Across the globe, countries and companies are making the move towards sustainable ways of living and working.
With more and more stakeholders recognizing the need to take climate action, people are beginning to make green and sustainable choices, even in organizing special occasions and events to mark major life milestones.
Looking for some fun sustainable event ideas? Here are 5 practical steps to make your events more sustainable and eco-friendly.
What is Sustainability and Why should it matter for events?
Sustainability is the practice of responsible use of our natural resources so that they are conserved and made available for generations to come.
The Events Industry Council puts it succinctly: “Sustainability for events means taking action towards preserving our natural environment; promoting a healthy, inclusive society; and supporting a thriving economy.”
Sustainability is more than just a buzzword for companies. It's becoming an everyday lifestyle choice for people to contribute to environmental conservation.
Ready to go green? These 5 simple practices can make your event more sustainable and contribute to the global movement for environmental protection.
1. Know Your Impact
Before we can start on our journey towards sustainable event planning, it's good to know our baseline. We have to know how sustainable our events are to be able to strategize which practices to keep or discard.
We can start by considering the different ways our events impact the environment. Once we identify the practices that have negative impacts on the environment, we can then set attainable goals to go green. Integrate these into our event planning to create a more sustainable event management style.
2. Choose Sustainable Event Venues
We can make our events more sustainable by considering locations that offer green alternatives.
You may want to search for venues in your area that have environmental policies and a management system that ensures sustainability. For hotels and accommodations, a good tip would be to check for an environmental certification or any seal of approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or any equivalent authorized government agencies.
In choosing the size of your event venue, it would also be wise to ensure that the space fits the crowd size just right. Larger event venues usually entail larger electricity consumption. Therefore, exerting extra effort to ensure the right fit will go a long way in saving energy.
You can always maximize your space by adjusting your event needs. Adjust the number of tables and chairs for each venue to make sure all your guests are accommodated. Add a dash of style to your sustainable party by using our affordable table runners and event chair covers. A simple and cheap way to make your space look polished is by adding event backdrops to the venue.
3. Reduce Carbon Footprint: Transport Considerations
Help your attendees reduce their carbon footprint by choosing a strategic location.
You can start by choosing a venue that's close to the majority of your expected guests. If that's difficult to achieve, another way to ensure sustainability would be by simply choosing a venue that's accessible to eco-friendly transport, such as trains or other public utility vehicles.
Integrate this into your sustainable management plan and help everyone cut back on carbon emissions.
4. Go Paperless
Cut back on wastage by going paperless in your events. Today, almost everyone will have a phone in their pocket.
Go paperless and engage your guests through online invitations or e-tickets. Maximize websites and mobile apps for your event invitation and activities. Create an online form for RSVPs or a landing page for all key information needed for your special occasion.
Instead of printing out your banner which will be thrown into the garbage the next day, why not use a projector to flash important greetings? This will also allow you to make animated banners for a lively touch. If a projector is difficult to access, you can always use erasable whiteboards or reusable signages among other sustainable event ideas.
5. Avoid Food Waste
One of the most common sources of wastage in events but also the most overlooked is food wastage.
Make sure to reduce packaging waste and food waste for a more sustainable event. First step is by ensuring environmentally friendly packaging. Go for minimal packaging for less waste and opt for biodegradable or recyclable containers
Ensure optimal sustainability by sourcing your food from local growers of organic produce. You can also tailor your menu to suit your guests palate and dietary restrictions to avoid wastage.
For your menu, you may also opt for plant-based meals. These often entail less carbon emissions to produce compared to meat products. Finally, for excess food, you can arrange to donate these to food banks or charities to make sure nothing gets wasted.
Toward Sustainable Events Management
We've gone through the basic steps on how to make your events more sustainable simply by integrating greener choices into your sustainable event planning.
Whatever options you choose to make, you can be sure that each minor decision toward eco-friendly alternatives goes a long way in ensuring environmental conservation for all.