What is it?
Green events incorporate concern for environmental, economic, and social issues into their decision making. Sustainable event management starts at the inception of the project and requires cooperation from organizers, clients, venues, and suppliers in order to be successful. Green events encourage and celebrate the often voluntary efforts of organizers and participants to reduce the event’s environmental impacts.
What are the benefits?
Minimizing energy and resource use by conserving water and electricity and avoiding paper or plastic disposable items will cut down on the cost of the event and the waste generated. For example, a five-day event that serves 2200 people at coffee breaks, breakfasts, lunches, and receptions using china instead of disposable plastic plates, prevents 1,890 lbs. of plastic from going to the landfill. Promoting avid recycling during the event will support local / community-run recycling programs and can improve the popularity of the event by appealing to environmentally centered crowds that may not have been targeted before.
Ways to "green" an event
- Encourage sustainable transportation by hosting the event at an easily accessible location by public transit (if it is available), car-pooling, or biking.
- Promote paper-less communication -- use email invites, electronic tickets, website updates, and reusable signs.
- Compost or recycle all organics and recyclables.
- Avoid swag and promotional materials or choose environmentally-friendly alternatives.
- Provide drinking water on site rather than disposable water bottles and use reusable dishware, cutlery, linens, and tablecloths.
- Promote local (organic) food and talent for meals and entertainment and accurately count meeting attendees to avoid food waste.
- Be tactical about audio and lighting to reduce energy consumption and provide carbon offsets by investing in sustainable energy to power your event.
- Communicate your successes and educate participants on the benefits of "going green".