Events can cause considerable waste and significant consumption of resources. With the impact events can have on the environment, event planners and venue owners should increase sustainability efforts at events.
There are several ways to incorporate sustainability and take actions that everyone can implement right away to create more Earth-friendly events. And besides doing your part on going green, you can have a pleasant surprise with cost savings you didn’t expect!
Based on Lisa Plummer’s tips for Trade Show News Network, here are some ways to make your event more sustainable and environmental friendly.
Choose Sustainable Options
Take the initiative by letting your vendors know that sustainability matters to you. Start by asking if they offer any sustainable options, as they may have some you haven’t taken advantage of simply because you haven’t asked.
Also, take advantage of the local vendors and business owners from the community to provide items for your event whenever possible.
Maximize Efficiency on Printed Items
Events usually have some paper items, such as programs, menus and signs. So while having a paperless event is a great goal to aspire to, you can be more sustainable with what you do print by being more efficient.
The size and shape of your print project affect how efficiently it prints. Ask your printer how many copies of your project fit onto one sheet of paper and ask them if changing the size will allow more copies to fit, this way you avoid paper waste.
Also, you can really try to go paperless by putting all your event collateral online, or you can get creative and make a single big program or menu for everyone to see it.
Share Carbon Offset Information with Your Attendees
Travel is the top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from events. If you are hosting a corporate event and they come from across the country you can be proactive about attendees offsetting the impact of their travel through carbon offsets.
An individual or company can offset the impact of their greenhouse gas emissions by supporting projects that reduce global carbon emissions by an equivalent amount so they end up canceling each other out.
Give to Your Community
Work with local charities to donate reusable items. If you host corporate events there would be promo items and other supplies leftover. Don’t let them end up in landfill when you can donate to organizations that need them.
There are national organizations that accept a wide variety of items and even if you don’t have an organization in your area, you can also donate to schools, art centers, after-school programs or think about who would have a use for them and give things away.
Start a Food Waste Record
Food waste is a huge problem at events, always try to understand how much food you’re currently wasting. Compare the quantity of food you order with the quantity that is served and consumed at your event and ask your caterer to provide a post-event report detailing how much food was prepared but not served.
Track any food or beverage you purchase directly, such as water or snacks, monitor how much you purchased versus how much was left over and use this data adjust your orders for future events.
And if you have left-over food organize donations with a local food bank or shelter.
There are many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at events. All of these green tips and many more can be implemented in degrees, a little at a time, to help your events become more sustainable.
And we must remember: to increase environmentally friendly events, it is important for everyone involved to work together toward reducing the impact.
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