Building off the HOSR’s 2015 initiative to reduce the usage of single-use water bottles, we established three sustainability goals for the 2016 regatta – 1) eliminate single-use water bottles 2) reduce solid waste and 3) approach becoming a litter-free regatta. Thanks to the combined efforts of our athletes, coaches, spectators, volunteers and vendors – we made significant progress in meeting these goals and changing the culture of large eventsIn 2017, Philadelphia joined New York, Los Angeles and other cities in establishing a breathtaking goal – to achieve a Zero Waste and Litter City by 2035. In concert with this goal, we ask ourselves – is it possible to achieve a Zero Waste and Litter Regatta with 30,000+ rowers and spectators over two days? Big goal. But we think, with your help, we can achieve this.

The Regatta, in partnership with the Schuylkill Navy River Stewards Committee and the Philadelphia Water, Streets and Parks and Recreation departments will provide: 1) 15,000 refillable, reusable water bottles and water stations in multiple locations along the course; 2) trash and recycling barrels throughout the Regatta grounds; 3) barrels for compostable wastes at strategic locations; and 4) surplus food collection points.

Below are five actions each of us as individuals and as teams can take to assist in meeting our goal of a Zero Waste and Litter Regatta:

1. Pack in, pack out. Especially cardboard, Styrofoam and large food serving containers. Rely on reusable products, like plates and cups that can be washed.

2. Leave single-use plastic bottles at home. Utilize reusable water bottles and water stations provided by HOSR; and provide large jugs (one gallon or more) of other beverages with paper or washable cups.

3. Place all waste not being packed out into the appropriate trash, recycling and compost barrels. If a barrel is full, remove bag and replace from stock below or notify a regatta volunteer. Use compostable plates and cups. Napkins and paper towels may be composted too!

4. Apply our Zero Litter goal at all times and in all environments. Check your area periodically and on preparing to depart. In addition, police all grounds for litter and place in appropriate barrel. Recruit teammates, family members and friends to do the same.

5. Donate surplus food. The HOSR will set up designated areas for teams and individuals to drop-off food donations to be picked-up by Food Connect and transported to a local meal site, food pantry, food bank, or community shelter for consumption. No donation is too big or small. A list of items accepted (and not accepted) is listed on
We know you are up to the challenge.

Volunteers are on hand to assist you. We encourage you to join us in pioneering this path to maintaining and enhancing the beauty of Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia and the greater community in which we all reside. And THANK YOU for doing your part!