In honor of Earth Day, take a moment to consider some of our tips on how to help your event Go Green! Not to mention, making your event more environmentally friendly can boost interest, attendance, audience excitement, and participation. It may even attract positive media attention, making for a serious win-win.
1. Choose a Green Location Look for a venue with L.E.E.D. certification. These venues have been built, designed, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. They reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Did you know that the Empire State Building is L.E.E.D. certified?
2. Provide Group Transportation Guest travel to an event is one of the largest environmental impacts. To reduce this impact, choose a central location or provide shuttles and public transport.
3. Reducing Use of Disposable Products can greatly cut down on waste.For invitations, try to use a small amount of paper and if event handouts are necessary, create them double-sided. Instead of serving water in individual bottles, use pitchers and reusable cups. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour
4. Use Environmentally Conscious Products and Supplies Nowadays, you can find products that are made from 100% recycled materials and are BPA free. Consider using biodegradable trash bags, environmentally safer cleaning products, recycled paper and soy-based inks. Look for products with an eco-label including organic, fair trade, FSC, VOC free, and PVC-free paints.
5. Serve Eco-friendly Food A typical dinner travels over 1,500 miles before it’s served. Choosing locally grown food greatly reduces the resources that are expended during packaging and transporting goods. Locally grown, organic, seasonal, and sustainable food sources should be utilized when possible. Mark’s summer luncheon hosted at the Madoo Gardens featured the surrounding community with local ingredients, suppliers, and even a menu inspired from the landscape.
6. Reduce Energy Consumption Every guest is equivalent to a 175-kilowatt heater, so consider turning down the thermostat during events. Use energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lighting, or schedule your event during the daytime, which can remove the need for lighting all together. For outdoor events, choose a biodiesel generator.
7. Recycle Recycle Recycle We all know the crazy statistics translating recycled paper to saved trees, water, oil, and energy, but multiply those numbers with a guest count and it adds up quick. Look into your local waste management and recycling options and make sure that the event recycle bins are prominently located and labeled.
8. Social and Economic Development Think locally not only with food, but also when purchasing products and hiring staff. The whole community will benefit economically. The green event training could result in a community with better knowledge about sustainable living practices and the power to make more responsible decisions.