Are you looking to plan a sustainable event?
These days, environmental consideration is becoming increasingly popular with event planners. Whether it’s for a large wedding or a high-status charity event, a growing number of people are choosing to favor sustainable events.
So, how can you ensure that your event is as green as possible? In doing so, it’s crucial to start from the beginning and to consider every step involved in event planning. This could be anything from sending out electronic invites and choosing your partners to avoiding single-use plastic and opting for a meat-free menu.
Read on to discover twelve simple yet effective tips on how to be more sustainable when it comes to planning an event.
1. Consider Your Partners
First and foremost, it’s crucial to hire the right partners for your event. This could include anyone from the caterers and the bartenders to the marketing and the design department.
Short and simple, not everyone your hire is going to be as favorable to the environment and you are. Be open and honest with prospective partners in your vision to create a sustainable event. If these partners are unable to agree on or deliver such a vision, it’s time to move on to other potential partners.
Nowadays, many professionals and companies will choose to favor a more sustainable approach to everyday business. This could be anything from going paperless and favoring green products to donating a percentage of their revenue to green initiatives.
2. Choose Your Venue Wisely
If you really want your attendees to take your green efforts seriously, it’s crucial to consider your venue.
Of course, the best step would be to host your event at a sustainable venue. In today’s day and age, there are a growing number of venues that are becoming certified eco-friendly.
Many green buildings will also be tied to a number of eco-friendly initiatives. For example, some venues might donate a small percentage of their revenue to a green initiative. With this, you can rest assured that your money is being spent wisely and will benefit the planet in some way or another.
This Event Space takes significant buildings that are sitting unused and transitions them into useful spaces. This gives these structures a second-life as an event space and helps to bring the community together.
3. Utilize Electronic Invites
As it turns out, sending one-hundred paper invites results in significant waste. After a quick scan, the majority of recipients will input the information into the calendar and dispose of the invite into the trash.
In today’s day and age, the internet makes it easy to send out countless electronic invites at a fraction of the cost. Most of these electronic invites will also download onto your electronic calendar after clicking “attend”.
In addition to saving money, you’re also minimizing waste from the very beginning.
4. Offer Public Transportation
How will your attendees transport to your event?
In the wake of large events, transportation is always a significant consideration when it comes to the planet. If each and every guest arrives by car, it’s easy to see how this can and will add up. To put it into perspective, a typical vehicle will emit over 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
One of the best steps to take is to host your event at a location that is accessible by public transit. That being said, it could be helpful to host your event in an urban locale that benefits from quality public transportation.
Provide guests with detailed instructions on how to use public transport to arrive at the event. You can also opt for a venue that has a high walkability score. These are often venues that are located in the downtown core and have a high concentration of hotels nearby.
5. Opt for Reusable Dishware and Utensils
Did you know that we produce over 300 million tons of plastic each year? Of this plastic, more than 50 percent is considered single-use.
If you’re serious about hosting a green event, it’s imperative to offer reusable dishware. After all, your attendees will have a hard time taking your green efforts seriously if they’ve no choice but to drink out of disposable stemware.
Ensure that your venue can either supply reusable dishware or allow you to bring your own. While there’s no denying this does make matters more complex, it’s sure to reduce your overall waste.
If the venue insists on using single-use items, do your best to ensure that these items are compostable. Today, a growing number of single-use items are being crafted to dispose of with everyday compost.
6. Consider Waste Options
Far too often, venues will choose to dispose of all trash, food, and paper into the garbage.
In many cases, this because it makes for an easier and more efficient clean-up. It’s also because not every venue has the facilities available to incorporate both compost and recycling into their waste management plans. For the sake of simplicity, everything unused is simply reduced to the trash.
When choosing your venue, don’t hesitate to inquire about their waste management options. You want to rest assured that compost and recycling will be available in addition to garbage. This will ensure that your guests can dispose of their unwanted items in a responsible manner.
7. Donate or Reuse Leftover Items
Once your event is over, you’re likely going to feel overwhelmed in the number of unused items you now have in your possession.
This could be anything from flowers and food items to decorations and leftover conference materials. Rather than contributing to the cycle of waste, why not donate or reuse these items?
Remember, food banks and charities will accept leftover food and lightly used materials. There are also a number of drop-in and community centers that would appreciate such donations.
8. Offer a Plant-Based Menu
Did you know that it takes over 1000 gallons of water to produce a gallon on milk?
As we become aware of the environmental impacts of animal-based products, more people are favoring a plant-based diet. So, when it comes to planning your menu, do your best to incorporate as many plant-based food items as possible.
While this doesn’t mean that your menu has to be entirely vegetarian, your attendees will appreciate your plant-based efforts. These days, a growing number of catering companies are specializing in foods that are meat-free, organic and friendly to the planet.
You can also make an effort to source your foods as locally as possible. Challenge yourself to create a menu that is almost entirely local or produced within a certain vicinity. This is a great way to celebrate the local food scene in your hometown!
9. Communicate a Green Message
We all know just how powerful the art of communication can be. One of the most significant ways to pay your tributes to the earth is to communicate a green message to your audience.
Many businesses will choose to hire a speaker to do this for them. This professional can relay the message on your behalf in a way that is engaging and best connects with your audience.
Don’t hesitate to explain to your audience the many green initiatives that you have taken to create a more sustainable event. You can also encourage them to do the same when moving forward with their own events and gatherings. The goal is to normalize green events and inspire those around us to adopt the same mindset.
10. Offer Sustainable Gifts
Many events will offer guests gifts or promotional items to take home.
For a wedding, these small gifts act as a token of your appreciation to your guests. For businesses, these gifts are often promotional items that are branded with a company logo.
The problem? Most of these gifts are lightly utilized and eventually find themselves in the trash.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that offering a gift to your guests is off the table. Instead, it simply means that you can consider a more green approach to such gifting. Rather than offering disposable items, opt for something environmentally friendly such as potted plants, seed packets or floral centerpieces.
Event Planning: How to Be More Sustainable
If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable in your event planning, we salute your efforts!
Of course, planning a sustainable event is sure to reduce your environmental footprint. But, it’s also going to inspire your guests to do the same and to adopt a similar mindset.
So, what exactly goes into planning a green event?
This could be anything from going paperless and offering public transportation to creating a plant-based menu and ensuring proper waste management is in place. In committing to these small changes, you can rest assured that your event will have as minimal an impact on the planet as possible.
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