The easing of Covid means we can all get back to normal living at last. Events, concerts, and celebrations can be confidently planned without the shadow of uncertainty that has blighted us for the past couple of years.
But changes in the way consumers think means that planners must include sustainability at the heart of the event.
Why events should be as green as possible
In recent years, there has been a radical shift in the way we decide what to buy and what events to attend, and this is rapidly accelerating. Consumers now look at sustainability as a deciding factor when choosing between products. And this includes what events to attend.
For your event to be as successful as possible, it needs to be green and needs to be proud to be green!
From the venue that hosts your event to the types of disposable cups used, every planning decision should include sustainability as a major factor. This article lists 5 eco-friendly ideas for a sustainable event.
5 Tips for a Sustainable Event
Whether your event is a coffee morning in the local hall or a three-day trade show with thousands of attendees, a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the event.
Here are 5-steps that can go a long way to ensuring your event is as green as possible.
Make it as plastic-free as possible
Plastics, and in particular single-plastics, are one of the biggest issues society has to face. Our use of this material is simply unsustainable. Making your event as plastic-free as possible should be one of the major considerations at the planning stage.
It isn’t difficult to achieve either.
- Disposable cups
This constitutes one of the easiest ways to green your event. The size of the disposable cup problem is massive, annually we use over 500 billion disposable cups and glasses, and the large majority of these are plastic or plastic-lined.
Recycling isn’t a great option either, less than 1% of these will be recycled. The solution is simple, the use of 100% compostable cups that are paper-based and plastic-free thanks to an aqueous coating that can help you keep thirsts quenched without harming the environment.
- Packaging, giveaways, etc.
Many events will have goody bags, and gifts for the attendees. Switching to sustainable packaging and gifts that are plastic-free can have a big impact on the sustainability of your event.
Reduce energy and water usage
Many event venues now advertise themselves as “green venues”. When selecting your venue, checking out these credentials can be a great start in ensuring your event is built on sustainable foundations. Amongst the criteria to check are whether they use low-power LED lighting and whether the building meets modern insulation standards.
Amongst other factors that can be considered are:
- Reduce the carbon footprint by choosing a location with good public transport links
- Make sure there are plenty of hotel rooms, restaurant and entertainment facilities within easy walking distance of the venue
Other considerations are reducing the usage of heating and AC systems when setting up or packing up the event and ensuring everything that can be switched off at the end of the day.
Water usage should be considered as well. Look for venues that have automatic taps and flush systems in the washrooms. Individual plastic drinks and water bottles should also be considered taboo, consider using water dispensers instead.
Make recycling easy
Regardless of how much detail you put into making sure plastic use is reduced. Plastics, aluminium cans, and paper will inevitably make up a large part of the trash accumulated at any event.
Providing plenty of clearly marked recycling bins and having procedures in place for ensuring the trash is delivered to appropriate recycling facilities will help to make sure that your event trash doesn’t add to overflowing landfill sites.
Once again, the use of compostable cups can be of great benefit. Because of the plastic-coated paper manufacture of most cups, they require a specific recycling bin and are often incorrectly placed in paper or plastic recycling bins. Compostable cups can be simply discarded in any paper bin.
From the paperwork involved at the planning stage right through to invitations, tickets, and publicity material, the amount of paper generated per event can be staggering.
Simple steps like switching to a digital event planner and moving invitations, publicity, and ticketing to digital platforms like social media, websites and email can all add up to greatly reduce the environmental impact of your event.
Shout about it!
With everyone now aware of the peril the planet is in and the environmental impact of their actions, letting people know about the green credentials of your event can be a huge selling point and can greatly increase visitor numbers.
Winning the hearts and minds of people by proudly communicating your event’s green philosophy will help boost awareness of the event and will help to educate and encourage others to change the way they think about the environment.
For the planet we call home to continue to sustain us, we all need to change how we live. Events and shows are a great way to show that these changes don’t come at the cost of convenience and fun.
Making your event a green showcase can boost attendance, increase profits, and, most importantly – do a little bit to help protect the planet.
Guest post by ThinkGreener.ie