It should come as no surprise that the typical conference or corporate event generates a significant amount of waste. Thousands of event materials are printed, extra food is ordered that is never eaten, and disposable décor is used once and thrown away at the end of the night. Though holding a completely green event presents its own challenges, there are small ways that organizations can reduce waste and lessen their negative impact on the environment during their next event.
Below, we’ll discuss 4 ways that you can make your event more environmentally conscious:
1. Choose event décor and display materials that can be reused or recycled.
One of the biggest areas of waste involved in the event industry is décor. Most decorations are used once and then thrown away at the end of the event. There are a couple of ways that you can avoid this. You can work with a vendor that creates unique, recyclable centerpieces and other decorations that can be recycled at the end of the event instead of thrown away. Your organization can also choose display materials that can be reused for future events or decorations that may be donated after the event is over.
2. Work with food vendors to cut down on waste.
Talk to your food vendor about creating dishes that offer appropriate portions. This helps reduce the waste of uneaten food. If you choose a buffet or self-serve option to allow guests to create their own portions, ask the vendor to donate un-served food to non-profit programs. Another way to reduce waste is by hiring catering vendors that offer washable dishes, silverware, and linen rather than disposable materials.
3. Shop locally for materials instead of having them shipped.
Find local caterers, florists, and other vendors that can deliver materials without travelling far or shipping to you. Buying your registration materials, promotional items, and other supplies locally allows you to support local businesses in your community while also cutting down on packaging waste and fuel use.
4. Create digital event materials.
Instead of printing thousands of brochures and other event materials, why not send out a digital copy of these materials straight to the attendee’s email or smart phone? Most individuals have their mobile devices nearby at all times, making a digital alternative an effective and convenient option for sending out schedules, conference maps, and other important information. A smartphone app is also a great option for delivering details digitally, also offering you the opportunity to easily send out last minute updates or schedule changes.