Miami, FL (March 16, 2023) – Over 40 tons of waste is staying out of landfills thanks to a green initiative launched at the 22nd annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival® and led by students and their professor at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management under the guidance of Clean Vibes, a company dedicated to responsible on-site event waste management.
The team created 47,960 pounds of recycling, 14,300 pounds of compost and 23,867 pounds of rescued food.
That’s a total of 86,127 pounds or over 43 tons of waste. Included in these waste diversion efforts was food donated to local homeless shelters to make thousands of meals for food-insecure communities. The numbers are significant for the festival, which has successfully performed food rescue for more than 15 years and launched a similar recycling program initially 10 years ago.
“It was truly a great experience being a part of this monumental task and especially now to see the results that show that we did some serious good for the Festival, the community, and the planet,” said John Buschman, FIU Chaplin School professor, Green team and food rescue faculty lead, and co-director of the university’s unique bachelor’s degree in global sustainable tourism.
Nearly 65,000 people attended the 110+ gourmet gatherings that took place February 23-26 on Miami Beach and across South Florida.
The green team is part of a larger model for sustainability, which includes the Chaplin School’s fully online degree that provides students with the knowledge and skills to lead the hospitality and tourism business sectors on sustainable practices, resiliency, and advocacy in this emerging field, creating the future leaders in sustainability. This spring, the first cohort of bachelor of art degree students in global sustainable tourism graduates and heads into the workforce.
“We are here to leave the beach as clean as we found it, and as a way to help our planet. Teaching people and education, it is big and sharing all our knowledge about sustainability is a great way to do that,” said Keidybel Rincon, sustainability intern and Chaplin School master’s degree student. She hopes to be a CEO — Chief Environmental Officer — one day.
While North Carolina-based Clean Vibes has implemented volunteer programs to assist in waste diversion at large events for over two decades, this was the first time they partnered strictly with a university to provide and organize the Green Team volunteers.
“For a first-year partnership with a very small window of time for planning, we exceeded our expectations in terms of both cooperation between Clean Vibes, the Festival, and the FIU team as well as in regard to the amount of waste that we were able to divert from the landfill,” said Anna Borofsky, Clean Vibes Co-Owner.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are among the country’s largest sources of methane – a greenhouse gas emitted by waste such as food scraps, wood and paper – that contributes to global warming. A United Nations Climate & Clean Air Coalition annual report found reductions in methane emissions are the best way to slow down climate change.
The UN report includes a strategy to reduce climate pollutants significantly by 2030 by reducing methane emissions.
About Clean Vibes:
Clean Vibes is a company formed and dedicated to responsible on-site waste management of outdoor festivals and events. Our mission is to actively encourage and promote recycling, composting and proper waste disposal. We hope to educate and inspire a new generation of responsible stewards. Our goal is to divert waste from landfills by increasing the amount of material that is recycled and composted, thereby greatly reducing the ecological footprint of outdoor festivals and events.
With over twenty-three years of experience working more than 550 events, Clean Vibes has a consistent track record of providing results. Since 2000, Clean Vibes has diverted over 24,000,000 pounds of waste from landfills across North America.
About the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One:
EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfillment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment, logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world’s greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers. To date, SOBEWFF® has raised more than $34 million for the School. In November 2022, BizBash named the Festival the #1 Food & Restaurant Industry event in the United States for the 10th year in a row.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival® is produced by Florida International University and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Festival, visit sobewff.org or call 866.271.8540. For more information about Florida International University visit fiu.edu, for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management visit hospitality.fiu.edu and for more information about Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits visit southernglazers.com.
About FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management:
Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is a Top 10 hospitality school among U.S. Public Universities and ranked 33rd in the world. Nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation and around the globe choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous campus locations in Miami, expert faculty, rich curriculum and real career opportunities in the international hotel, foodservice, beverage management, travel, tourism, revenue management, entertainment, and mega and large-scale event industries. As the leading diverse hospitality program with over 70% women and students from 74 countries represented, Chaplin School graduates more undergraduate Black and Hispanic students than any other school. For more information about Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, visit http://hospitality.fiu.edu.
About Florida International University (FIU):
Florida International University is a top public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. High research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers. FIU serves a diverse student body of more than 58,000 and nearly 300,000 Panther alumni. U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good.