From setting a suitable budget to organizing different suppliers, planning an event can be quite a difficult process. The task becomes even more complex when you want to prioritize sustainability and ensure that your celebration won’t negatively impact the environment. But although challenging, green events are still possible to organize, as long as you plan in advance and make some smart choices along the way. With that in mind, here are some simple steps you can take when planning a successful sustainable event:
Choose a green event venue
The simplest way to plan a sustainable event is to select a green venue where everything can be taken care of for you. Select a location that has been independently verified for meeting operational ratings such as Green Key or green building standards such as LEED. A specialist eco-friendly venue can greatly help save valuable resources like power and water, prevent waste from ending in landfills, provide organic products to event attendees, and offset your celebration’s carbon emissions.
Develop a good catering plan
If catering options aren’t provided by your green venue, this is another important area to focus on. While the food might be essential to every event, it can also have a negative impact on the environment. For that reason, you should strive to make more conscious choices. For example, you can reduce unnecessary waste by not ordering too much food, minimize the amount of meat and dairy you serve by choosing plant-based options, and handle perishable food correctly so that you can donate it after the event. Hiring a specialized caterer dedicated to sustainability is also a good solution.
Opt for eco-friendly decor
No event can be successful without memorable decor. However, this is another big issue, as most props and decorations are single-use items. That is why you might want to reconsider your options and go for something greener that still makes a great impact. For instance, you can purchase quality media walls from companies that are committed to 100% carbon-neutral signage. Media walls are durable and versatile solutions that can easily be reused for future events as well. They effectively support your branding efforts and expand your social outreach.
Send digital invitations
Considering the effect of deforestation on climate change, try to avoid paper and reduce waste by sending out electronic invitations for your event instead. There are a number of websites you could use for this process. They will allow you to customize the invites according to your needs, include any sustainable instructions for your guests, and easily send them via email to all attendees. Some services will also enable guests to download the invitation to their smartphones and check in by scanning QR codes, thus turning it into an entirely paper-free process.
Find greener transport
Excess carbon emissions from single-occupant cars represent some of the largest contributors to climate change. Therefore, it’s best to encourage greener alternatives among your event attendees. Highlight scooter or bike-sharing programs with terminals near your venue, detail the available public transportation options, promote rideshare applications or ask your guests to carpool with other guests they know. You could also take care of transportation yourself, such as hiring electric buses to transport all attendees to the event in a single trip.
Reduce and manage waste
As already mentioned, you can reduce event waste by going paperless and choosing reusable decor options. You can also plan ahead for food quantities and similar solutions. But proper waste management is equally as important, allowing you to minimize the carbon footprint of your event even further. Consider setting up a waste management system with separate bins and suitable signage for each category. For example, organic, recyclable, and general waste. Contact local waste collection services and schedule a pick-up at the venue after your event. Don’t forget to designate individuals to monitor disposal and educate attendees on proper sorting during the event.
Even planning is a stressful task but it becomes even more challenging when sustainability is a priority. If you want to host an effective eco-friendly event, follow the advice above to ensure success.
Author: Diana Smith