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Project North brings in Recycling Connections and MREA to further sustainability initiatives

Indigo dying in the Eco Village at Project North 2022.
Indigo dying in the Eco Village at Project North 2022.

Project North is just a few days away.

This year’s Project North Festival will be offering several workshops in its Eco Village.

The two-day Music, Art, and Sustainability Festival starts this Friday.

WXPR is one of the organizers.

It’s been working closely with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and Recycling Connections to further its sustainability initiatives.

Project North has always had a focus on sustainability.

It’d make sure food vendors used recyclable plates and utensils, a water bottle filling station to cut down on single-use, and trying to have as little garbage as possible.

This year it's taking it a step further by bringing in Recycling Connections, a Stevens Point-based non-profit.

“We are dedicated to waste reduction, recycling, compost, and resource conservation. We're always looking for efficient ways of looking at our downstream and diverting materials that can be reused or used more efficiently one way or another,” said Schuller, Recycling Connections Program Director.

Two years ago it launched its near Zero Waste Service. The group works with events to minimize their impact.

“We're just trying to bring that to a supportive role to think about that a little bit more post-event. What is going to happen with it? What does the post-event look like? Does it look clean still? Or is it going to take a lot of effort to clean all this stuff up? Because there's so much waste generated during the event,” said Schuller.

Project North will also be offering workshops for people to learn how to incorporate more sustainable living into their own lives.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association [MREA] hosts the Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin every year. Celia Sweet is the engagement director for MREA.

“I've been helping them with their programming, to increase workshops, and then bring in some new exhibitors, so that attendees of the event are able to connect with small groups, and maybe they could just like within their community alone,” said Sweet.

Some of the workshops include composting, solar power at home, and resilient food systems.

Recycling Connections will be one of the groups hosting workshops on backyard composting and living low-waste lifestyles.

“We'd really encourage people that are wanting to learn more about what they can do in their life to be more efficient and reduce waste to attend to consider attending those as another opportunity,” said Schuller.

There will also be vendors that focus on sustainability that people can talk to and learn more from.

Sweet says the organizers of Project North have created a well-rounded event for multiple interests.

“They want a wonderful community event that people can attend for an hour, for both days, and just have a good time connecting with people from their community and nearby areas. But then there's also just this very unique opportunity to learn or to better your lifestyle in the name of sustainability,” said Sweet. “I think what's fun about the versatility of it is you can go for one thing and find yourself completely immersed in the other.”

You can find a schedule for the workshops and ticketing information at projectnorth.org.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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