2018 Vineyard Cup

Pictured above: The green team helped ensure waste was correctly sorted! Photo credit: Sail Martha’s Vineyard

Four years of being a locally sourced & zero waste event

Sustainability comes in all shapes and sizes, but attention to detail and dedication seem to be two defining factors in running a successful event. Sail Martha’s Vineyard has created their secret to sustainability success at The Vineyard Cup by focusing on two concepts – locally sourced and zero waste.

Locally Sourced
Being on an island helps create a straightforward definition of local – it’s easy to know if something had to come over by on the ferry, and therefore pretty easy to track local vs. not. For the Vineyard Cup, sourcing their food locally meant connecting with their neighbors – the MV Fishermen’s Preservation Trust. Not only did this mean fresh, local seafood for dinner, but SailMV was also able to showcase another marine organization that helps keep fishing alive on the island. Over 900 meals were served over the course of the 3-day event; other highlights included pork and veggies from local farmers.

Zero Waste
With 72 boats racing and more than 200 competitors, the Vineyard Cup could easily be creating a massive amount of waste. But prior planning and a well-run system ensured the event only produced three cubic feet of trash. (give a comparison with a family of four)

The biggest trash generator? Thin plastic wrapping and ice bags, both of which were unavoidable for sanitation purposes, but not easily recycled.

Pictured above, all of the waste that was sent to the landfill from the entire event! Photo credit: Sail Martha’s Vineyard

The event credits reusable dinnerware as the key to reducing trash from years before they implemented their sustainability best practices. They are also assisted by local kids from the SailMV Summer Program who ran the Green Team, sorting the waste and making sure the adults put sorted their waste into the correct bins, which included compost, recycling, re-use, and landfill. They also use paperless communication wherever possible, and reusable signage, which otherwise can be a big trash footprint at the end of an event.

New For 2018
SailMV strives to spread awareness about ocean issues, particularly marine debris. With this in mind, they created an ‘Ocean Awareness Tent’ hosting seven local environmental organizations that provided learning materials and activities for kids and adults. The groups included BiodiversityWorks, MV Shellfish Group, Great Pond Foundation, MV Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, Sailors for the Sea, Sea Education Association, and the Vineyard Conservation Society. Each group had information and an activity – from fish printing to canvas bag decorating, to understanding ocean acidification. SailMV also added a pledge for competitors and guests to sign in support of reducing trash in our oceans.

There were 7 different environmental groups in attendance: including MV Shellfish Group, pictured here, which showcased the power of shellfish to filter water. Photo credit: Sail Martha’s Vineyard

The 2018 Vineyard Cup achieved Platinum Level Clean Regattas Certification from Sailors for the Sea and plans to purchase carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint from this event.

11th Hour Racing is proud to support the Vineyard Cup. All of their work, and how it was accomplished can be read about in their sustainability report, and events can replicate this model in their hometown with the Sail MV Guide for Hosting a Locally Sourced / Zero Waste Regatta.

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