wine, juice, soda, coffee and/or sparkling water on-tap to fill up all those reusable cups that people have at your event (*glass cups are often not allowed for permitted events!). 
Tap Trucks with full beverage services provided by ‘Tap Truck’ in San Diego https://taptrucksd.com/pages/packages

We hope this is helpful- and stay tuned for more tips!