The heightened worry about the environment and climate change, streered by high-profile campaigners like Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, has increased demand for sustainable initiatives. More millennials and consumers are choosing to support brands that are dedicated to the cause of sustainability. This desire to fund and back green projects has also trickled down to the events industry.
If you want to plan truly environmentally friendly events, you have to start right at the beginning.
We get that it can be tricky, so we’ve put together a list of things you can start doing to contribute to a positive impact on the carbon footprint of your event.
1. Choose a “green” venue
Looking for the biggest way to make an impact? It starts in the choice of where you host it. For a greener event, sourcing venues that are easily accessible by public transport or foot can greatly reduce your environmental impact. Choose a venue that is located close to the majority of participants, or nearby to public transport stations/stops. Remember to ask the venue if they have any sustainability policies in place, and if they source their food locally, then you can be sure that it will be a good and green match for your event!.
2. Go paperless
Embrace a paper-free approach wherever possible. There are many effective ways you can replace what would regularly be used or sent by paper. A big way to make your event become sustainable is to go digital. Create e-invitations or e-tickets, and use an online platform for registration and for RSVPS email updates. Utilise event apps or email notifications to keep your guests updated. Not only is this cost-efficient and it saves time for participants too – Bonus!
3. Go plastic free and reusable
Research shows that there are 8 million tons of plastic waste leaking into the ocean every year. There are many reusable choices you can opt for to make your event plastic free. Ensure the straws you use are paper, or better yet, go straw-free and drink straight from the cup! Consider printing any collateral on 100% recycled paper (if you can’t avoid printing it in the first place). Avoid offering takeaway coffee cups (this has the added bonus of enforcing a networking element encouraging people stand or sit and drink their coffee). If you’ll be gifting branded merchandise, stainless steel drink bottles or keep cups are a great way of promoting the use of reusables going forward, whilst also signalling your eco focus.
4. Cut down on food waste and its environmental cost
By choosing seasonal and locally produced food, you’re not only being kinder to the environment and cutting transportation emissions, you’ll be supporting the local community too! If you’re looking to make an impression, host a vegetarian or vegan event. It’ll be easy on your budget, promotes healthy eating and well-being and reduces carbon footprints further down the processing chain. Try to obtain guests’ special dietary requirements well in advance to avoid food waste. If your event has a lot of leftovers, think about donating rather than binning. Many venues already work with local charities, including social enterprises and food banks. Just ask your chosen venue what their policy is.
Celebrate your business in a green and saving-the-world kinda way with MEG. Take me there.