A Sustainable Design Blog
How to Plan an Eco Event - Part 1
Whether you’re planning an office party, a brand launch, or an annual meeting of your co-op members, all event planners have one thing in common – you want the event to be a success. So imagine hosting a killer event with every seat in the house taken, the audio/visual components working smoothly, the attendees are excited and engaged, the refreshments work out just right, and then, in the closing remarks, you get to tell everyone that entire event was also hosted with zero waste. Not only did you crush the event, but you also did it in a way that aligns perfectly with your brand and also makes mother earth smile a little brighter. Sounds nice, right?
Well your friends at Modern Species have put together a bunch of tips on how to keep your next event Eco. So many we decide to make it into a 2 part series.
TIPS FOR HOSTING A GREEN EVENT
Trash - The first question should always, be “does your venue recycle and compost?”
While most venues tend to have the ability to recycle, the compost part often stumps them. That being said, most are willing to get on the green band wagon and provide some sort of compostability if you ask. So try asking. If they refuse to accommodate your request… well, then they should be ashamed of themselves. We are living in the 21st century people!
Lighting - As a general rule, if a room has more natural light, it will require less energy to run it during the day time. So save some electricity and look for light. For night time events you’ll want to see what kind of lighting the venue has to see if the lights can be adjusted for your event type, and ideally, they’re running high-efficiency bulbs with renewable energy.
Size - When selecting a venue location make sure it is the appropriate size for your event. Too many people in a small space means an unexpected temperature rise, and on the flip side, there is no need to waste energy to cool room that is 10x bigger than it needs to be. Plus, who wants to pay for wasted space?
Location - The location is alway an important element when planning any event, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that we suggest keeping your event close to public transportation and hotels. Doing so means a smaller carbon footprint for you, and
less stress for everyone who attends.
Fresh Air - Whenever possible, try holding your event outside or at least somewhere you can open windows to get fresh air. Not only will this make everyone happier and more alert, it’s also mother-nature approved and saves a ton of energy. Just make sure you clean up after yourselves.
Local Sourced - Fresh food tastes better, supports the local economy, and and has a smaller carbon footprint. So always consider two things: 1 - is your catering company local; and 2 - do they source their ingredients locally.
Menu & Serving- Wherever possible, think less is more when it comes to serving snacks and refreshments by skipping all the fancy knick-nacks that go straight into the bin anyway (umbrellas, stir straws, flagged tooth picks, plastic bottles, etc). And when appropriate, buy in bulk and serve buffet style, allowing people to take their own portions. This cuts down on individual serving packaging and food-waste left on people’s plates. This also makes it easier to donate leftovers to a homeless shelter later. Another tip is to consider using bite-sized or finger foods to eliminate the need for utensils.
Reusable Utensils - Anything disposable is obviously going to produce a bigger carbon foot print, so when selecting your cutlery, dishes, and napkins, opt for items that can be washed and reused, whenever possible. It’s more eco-friendly and it looks fancier, too – double win! Caterers and venues often have this as an option so be sure to ask. If they don’t, look for products that are compostable or at the very least are recyclable.
We hope you have enjoyed our tips. Check back soon for more tips in our Eco Event Planning Series.
Carla Williamson-Britt is a graphic designer and much-appreciated organizer at Modern Species. For more posts from her, click here.