Hosting an event means juggling a lot of responsibilities at the same time. There’s sending out invitations, managing catering, organising decorations, drinks, and entertainment. Worrying about the carbon footprint of the event might seem like the last of your responsibilities. Right? But why are more and more events, festivals and gatherings pushing for eco-conscious, or sustainable practices, and how can you benefit from taking a sustainable approach for your next event? Read on to learn more.
In short, a sustainable event means reducing waste and reducing energy use in any way possible in order to reduce its overall carbon footprint, and there’s no getting around sustainability in 2018. Consumers and event goers alike are getting more eco conscious each year, and demand more from event managers when it comes to the way they deal with waste and energy use. Festivals have taken the lead on going green, but other event types are following suit quickly, and for good reason. Not only is it good for the environment, but running a sustainable event is a great way to make a great impression with your guests, especially if they are millennials. Millennials are more eco conscious than older generations and might chose a sustainable event over one that doesn’t have a clear waste management plan. But don’t think you’re in the clear if your attendees are all over 35. People in general are getting more eco-conscious, so making a stance for the environment is a great move for your brand.
Cut down on disposables
It’s amazing how much waste an event can produce – even if it runs only for a few hours. Cups, plates, cutlery, cup holders, napkins, flyers, you name it, a crowd of people can easily go through a lot of it if there’s not a focus on sustainability from the start. Today there are a range of sustainable alternatives to the classic plastic and paper cutlery that are sure to impress your guests without costing you much at all. If you are cooking yourself, simply opt for reusable or biodegradable plates and cutlery. If you are employing a caterer, or your event is larger, and you will have food trucks or other vendors in attendance, let them know that they can only use bio friendly plates, cutlery and cups. And while we’re on the topic of waste…
Manage your waste sustainably
Providing well-marked and ample bins for general waste, recyclables and compostable matter is one of the key measures for making an event more sustainable. By swapping out the general rubbish bins so often found at events you’re making great strides towards making your event a greener one. Look up some of the many bin hire companies available to you and choose the one with the best sustainability practice.
Did you know coffee cups cannot be recycled? There are many dos and don’ts of recycling that you or your guests may not be aware of. Providing clear signage at every bin of what goes where will give your guests a much better chance at recycling correctly. Your guests will feel good for doing the right thing, and your waste management is made better, too!
Cut down on the promotional papers
Promoting an event takes a lot of effort. Many event managers still swear to posters and flyers, but this practice leads to a lot of extra paper that could have been spared by going electrical. Electrical signage is a great attention grabber, and the perfect sustainable solution if you hire them from an equipment rental agency. Depending on your event you can draw passer-by attention with electrical signs, dancing men, or rooftop balloons – all without costing the environment.
Also, ignoring the power of online event advertisement can be a big mistake. Using your group, brand, or company’s website, and reaching out to your event demographic on social media sites is a great way to let people know about your upcoming event.
Choose a sustainable caterer
If you’re hiring a caterer for your event, opt for one that has a sustainable business model. That may mean one that uses local groceries only, degradable wastes, organic produce, or a number of other measures. Not only will this likely result in better and more interesting foods for your guests, but your brand will stand out as a real champion for the environment.
Learn from others, and from your own mistakes
Sustainability is a learning process. Confer with people you know who’ve already made strides to become more sustainable in their everyday lives, or in the way they run events. Learning from past events is also a great way of ensuring that your next event will do even better. Perhaps your waste management wasn’t successful because your guests weren’t sufficiently filled in on what to recycle? Perhaps you’d bought too many plates, cups and cutlery for the number of guests that attended? Whatever it is, record it, and adjust for it in the future. Good luck!