Sustainability at Zozobra is a valued Bylaw of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe. Club members consistently strive to make Zozobra a green event by recycling and sourcing locally to the greatest degree possible.

In cooperation with the Santa Fe Chapter of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis has pledged to annually review all aspects of Zozobra’s environmental footprint utilizing the following standards:

  • Zozobra food and merchandise contracts require vendors to provide recyclable or biodegradable utensils, vessels, cups, and packaging and be cognizant of environmental impact.
  • Styrofoam and plastic packaging are not permitted and aluminum wrapping is required for food. Refillable cups are strongly encouraged.
  • Should food vendors fail to meet contract sustainability requirements, they must make a donation to a conservation fund. Kiwanis takes an environmental security deposit and if vendors fail to comply, that deposit is turned over to the Conservancy fund.
  • The Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce partners with Kiwanis by interfacing with vendors in advance of the event to clarify participation requirements. 
  • The Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce serves as an independent on-site auditor to ensure compliance with requirements.
  • Commercial plastic water bottles are not permitted.
  • The Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce partners with Kiwanis to recruit volunteers.
  • Vendors located in grassy areas must place tarpaper under tents to preserve the grass.
  • Kiwanis packages Zozobra merchandise sales in reusable bags.
  • When delivering and removing the entertainment stage for Zozobra, contractors lay down plywood to protect the field.
  • Kiwanis works with Santa Fe Beautiful to ensure adequate recycling bins of all types on-site and volunteers from the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce help sort recyclables at the Zozobra event.
  • Zozobra attendees are encouraged to utilize the free shuttles to and from the event to maximize carbon savings.
  • Kiwanis encourages Zozobra attendees at points south to ride the New Mexico Railrunner and holds and pays for the last post-event train in order to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic.
  • Kiwanis partners with Bike Santa Fe volunteers to provide free secure bike racks to encourage attendees to bike to Zozobra.
  • Kiwanis uses washable plant-based chalk paint for all markings.
  • All event banners are designed to be reusable year after year
  • Public information delivered about the event is primarily electronic.
  • Kiwanis partners with the Santa Fe Public Schools to teach kids about sustainability and climate change.
  • After evaluation of Zozobra’s carbon footprint––construction, equipment, and fireworks––by an independent contractor, Kiwanis uses the estimates to allocate funds and provide trees for Santa Fe youth to plant in order to offset Zozobra’s carbon output and educate our youth on being responsible stewards of the environment.

As Zozobra moves towards its 100th anniversary in 2024, the Santa Fe Kiwanis, keepers of Zozobra’s flame, pledge to continue the work of increasing sustainability and climate-consciousness throughout all aspects of our cherished tradition.

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