Project Zero, a student-run volunteer group, offers low-waste event services for Town events and sports banquets by providing durable, reusable tableware (dishes, utensils, cups), washable tablecloths, and set-up and clean-up support. The focus of their work is to reduce trash at group events.

Project Zero’s goal is simple:
create low-waste events within Arlington, while creating the next generation of young environmentalist activists.

This eco-minded program was founded in 2022 by Amethyst Stencik, now a junior at Arlington High School. In partnership with the Town of Arlington’s Reuse & Recycling Center and the Town’s School Sustainability Coordinator, the program has now hosted over 30 events, many with over 100 attendees. 

Event Services

The team has hosted events at Arlington Town Hall, the Jason Russell House, Arlington High School and the Arlington Community Center. Though their primary events are sports team end of season banquets, they have also worked with the Boy Scouts and Arlington EATS. 

The team of students offers a range of services to fit the needs of event organizers. At the AHS Boys Soccer banquet last fall, Project Zero was on-site providing set-up, reusable tableware and tablecloths, composting and recycling services, and clean-up (including washing all items). For other events, Project Zero loans out their supplies. 

Beats for EATS

Their most recent event was partnering with Arlington EATS to host Beats for EATS, the organization’s annual fundraiser. “Project Zero was wonderful to partner with and helped us run a more sustainable event. Working with the caterer and our event volunteers, they took care of a big task that we would have had to pay staff to do” commented Arlington EATS’ Natasha Strom. With 300+ attendees, Project Zero was involved with the event planning and provision of compostable plates and cups and reusable silverware and tablecloths. In addition, the student team was on-site during the event to help streamline compost and recycling to minimize the event’s trash. Normally, Project Zero offers event services for free, however for large events like Beats for EATS, the team charges a small fee to cover the cost of supplies.

What’s Next

The group generates business primarily via word of mouth and all volunteers are AHS students. Each event typically needs 2-3 volunteers, but the Project Zero team has a total of 20 members. Amethyst and her co-leader Walter love talking to groups about their work. The youth leaders recently presented at the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) conference and they helped to present the first annual EcoFair at Arlington High School last year. The team is keenly interested in working with other student-led groups to start similar programs in other towns.

For more information, visit the Project Zero website.

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