Written by Christina Catucci

Healthy food, green living, and sustainability are just some of the things you’ll find if you trek to the Boston Local Food Festival on Sunday, September 14th! Join the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts as they provide a day of fun, locally grown foods and produce, and share helpful hints on making the thought of zero waste a reality. But this begs the question, what exactly is zero waste? The idea behind a zero waste festival, according to the Boston Local Food Festival’s website, is to have 90% of the waste from the festival reduced, reused, or recycled. To achieve this, there are recycling bins with specific labeling all around the festival grounds during the event, where guests are encouraged to appropriately place each item where it may be recycled properly. To boot, vendors do their part, too. All vendors use recyclable dishware, silverware, and make sure to compost any food scrap.

Even the electricity at the event is attained in a green way! The electricity for 3rd Local Food Festival has been matched by local wind power through Mass Energy’s New England Wind program. As an added bonus, the event reduced enough waste in the past to save eight trees, and through little steps like this, the festival hopes to provide an energy efficient, green event again this year. In 2012 alone, 91% of waste from the festival was diverted. Now in 2014, the group prospects to do the same by targeting compost, commingled containers, cardboard, and trash.

Workings together with STS, or Save that Stuff, one of the nation’s leading zero waste groups, the festival this year will include a series of sustainable vendors and farmers, local growers, and exhibitors (as well as a few tasty food trucks and restaurants making appearances). Some vendors include Seaview Farm of Rockport, Fancypants Baking Co., Bart’s Super Premium Ice Cream, and many more. Tables for Massachusetts’s stationed organizations such as Boston Water and Sewage Commission, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, and Boston Natural Areas Network are scheduled to make appearances as well.

The event is not limited to vendors; entertainment will be provided as well. For the kids, a Family Fun Zone will feature some games on the lawn, food-themed activities such as Veggie Twister and Veggie Tic-tac-toe, and even arts and crafts. Local artists such as Holly McGarry and Zoya will play live music throughout the festival as well. Demos for all who wish to learn more about cooking, preparing healthy meals locally, and even gluten-free living will be offered. All of this and more await this Sunday, and the fun lasts from 11 AM to 5 PM!

The festivities take place on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, in the Wharf District and American Heritage parks. The Boston Local Food Festival asks, however, that you take public transportation or find another eco-friendly way to attend the event, and admission is free! They recommend biking, walking the short distance from Downtown Boston, or getting off at the Aquarium T stop to get find yourself right in the action. They even suggest taking a ‘water taxi,’ if you can, to get to the festival in the most environmentally friendly way possible. So, no matter what eco-friendly method by which you attend the Boston Local Food Festival this Sunday (if you can find a water taxi, kudos), you’re sure to find it to be informative, sustainable, and all around fun.