Monday, August 24, 2015

MAYA 2015

This years MAYA 2015 conference was, in my eyes, a huge success.  Though I do not have a previous experience to compare it to, the response by all of the guests I’ve spoken to have agreed that it was the best conference to date!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but running the conference was really fun with the group of bright hardworking ladies (and Dan) I was working with.  The first few months of planning were a bit of a struggle for me, as I have never planned something so important for a large number of people.  The conference was not just a one day event, but a three day event that required forethought as to how the visitors will travel to and from the Peabody.  I am grateful for having the pleasure of being apart of this conference, for I have definitely developed skills in networking, presenting, and overall confidence.  
In planning the workshops for the event, we tried to choose presentations that centered around the theme of urban health and wellness, and how where one lives can play a role in the type of environment they live in.  I believe I gained the most of Domingo’s Composting workshop, in which he talked about how important composting is for not only the environment but for communities as a whole, but that very few of the population compost.  Each American household wastes about 8 pounds of compostable food each week, though he stressed, composting isn’t a very daunting task.  He opened a very important question to us at the end of his presentation: What is needed to make composting a norm for communities?  This made me think about reasons why people may not compost, whether it is not convenient for them, whether infrastructure needs to be set up where compost is picked up from homes, whether separate bins of compost should be available to people who live in the city.  Maybe people are not educated on the ease of composting, or how unhealthy living near an incinerator truly is. Whatever the reason, the message was clear: composting is not only healthy for the environment, but it could be healthy for the community as well.  

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