7 Simple Steps To Planning Your Next Sustainable Event
4 July 2023
Long gone are the days of lavish affairs where no expense is spared… at least for those who actually care about the planet. Now, when it comes to corporate events, guests want sustainability. Not just because it’s the smart thing to do, but because it’s the right thing to do. And now that each of us is responsible for lowering our individual carbon footprint, so too does this carry through to the events we plan and host.
So, how can you make your next event more eco-friendly? There’s no doubt that incorporating sustainability initiatives is challenging for many businesses, but with some thoughtful consideration at the planning stages, your corporate outing, conference, product launch or special event can certainly become more green. Here are seven simple steps to creating your next environmentally sustainable event.
1. Upcycle And Recycle
C’mon now, we don’t need to tell you that plastic is a problem. When choosing materials, try to incorporate recycled and upcycled elements where possible. Avoid single-use items as they not only produce a vast amount of waste, they’re banned in some states and territories. Instead, think outside the (cardboard) box by sourcing things that can be given a new lease of life. Ask attendees to return their plastic name tags or lanyards after an event so they can be used again, and use chalkboards, whiteboards or digital signs instead of the printed variety. Also, encourage your attendees to recycle at your event, too, by making it clear where the recycling stations are and what they’re for.
2. Choose Wisely
To run a truly green event, it’s essential you collaborate with sustainable event suppliers. By choosing likeminded suppliers who align with your values, you can be sure that they’ll do what they can to make your event environmentally friendly. Make a list of requirements when you’re choosing your suppliers – that way, you can set your own terms and demands and choose the suppliers that meet them.
3. Look Local
Food plays a major part in climate change, and smart chefs know that serving organic, locally-sourced produce is the only way to go. Using fruits, vegetables and other food from nearby farms and producers means less travel, less carbon footprint, more support in the local community, and the food always tastes way better. Think about serving responsibly-caught fish or plant-based options instead of beef – to produce one pound of beef it takes 1,799 gallons of water and releases about 22 pounds of carbon. Also, opt for a sit-down meal instead of a buffet, where there is usually more waste. Speaking of, at the end of an event, ensure any unconsumed perishable food has been handled correctly so that you can later donate it to food rescue organisation, like OzHarvest. And lastly, all packaging or presentation of your food should be paper-free, or at the very least minimally packaged in biodegradable or recyclable containers
4. Coming Up Roses
Just as you should be looking locally for food, the same should be said for your floral arrangements too. Do you really need exotic flowers flown in from far-flung destinations? Of course you don’t. Thankfully, only 10% of flowers that are sold in Australia are imported from overseas, unlike the United States which imports a shocking 80% of its fresh cut flowers. Florists like White House Flowers can create modern gorgeous designs using responsible practices and native Australian flowers, so they’re chic, visually stunning and eco-friendly.
5. Ditch The Paper
Did you know that 23% of the world’s municipal solid waste is paper? This, combined with wasted wood, would allow for 50 million homes to be heated for 20 years. That’s why a paper-free approach is a smart one when planning a sustainable event. Deciding to communicate digitally with attendees not only removes potential waste, it can also ensure the entire event runs more smoothly. The invitation to your conference, corporate outing, cocktail party or product launch can be an e-ticket, which you can customise – it will also reach a bigger audience faster, and with less waste. There are no stamps, couriers or printing, plus often you can view who has opened or seen your invite, helping you track RSVPs easily. In addition to the invites, help diminish the impact of deforestation on climate change by hosting a completely paperless event. Think about using an event app to communicate essential information. You can put your agenda online or in the app, make all event signage digital and provide a digital check-in with a QR code instead of paper tickets.
6. Opt For LED Lighting
LED lights are much more environmentally friendly than fluorescent lighting. They consume less power, save more energy and reduce carbon emissions. By opting for LED lighting you can help to make your event more sustainable. LED lighting is also extremely versatile. It can be used to create different moods for your event, without causing excess damage to the environment
7. The Gift That Keeps Giving
Yes, it’s time to ditch those wasteful gift bags from back in the day for something more sustainable. Consider gifting your guests or attendees with a reusable grocery bag, perhaps filled with a reusable drinking straw, a recycled notebook, beeswax food wraps, a reusable coffee cup, or a T-shirt made of recycled material. At Flying Ruby, we produced the menu on Australian native seed paper which guests could take home and plant. Another great option is digital swag, which requires no bag or paper. Attendees can open a virtual ‘bag’ that is emailed to them with discount codes, e-tickets or access to other freebies, all with no waste. It’s the little things that can make a big impact.
At the end of the day/event, ‘going green’ isn’t just a trend. Sure, “it’s not easy” (to paraphrase a certain frog), but it’s a new way of life that we all have a responsibility to embrace.
To learn how we can help you create a more sustainability event, contact us HERE.