Zero Waste Committee goes green at Westport Holiday Green Festival


Photo by Storey Ahl ’25.

The event includes 28 exhibitors, all dedicated to making the holidays in Westport more sustainable.

With the end of the year approaching, there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to buy gifts for your friends and family. The issue, however, is that with buying gifts comes lots of waste. 

On Saturday Nov. 12, the Zero Waste Committee’s (ZWC) Westport Holiday Green Festival made its debut. The event was held in the Staples cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and consisted of various vendors selling and giving away sustainable holiday gifts and items. 

“With things that happen around the holidays,” ZWC co-adviser and biology teacher Kayla Iannetta said,  “sustainability kind of just goes out the window and I think people need to know that there’s really cool gifts you can get that are sustainable.”

The event included a diverse list of sustainable exhibitors, ranging from recycled jewelry to the ZWC’s own homemade seed cards. One stand in particular, The Bee Love Project, aims to contribute to an even bigger cause than just sustainability in Westport. This stand sold local honey and its profits go to saving the bees.

With things that happen around the holidays, sustainability kind of just goes out the window and I think people need to know that there’s really cool gifts you can get that are sustainable.

— Kayla Iannetta said.

“We are supporting the life of the bees,” Rick Glover from The Bee Love Project said. “Honey bees, we lose a lot of them globally every year. In Connecticut, we can lose as much as 50 percent of the hives every single year.”

After participating in the Wilton sustainability fair, the ZWC was inspired to start one in Westport.

“We started planning last year actually, and we were just sort of coming up with ideas and stuff like that,” ZWC member Izzy Tobin ’24 said. “And then, when we got back to school this year in September, we got into the specifics and sent out emails to all the vendors, had everyone and their mother post on facebook about this, and everything like that.”

The purpose of this event was to spread awareness about being sustainable during the holidays. According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year.

“Everybody is giving each other gifts,” Tobin said, “so whether it’s wrapping paper or any sort of gift waste, there are billions of people in the world and billions of pounds of plastic, wrapping paper, and overall trash that will greatly harm the environment, so it’s really important to make sure that everything is sustainable so that the environment will become a better place and the earth will become healthier.”