Reducing waste from any source, including events, is a no-brainer for the good of the environment. A sustainable event works to combat the negative impact on the environment that the event might otherwise cause. This might involve removing plastic waste, using renewable energy sources, or saving water. Although you might be tempted to write off event waste as an unfortunate side effect of being a great host, this is not true — you can host a great event, and produce minimal or no waste. In this article, we break down how.
To make your event more sustainable,
Hire Sustainable Suppliers
Use Paperless Access
1. Determine Impact
First things first, you need to determine the impact your event could have. Consider what you want to achieve, and pinpoint the areas that are most associated with environmental breakdown. Will you serve food? Will you need to use large amounts of single-use plastic? How will the venue be powered? How will people travel there?
Once you’ve determined your problem areas, it will be much easier to fix them.
2. Sustainable Suppliers
Suppliers are responsible for a large portion of your event — from food and drinks, to decorations and transport. When choosing who to go with, you should consider suppliers who sell sustainable goods and champion sustainable processes as much as possible. If you go for a local supplier, this can also help to reduce transportation emissions.
When it comes to food and drinks, the ideal scenario is to serve organic and local produce that is sustainably sourced, and served in biodegradable or recyclable containers. To help reduce CO2 emissions derived from meat, consider a vegetarian or vegan menu.
The venue you choose is fundamental to the success of your event, but also to how sustainable it is. Try to find a venue that fulfils your aesthetic requirements, but that also promotes good, sustainable practices. This might include,
Green energyand smart temperature controls, like key-operated lights.
Water-efficient appliances and water-saving processes.
You should also consider how easy it is to get to this venue, and if it is accessible by greener transport links (train or coach). Don’t forget accommodation, either. Will your guests be staying? If so, where is the nearest hotel? The closer your venue is to a hotel, the better.
Hire coaches to reduce emissions from people travelling to and from your event, or encourage hybrid or low emission vehicles and ride-shares. If there’s a train station near, that’s another great option to reduce your guests' carbon footprint.
If your event is for work, or otherwise doesn’t require all attendees to be there in person, consider making your event hybrid. This allows people to join online, reducing the number of people who would need to travel.
5. Paperless Access
Where possible, encourage paperless access. Use an event website with all key information on, and provide e-tickets instead of paper ones. Does your website require a map? Share an online version instead — you can even work with the venue, or an external app, to create something more interactive.
Don’t forget the pre-event planning stages, too! Use an app, instead of a notepad, to collate your ideas and plan out your event.
6. Reduce Waste
The goal is to avoid bringing waste to your event altogether. However, this isn’t always possible. To ensure the waste that is at the venue is disposed of in a sustainable manner, you need to consider a few factors.
Are general and recycling bins available across the premises?
Can leftover food be composted, converted to leftovers, or donated to charity? Can kitchen grease be recycled?
Need something sustainable to wrap your leftovers in? Beeswax food wrapsare the perfect alternative to clingfilm. You can use them on most food, with the exception of raw meat and fish, and they keep your food fresher for longer — giving your guests the chance to enjoy their delicacies for days after.
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