Article by: Marta
Everybody likes a party, but it takes a great deal of planning and foresight, and throwing that party can quickly turn into a daunting task. Worrying about the environmental impact of that party could be even more daunting. So how do we host events that not only lessen environmental and social impacts but also improve the communities we live in?
Co-founder and director of DIG (Do it Green), Matt Dorma is eager to share his expertise. By “greening” events, DIG sets up proper waste stations that include recycling and composting. They help organizers make their events bottle free, set up water stations, reduce energy use, offset carbon, equip sites with compostable toilets and even offer bicycle valet services.
Above and beyond the waste reduction and ecological benefits we receive from DIG, is the education we get from the experts behind the project. Waste stations have helpful attendants that coach people on proper disposal of garbage and the principles of zero-waste. This is key to boosting morale and getting people to understand the importance of waste management.
If you’ve ever returned a plastic plate at the Calgary Music Folk Festival, you’ve made the most of a service provided by the Eco-Initiatives program. Dorma says the inspiration for DIG started with Eco-Initiatives and evolved into a business with the help of co-founders Leor Rotchild and Chris Dunlap. All three were active in establishing the Calgary Folk Festival’s Eco-Initiatives program as a leading example for festivals in Calgary and beyond.
Dorma says he’d like to see consideration of energy and water use, and waste reduction become the norm when planning events in Calgary and says “environmental education should be fun, and you have the most success with it when you’re positive.”
We happened to meet on Municipal Election day in Calgary and Dorma believes voting the right candidates into office is a “good starting point” for guiding Calgary’s sustainable growth. He hopes sustainability becomes the heart of the decision making process in Calgary and a way of life for Calgarians, embedding a culture of zero-waste and environmental stewardship. He says that with the support of organizations like Green Calgary, Imagine Calgary and the City of Calgary, which has targets to have 80% of Calgary’s waste diverted by 2020, we are steadily heading towards becoming a more sustainable city.
When he’s not focused on DIG, Dorma still coordinates with Eco-Initiatives at the Calgary Folk Music Festival, engages community with Open Streets Calgary and works with the City of Calgary to develop water conservation programs and other environmental initiatives. He prides his partners at DIG and his life partner, Erin as his mentors and key motivators of his career.
Whether it’s teaching people how to evolve towards progressive waste management and water conservation or providing alternatives for your paper plates, Matt’s got you covered. His advice to anyone pursuing an environmental or entrepreneurial career is to “let the journey unfold and embrace a non-linear path towards success”. It’s plain to see that Matt Dorma’s non-linear path in strategic environmental planning will most likely result in some much-needed sustainable headway for the growth of our city.