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Planning an event is tedious in and of itself, so ensuring that every single aspect of your event is eco-friendly may not be realistic. Rather than feel overwhelmed and give up, it’s far more beneficial to pick even just a couple of basic practices and do your best to remain consistent with them throughout the process. Over the years, I have overseen a wide range of events, and it still surprises me how much waste they create. Luckily, I’ve found that many key sustainability measures often help to streamline the steps in the event-planning process rather than complicate them. With reducing waste in mind, the right team, the right resources and the right location will make all the difference.
Set Up A Waste Management Plan (And Team)
As with anything regarding events, preparation is crucial. Make sure everyone on staff knows the basics of waste disposal and what your specific sustainability practices will be. From caterers to event managers, holding a quick 15-minute meeting beforehand to go over what can go in the trash, recycling and compost is an easy way to ensure the whole team is on the same page.
Additionally, strategically locating and clearly labeling disposal options can make it simpler for both your staff and your guests to get rid of things properly. For example, placing compost bins that are easily accessible to any onsite chefs, caterers or buffet tables makes it easier for people to get rid of food waste.
Finally, plan your move-in and move-out sessions ahead of time. Moving furniture around and cleaning up requires time and effort (which will require air conditioning and lights). Planning out your moving sessions to make sure that everything gets done as quickly as possible will save you time, energy and money.
Check Your Sources
A lot of materials go into producing an event, which is why it’s important to see if there are any eco-friendly alternatives you can use. If you are bringing in catering, check in with the staff ahead of time and see if there are ways to incorporate locally sourced ingredients. It might not be affordable or realistic to have all of the food completely local and organic, but if there are even one or two simple swaps you can make, that will help. Check in with your guests to see if there are any dietary restrictions, then see if you can replace some meat dishes with vegan or vegetarian options (which often end up being cheaper to make).
Another way to save money (and time, and transportation) is through buying items in bulk. Whether that’s cutlery or condiments, buying in bulk is a great way of cutting down on packaging, transportation and price. One of the most well-known ways to reduce waste is by decreasing the use of plastic. Research some plastic alternatives ahead of time and see what could make the most sense for your event (be sure to research the pros and cons of each material). Keep in mind that some of your guests may need to use plastic: While it’s not necessary to buy them in bulk, setting a small stash of plastic straws aside for anyone who needs them is okay.
If you are on the hunt for a venue, aim to find a spot that is easy to access via public transportation. Think about where your guests may be traveling from and check in to see what bus, train and subway stops are close by. Politely encourage your guests to arrive via carpool or public transport. Providing them with clear directions from transport stops at the bottom of your invite is also a simple way to cut down on car trips. If you already have your venue in place and it’s in a particularly remote location, see if you can coordinate and invest in transit options for some of your guests. A party bus or van to take them to the event is a great way to make your event feel special while reducing gas emissions from car trips.
The most important thing you can do is stay in the know about the most effective practices, as they will continue to change over time, and be sure to thoughtfully implement as many as you can. Put aside some time to set up sustainability metrics in order to keep track of how much was wasted so you can have a better idea of what to change next time around. (Maybe compost bins weren’t so crucial, but your location was still too far away.) While there are very few ways to keep everything 100% green, these fairly simple actions can have a great impact on reducing waste production.
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“The Basics Of Putting On A Sustainable Event” | Written By: Daphne Jouanneteau, CommunityVoice / Forbes – Entrepreneurs
November 19, 2019 at 08:02AM
VIEW ARTICLE ON Forbes – Entrepreneurs >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2019/11/19/the-basics-of-putting-on-a-sustainable-event/