Whether they're for recreation or business purposes, events happen during all seasons and are a fun and exciting part of life. However, these special occasions can create a lot excess waste and harmful emissions. From paper trails to transportation, all the elements needed for an event can pile up. To help reduce the negative effects, you can choose to plan your event in an eco-friendly way.
Take a look at this guide to making your event GREEN!
What makes an event eco-friendly & why is this important?
When it comes to eco-friendly event planning, it's important to try to leave the space as clean and green as when you found it. A truly eco-friendly event is one that strives to reduce negative impacts on the environment wherever possible. More specifically, the organizers of the event should try to reduce water and energy usage, waste production and greenhouse gas emissions.
By choosing to make your event eco-friendly, you'll have the opportunity to not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you can help send a positive message while inspiring others to make the same green choices in all areas of their lives. Whether it's a company, a non-profit organization or even a couple planning a wedding, showing your attendees and guests that you care about the environment will reflect positively on you. It not only gives them a chance to see and connect with your green values, but it also shows that you are walking the talk.
7 eco-friendly event planning tips:
1) Reduce The Paper Trail
Whether the event is a fundraiser, a wedding, a meeting or even an outdoor concert, these functions often require a great deal of paper both before and during the event. A great way to make this element of the event eco-friendly is to reduce the paper trail by choosing email correspondence or using plantable paper. Seed paper can be planted so no that waste is left behind. It also gives your guests gift they can grow which contributes to sending green message and benefiting the planet.
2) Choose Green Hotels & Venues
With the rise in environmental awareness, more and more hotels and event venues are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. A great way to make your event eco-friendly is to take it one step further by choosing a venue with green practices and by recommending green hotels to guests. While this will take some research, it helps send a greater green message by supporting businesses that care about the environment and are making great steps to stay eco-friendly.
Here are some ways to know if a hotel or venue is eco-friendly:
- The hotel or event venue is made from sustainable materials
- They use low energy lighting, heating and/or electricity
- They have energy efficient windows
- They make use of solar panels wherever possible
- They use certified organic materials for bedding and towels
3) Make It Easy To Recycle
One of the biggest reasons why people toss recyclable materials into regular trash cans is because they can't find a proper recycling unit. Since the event is being organized by you, it's your responsibility to make sure recycling bins are readily available all throughout the event space.
4) Reduce Transportation
No matter where your event is, transportation will certainly be needed for guests. You can help make this element eco-friendly by organizing carpooling or shuttle services from places like hotels, airports, train and/or bus stations and the event itself. Having this organized will also help make guests feel more relaxed since they won't have to worry about renting a vehicle, parking or creating an unnecessary amount of pollution from driving.
5) Go Local
By choosing local, organic food and service from a caterer or event planner in your region, you'll help reduce the amount of carbon emissions created during shipping and travel time of international items. In addition, opting for reusable resources for your decor will help make the event even more eco-friendly. Going local also helps the economy by keeping money within the community.
6) Communicate A Green Message
A huge part of planning an eco-friendly event is communicating a strong green message by making “Going Green" part of the overall event. By sharing and promoting your eco-friendly actions, you can promote environmental sustainability and encourage others to make green choices in their everyday lives as well.
7) Use Eco-friendly Promotional Items
Giveaways and promotional items are a great way to make a lasting impression on attendees but if you want to keep your event green, you should be sure to choose eco-friendly promotional products. Products made with sustainable practices and materials can help send your eco message and still offer guests a great takeaway.
Offsetting negative impacts with positive ones
The harsh truth about events is that no matter what you do, there will always be some environmental impacts that simply can't be avoided. You can, however, offset them by organizing an eco-friendly initiative to help counteract the negative effects. Here are some ideas:
- Organize a tree planting initiative to offset the carbon emissions produced at the event.
- Collect donations at the event to give to an environmental cause like the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservation or simply a park in your area.
- Organize a volunteer program to help clean-up the space after the event.
- Distribute plantable takeaways such as seed paper to guests so that your event spreads wildflowers which will benefit declining bee populations and other important pollinators.
Are you ready to get into eco-friendly event planning?
We would love to work with you to create an eco-friendly product that benefits your event and the planet! Take a look at our 2017 Seed Paper Promotions Catalog for TONS of fantastic ideas, including our NEW Native Seeds option. Download, view and share!