Sedona Yoga Festival & Zero Waste

Sedona Yoga Festival & Zero Waste


We are beyond excited to have you join us for the 12th year of the Sedona Yoga Festival amidst the majestic lands of Sedona, Arizona!

World-class presenters, workshops and artists are key elements in making this an unforgettable, life-changing experience. To keep the magic alive and deepen the positive impact on our community and our world, our commitment to ecological sustainability is at the core of the choices we make as festival organizers.

As attendees, we know you come here to be part of something amazing; with your help, we will continue creating a leading industry yoga conference that will change the way we celebrate life at the deepest level.

Why Zero Waste?

Our original post talked about the importance behind the Zero Waste movement. For us at SYF, we realize that our health is intrinsically linked to the health of the planet and all beings. We are blessed to join together for a weekend deepening our practices of wellness and mindfulness, and we believe that environmental stewardship is an essential way to give back to this place, this community and this precious life that gives us so much.

How is SYF going Zero Waste?

We’re honored and excited to be taking a lot of steps toward environmental stewardship this year. Here are a few of our major initiatives:
An essential part of Zero Waste is taking responsibility for the inevitable “waste” we produce. This year, we’ll be setting up Resource Recovery Stations where we’ll feature Compost, Recycling and Waste bins — the goal is to Recover as much material as possible, composting and recycling first, and sending as little as possible to the landfill.

We are blessed with a wonderful lineup of Conscious Vendors providing thoughtfully, ethically and regionally (wherever possible) sourced wares and gifts for guests.  We are working with them to eliminate waste and non-recyclable/compostable materials from the festival grounds. As you explore their offerings, we encourage you to be compassionately curious and learn the stories behind what you purchase.

Perhaps the most crucial element of all in successfully going Zero Waste are the People — You, our beloved Attendee, with your care and attention, make this all possible.

Whether you’re a seasoned attendee of yoga festivals, or if this is your inaugural year, deciding what to (and what not to) bring to a festival is rarely an easy task.


We’ve put together a Zero-Waste guide to help you pack your bag and prepare for your amazing journey;

Reusable Water Bottle

Hydration is a no-brainer at a Yoga festival in the desert!  Staying hydrated can be an act of love for ourselves and our earth when we choose to refill bottles made from non-toxic, up-cycled material.

Food Essentials

SYF boasts incredible festival cuisine, and we are proud to have vendors who are as excited as we are to create dining experiences that are not only delicious, but healthy for people and planet alike.  Though we request that all our vendors adhere to strict guidelines and use compostable and recyclable materials, imagine how clean our festival will be if each attendee brought the following items — talk about Zero Waste!

• Wide-Mouth Mason Jar

• Insulated Thermos for hot liquids

• Reusable Utensils

• Cloth Napkin // Bandana

•  Bamboo//Metal Straw

Personal Hygiene

The ritual of cleansing is a central aspect of our Yoga practice, and we certainly want to stay clean and healthy as we share time and space together.  We are thankful to have the support of Sedona Compost to provide an ecological solution for used paper towels, but again, we’ll practice R#2 — Reduce first, wherever possible.

• Washcloth

• Biodegradable Soap

• Recycled//Organic Toothbrush

• Ecologically sound Toothpaste

Tote Bag/Basket

For carrying your Zero Waste kit to and fro 🙂 

If you have any questions, ideas or tips, please reach out to our Team.

With every choice we make, we are given the opportunity to make the world better.  Thank you for joining us on the journey toward Zero Waste.

With gratitude,

SYF Zero Waste Team

2019: A Year Without Waste

2019: A Year Without Waste

An Event Without Waste

As our year moves ever-onward, many of us carry with us our resolutions and goals to make this the best year yet. We at Sedona Yoga Festival are excited to share one of our many intentions for making this the best-ever SYF.

As Yogis, we are always seeking opportunities to live more intentionally, and to create a more balanced, peaceful and joyful existence for all. One important and effective strategy for doing so is by pledging to be a Zero Waste event.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information about what this means for us as a festival, and for you as an attendee, but we thought we’d start with the basics — In a world full of information at our fingertips, it can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed, so the following is intended to help you join us on our journey toward Zero Waste ::


The following definition comes from the Zero Waste International Alliance, which offers great information and resources,

“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

That’s a lengthy definition, I know, so what does that mean for us?



For most of us, it’s simple to understand that creating less waste is a good thing.  But really understanding how much waste we currently produce — and the implications — can be difficult.  In most cases, waste has been designed to be out of sight, out of mind.

For anyone interested in learning more (in a short, highly effective, informative and entertaining format), I recommend checking out the videos and online resources at The Story of Stuff Project, particularly watching the documentary that started it all, The Story of Stuff.


Most of us recall the old adage, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” — and most of us know that recycling is important, but it’s more difficult to truly understand the time, energy and resources embedded in production and in the process of recycling. This is why ‘Recycle’ is the last of “five r’s” — and the final step in the Zero Waste model.

While consumers have much less power over producing waste and creating a Zero Waste society ultimately falls on producers, manufacturers, and lawmakers, each of us can take small steps to eliminate waste from our life by looking at our choices.


The most important (and initially most difficult) of the 5 R’s of Zero Waste is refusal.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with stuff! Mindfully choosing to accept what we actually need and refusing the unnecessary is the first step in breaking out of the cycle of waste. Refuse wasteful materials like styrofoam and single use plastics, and choose to support companies who are striving to make it easier for their customers to live a Zero Waste lifestyle – you’ll feel better; trust me!


This is a lot like Refuse, except that it takes into account the fact that it’s nearly impossible to live in our current society without buying things from time to time (if you’ve got that figured out, please tell me all your secrets and super powers!).  

We’re constantly being sold cheaply made items designed to wear out — and this is marketed as convenient.  Our planet and our wallets disagree, however.  

We have the power to save money AND our planet by making mindful decisions to buy items that are long-lasting, ethically produced, and free from unnecessary packaging.  Sometimes, it’s possible or better to borrow, rent or purchase used. In addition to reducing waste, we can reduce the clutter in our lives — a real win-win.


Not to sound like a broken record, but Reusing is all about Mindfulness in our choices. This can be a difficult step, but Reusing has incredible monetary and emotional reward.  

This is the BYO step — use cloth napkins, reusable water bottles and coffee mugs, bags and containers for groceries (check out the wonderful  Shopping Guide from Litterless to find stores in your location where you can bring and refill your own containers). Look to mend and repair before purchasing new and look for products with lifetime warranties (check out Patagonia for inspiration from a company committed to Zero Waste).


The final R is Rot — which means compost! Close to 60% of material in landfills are composed of organic matter that, in an otherwise aerobic setting, could become soil. Have a garden? Why not make your own organic soil?! If you don’t have the ability to tend your own compost pile or worm bin, you can look into local compost programs, community gardens or farms that accept “donations”.  If you do compost, however, consider whether or not you can feed it to others first. The EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is a great resource.

We know making the switch to Zero Waste is not all flowers and berries.  Initially, it can feel extremely difficult to make these changes, but know you’re not alone and the effort is absolutely worth it — plus, it gets much, much easier (and it feels amazing)!

We’re proud to share our own stories of successes and challenges with you at this year’s SYF; from carefully choosing conscious vendors; improving waste diversion throughout the event; partnering with activists and off-setting our carbon footprint with ClimateYogi; and offering plenty of education and resources to our community during our time together — as Yogis, we believe we have the ability to inspire others and lead the way toward a more harmonious existence.  Stay tuned for more updates and information on how you can get involved with Zero Waste at the Sedona Yoga Festival and beyond.

We are so delighted to have you join us on this journey; it’s the efforts of people like you that make this world a more wonderful place. Please share any questions, tips, or great resources.

With gratitude,

Jo and the SYF Zero Waste Team


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