Skip to main content
Sustainable Marblehead Image

Colorful Festival Goes Green

Submitted by Elaine Leahy


The Marblehead Festival of Arts is always a colorful affair, but this year’s was quite a bit “greener” with Sustainable Marblehead’s involvement for the first time. 


The Festival kicked off on June 26 with the annual Champagne Reception at Fort Sewall to a huge crowd under sunny skies. Sustainable Marblehead funded five compost bins from Black Earth Compost and provided volunteers to guide the attendees on what to throw in which bin. Several members also brought recycling bins to and from the event from their own homes because the town does not provide the service at Fort Sewell. 


Volunteer and retired physician Kathy Breslin donned her exam gloves, but not for medical procedures. Throughout the event, she and Sustainable Marblehead’s Conservation Co-Chair Jenny Morton sorted through the garbage bins to weed out compostable and recyclable items that slipped by, to get them into the proper bin. 


“The Champagne Reception was a hit!” said Lesli Mead, Chair of the Champagne Reception for the Marblehead Festival of Arts. “It was wonderful having Sustainable Marblehead with the composting containers and providing sustainable glassware and forks.”


Louise Yarmoff, Executive Director of Sustainable Marblehead said, “Next year, working with the restaurants and Festival organizers we hope to expand upon our service. But already this year Recreation & Parks employees said that the amount of trash at the event was halved.”


The Landing Restaurant participated at the event and Assistant General Manager Junior Sanchez said, “With the awareness that Sustainable Marblehead brought to us, we used compostable bowls for our chowder. They were sturdy and did the job.” 


Sanchez added that with an event on the water, it was an especially good idea to reduce plastic, in case any trash flew off into the ocean. 


During the actual Arts Festival weekend, Sustainable Marblehead offered two water-bottle filling stations: a “Quench Buggy” and a “Water Monster.” Both large water stations were provided to cut down on single-use plastic water bottles, which is part of the group’s larger “Plastic-Free July” campaign. 


The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority provided the Quench Buggy, a 300-gallon mobile water station. With the help of Arnould Gallery and Framery, who donated the use of their electricity, the Quench Buggy was in use all day on July 2. 


“It was a tremendous hit, and hot and thirsty people—and dogs—visited us all day!” Sustainable Marblehead Board Member Lynn Bryant said. “While we didn’t count, I am certain we had at least 1,000 visitors over the course of the day and the overwhelming response was ‘thank you!’”


Customers of the annual Lobster Roll Lunch at St Michael’s Church also had the option to fill up their reusable water bottles or get a fresh cup of water in a compostable cup from Sustainable Marblehead’s new Water Monster. The giant water cooler features multiple spigots and holds 125 gallons of water. This was the debut of the Water Monster, and it will also be used during Junior Race Week and clean regattas all summer.