Finding Unique Ways to Be Green

Dish Truck Setup at Ithaca Church

The setup for the Dish Truck during meals at the Seaway Gathering.

The UU Society of Ithaca, NY hosted the annual Spring Seaway gathering and Gould Discourse on May 3 & 4. As part of the planning to keep the event as “green” as possible, the congregational leadership suggested using a local non-profit called The Dish Truck. This wasn't the congregation's first use of this service, they used it for their installation of Rev. Margaret Weiss.

From their website:

Dish Truck is a non-profit, pollution prevention effort, based in the Ithaca, NY region, whereby clean durable dishes are provided to event coordinators, small-scale food enterprises and the general public to use in place of disposable dishware. Solid waste displacement through the use of durable dishware at Ithaca area events provides an immense opportunity to reduce source point pollution, and address local and statewide environmental, economic and environmental justice concerns. By simply replacing disposables with re-usable dishes, we bring the responsibility for our by-products back into the community.

A local article describes its founding:

Joey Gates, the founder of the Dish Truck, says one of her main motivations for starting the service came from seeing the enormous amount of single-use waste and piles of garbage at festivals, where she formerly worked a henna artist and food vendor. After getting this project off the ground with some grants to purchase the initial dishes and working with a volunteer crew, the Dish Truck now hires out its services at four to six events each month, and more during wedding season and the summer.

She was also inspired by similar efforts in Portland, Oregon.

Let’s hope this idea spreads so that we can use this option at all of our UU regional events!