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Eco-Events Made Easy: Tips to Host a Green Event

Eco-Events Made Easy: Tips to Host a Green Event

May 31, 2024 Praggya Joshi

With every meal served at an event, a pound of waste is generated per person. Now, if your event spans five days and boasts 1,200 attendees, that amounts to over 15,000 pounds of waste. Quite staggering, isn't it? Especially when we consider that events are meant to enrich people's lives positively. 

Fortunately, the events industry is awakening to the call for sustainability, recognizing it as a global imperative. The practice of green event planning is swiftly gaining ground.  

If you're ready to join the movement, we've got just the guide to help minimize your event's carbon footprint. We’ve packed it with a treasure trove of resources to streamline your journey towards hosting a green event.

Start with the Venue: Go Green
Opt for venues that champion sustainability, where energy efficiency reigns supreme and waste recycling, water conservation, and eco-friendly infrastructure are top priorities. These havens of sustainability employ LED lighting, harness renewable energy through solar panels, and boast energy-efficient appliances such as dishwashers.  

Furthermore, they collaborate with suppliers who prioritize minimal packaging and portion sizes to combat food waste. Look out for features like water recycling systems and rainwater harvesting, along with insulated interiors, recycled furniture, and efficient heating appliances—all essential elements of an eco-friendly venue.  

Pro Tip: Use venue and facilities management software (hyperlink to demo page) to quickly uncover options that align with your eco-friendly goals.

Find Eco-Friendly Transportation Options
While walking paths, ridesharing, and public transit are commendable eco-friendly options for guest mobility, they may not always align with the requirements of every event. Instead, explore the walking and transit accessibility of your chosen venue. Inquire about bike valet or storage options, and consider incentivizing carpooling or offering discounted parking for vehicles.  

Don't overlook the potential of electric buses and pedicabs for transporting guests. There are already over 1,300 zero-emissions buses in operation across America. At conferences and conventions, shuttle bus transportation can also significantly slash your event's carbon footprint.  

Transform your transportation choices into a promotional opportunity for your event by showcasing green travel on social media or facilitating ride-sharing through your event hashtag. Make sure to include the keyword 'green' in your hashtag to emphasize your commitment to sustainability.

Embrace Green Event Catering Practices
When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, green catering can truly make a world of difference. Start by sourcing locally grown, seasonal produce—the fresher, the better. Opt for plant-based or vegetarian meals whenever possible to further shrink your environmental impact. But it's not just about what's on the plate; how meals are produced matters too. Look for food that's been cultivated using eco-friendly methods, like organic farming. 

Swap out single-use serve ware for eco-friendly alternatives like reusable or compostable options to cut down on waste. But don't stop there—when vetting potential caterers, ask the right questions to ensure they align with your sustainability goals: 

  • Do you prioritize recycling at your events? 
  • Are reusable food storage containers part of your setup? 
  • Do you partner with local composting organizations to minimize food waste? 
  • Can you craft menus primarily using in-season ingredients? 
  • Do you offer rental options for reusable dinnerware to minimize disposables? 

Choose Eco-Friendly Swag and Giveaways
Sure, attendees love walking away with goody bags and giveaways, but why not make them a reflection of your environmentally conscious mindset? Start by ditching single-use plastics in favor of sustainable materials like bamboo, organic cotton, or other biodegradable options. Tote bags and reusable water bottles make fantastic eco-friendly giveaways, showcasing your dedication to sustainability.  

Even better, consider offering vouchers, e-books, or online subscriptions as swag—eliminating waste while still delighting your attendees. 

And here's a pro-tip: avoid slapping a timestamp on your merchandise. Let's face it, nobody wants to rock a hoodie or a tee advertising an event from years past. Instead, partner with socially responsible businesses to source green products, further reducing your carbon footprint.  

Green America offers a wealth of options when it comes to eco-conscious businesses—pick one to collaborate with for customized swag or promotional items that leave a lasting impression.

Craft a Comprehensive Waste Management
Managing waste effectively is crucial for any event, especially large-scale ones or those open to the public. Start by estimating the volume of waste your event is likely to generate. For big gatherings, this could be substantial. Once you have a grasp on the numbers, implement the following strategies: 

  • Install water refill stations throughout the venue to encourage attendees to reuse their bottles. 
  • Strategically place waste bins near entrances, exits, and food vendors to streamline disposal. 
  • Group waste and recycling bins together to simplify sorting for attendees. 
  • Consider using reusable beverage containers and scaling back on food offerings if your event isn't massive. 
  • Work with vendors to ensure they use recyclable materials and minimize packaging.

Collaborate With Environmentally-Conscious Vendors
When selecting sponsors and vendors, prioritize those who share your commitment to sustainability. Look for partners willing to uphold sustainable practices and integrate green messaging into their sponsorship content. Here's how to vet potential collaborators: 

  • Scrutinize the sustainability policies and practices of each vendor to ensure they align with your values. 
  • Check for environmental certifications like Green Business Certification, LEED, or ISO 14001. Some other industry-specific certifications include Intertek Green Leaf Mark, ENERGY STAR, B Corporation, and FairTrade. 
  • Inquire about post-event recycling efforts, use of energy-efficient equipment rentals, and preference for digital over printed materials. 

Use this handy sustainable events vendor directory by Luum Collective to find eco-conscious vendors for your event.

Embrace Event Tech for Green Events
With the arsenal of event technology at your fingertips, planning zero-impact events has never been more achievable. Take, for instance, venue and facility management platforms—they're like sustainability wizards, guiding you to eco-friendly venues that tick all the boxes for minimizing your event's carbon footprint. 

Then there's the game-changing mobile event app, a powerhouse for offering event info, agendas, reminders, all while providing interactive venue maps to attendees. Leveraging its gamification and networking features, you can supercharge attendee engagement without adding a single gram to your carbon load. 

Online event registration software is another eco-hero, simplifying the registration process while empowering planners to send out reminders, invitations, and personalized confirmation emails—all with a few clicks. And let's not forget about virtual event platforms, the ultimate solution for hosting eco-conscious gatherings. By eliminating the need for travel and physical resources, they're a green dream come true. 

But the eco-friendly tech train doesn't stop there—data collection tools like event reporting software help you track and analyze event data, paving the way for smarter, more sustainable event management strategies in the future. 

Beyond event management, innovative wayfinding technologies like sleek kiosks and digital signage play a crucial role in sustainable event execution. Not only do they guide attendees effortlessly, but they also boost brand visibility and amplify the event's overall impact.

Plan Impactful Green Events
If the thought of organizing green events seemed daunting, fear not—this guide is here to demystify the process. Contrary to popular belief, green events don't require rocket science; they simply demand careful planning and a commitment to eco-conscious principles. And remember, don't keep your eco-friendly aspirations a secret—let your attendees in on the green action to bolster your brand's reputation and industry influence. 

Ready to kickstart your sustainable event journey? Dive into Eventcombo's cutting-edge event tech and start shaping the future of green event planning today. https://bit.ly/3R9bkuP

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