Taste of St. Louis Goes on a Low-Carbon Diet with EGS

The Taste of St. Louis is one of the region’s most anticipated events, drawing a crowd of close to 350,000 over the three day weekend. In addition to being the most anticipated food event of the year, the Taste is becoming widely known as the most eco-conscious.

The Taste cracked open EGS (Event Greening System) in 2010, a new effort that dramatically reduced the environmental effects of the event. In its first year of operation, EGS diverted 50% of its waste from landfills.

The five major areas of EGS addresses are 1) Event Marketing and Signage; 2) Transportation; 3) Power Generation; 4) Event Operations; and 5) Waste.

The Taste has progressively reduced printed marketing materials by more than 70% over the past two years.  Online marketing, social media and texting is utilized as much as possible. When printed materials are necessary, recycled materials and soy-based inks are used. Outdoor banners are re-used whenever possible, and are made into handbags and wallets for sale at the event.

Each year the event partners with Metro in an aggressive campaign to encourage the use of MetroLink which has a drop off point just one block south of the festival.  Additionally, the Taste encourages visitors to bike to the event by offering free secured bike parking.

Addressing power generation is another major component of the EGS approach.  The Taste uses Bio Diesel, solar and propane power, greatly reducing CO2 emissions that would normally result from conventional diesel generators.

Perhaps one of the most impressive hurtles the Taste has overcome in just 2 short years is ensuring that all 45 restaurants use only 100% compostable serviceware.  This includes cups, plates, utensils, napkins and so on.  Eliminating the use of bottles (plastic & aluminum) for beverage service has proven to be the single most effective means in reducing waste.  Plant-based cups are used in conjunction with custom-made soda fountains and draft beer machines.

With the help of St. Louis Composting, Regency Event Services, St. Louis Earth Day and the City of St. Louis, the Taste will continue to make great strides toward reducing their carbon footprint, and hopes to encourage other events to do the same. To see EGS in action, visit the Taste, Sept. 23–25 at Soldiers Memorial.

Learn more at: tastestl.com/egs